Oscars 2021: The Nominations, Snubs & Predicted Winners - Knotfest
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Oscars 2021: The Nominations, Snubs & Predicted Winners

Posted by Nicolás Delgadillo in Culture on March 15, 2021

Diving into the Oscars announcements with predictions, snubs and more

With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing movies into disarray, cancelling premieres and festivals and forcing studios to change their release schedules over and over, this awards season has been a whirlwind of unpredictability. With movie theaters across the globe closing their doors, streaming services became more prominent than ever, leading to a majority of this year’s Best Picture nominees being released on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video.

Many of the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards – more widely known as the Oscars – drew inspirations from the increasingly incendiary political and social climate of the past few years, often setting their stories in moments of the past that reflect today’s issues. The nominations offered some surprises, both good and bad, but the race this year is about as tight as its ever been. Read on for the list of nominees for the major awards, the unjust snubs, and who should be taking home the golden prize.

BEST PICTURE

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Now streaming on Netflix)
Promising Young Woman (Now available on VOD)
The Father (Now in theaters and coming to VOD March 26th)
Judas and the Black Messiah (Now in theaters)
Minari (Now available on VOD)
Nomadland (Now streaming on Hulu)
Mank (Now streaming on Netflix)
Sound of Metal (Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video)

What was snubbed: First Cow (Now streaming on Hulu), One Night in Miami (Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video), Da 5 Bloods (Now streaming on Netflix), Driveways (Now streaming on Hulu), I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Now streaming on Netflix)

The predicted winner: Nomadland has been at the head of the pack this awards season, winning best picture at the Golden Globes and the Critic’s Choice Awards. It will likely take the grand prize here as well, but keep an eye on Minari or the heavily nominated Sound of Metal for a potential surprise win.

Read the full KNOTFEST write-up
‘NOMADLAND’ IS THE DEFINING AMERICAN STORY OF THE DECADE’

Frances McDormand in ‘Nomadland’

BEST ACTOR

Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Now streaming on Netflix)
Steven Yeun – Minari
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Gary Oldman – Mank

Who was snubbed: Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods, Ben Affleck – The Way Back (Now streaming on HBO Max), Brian Dennehy – Driveways, Sope Dirisu – His House (Now streaming on Netflix), Billy Crystal – Standing Up, Falling Down (Now streaming on Hulu)

The predicted winner: Steven Yeun is the first Asian American to ever be nominated for Best Actor and is certainly a strong contender, but the race is likely set between Riz Ahmed’s career-defining turn as heavy metal drummer Ruben and Chadwick Boseman’s final performance as cocky trumpeter Levee Green. A posthumous award for Boseman is the most likely the move here.

Chadwick Boseman in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

BEST ACTRESS

Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman (Now streaming on Netflix)
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
Andra Day – The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Now streaming on Hulu)
Frances McDormand – Nomadland

Who was snubbed: Elisabeth Moss – The Invisible Man (Now streaming on HBO Max), Zainab Jah – Farewell Amor (Now streaming on Hulu), Rosamund Pike – I Care A Lot (Now streaming on Netflix), Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things

The predicted winner: It’s a tough one to call, and in a just world, Vanessa Kirby would be the one to walk away with the gold, but with Andra Day winning at the Golden Globes and Carey Mulligan winning at Critic’s Choice, it could be anyone’s game. Based on the numerous other nominations for Promising Young Woman, Mulligan will probably snatch this win.

Carey Mulligan in ‘Promising Young Woman’

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy (Now streaming on Netflix)
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Olivia Colman – The Father
Yuh Jung-Youn – Minari

Who was snubbed: Jodie Foster – The Mauritanian (Now available on VOD), Helena Zengel – News of the World (Now available on VOD), Dominique Fishback – Judas and the Black Messiah

The predicted winner: It should definitely go to Maria Bakalova for an incredibly fearless and outrageously hilarious performance as Tutar, Borat’s teenage daughter. It’s an astounding breakout role.

Maria Bakalova in ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
LaKeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Who was snubbed: Jonathan Majors – Da 5 Bloods, Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods, Clarke Peters – Da 5 Bloods, Norm Lewis – Da 5 Bloods, David Strathairn – Nomadland

The predicted winner: It’s a clash between Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield for the same film, begging the question of who exactly is the lead in Judas and the Black Messiah supposed to be if neither of them? It’s a tough call, but Kaluuya’s commanding presence and captivating speeches as the revolutionary Fred Hampton gives him the edge over his costar.

Daniel Kaluuya in ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

BEST DIRECTOR

Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
David Fincher – Mank
Thomas Vinterberg – Another Round (Now streaming on Hulu)
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman

Who was snubbed: Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods, Regina King – One Night in Miami, Shaka King – Judas and the Black Messiah, Darius Marder – Sound of Metal, Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7, Kelly Reichardt – First Cow, Jason Woliner – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

The predicted winner: Barring any last minute votes for Lee Isaac Chung, who is certainly deserving, Chloé Zhao is certain to be the winner here for her unique style of filmmaking that blurs the line between fiction and documentary.

Chloé Zhao with Frances McDormand on the set of ‘Nomadland’

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Judas and the Black Messiah – Written by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, and Keith Lucas
Promising Young Woman – Written by Emerald Fennell
Sound of Metal – Written by Darius Marder and Abraham Marder
Minari – Written by Lee Isaac Chung
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Written by Aaron Sorkin

What was snubbed: Mank – Written by Jack Fincher, Soul (Now streaming on Disney+) – Written by Pete Docter, Kemp Powers, and Mike Jones, Da 5 Bloods – Written by Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee

The predicted winner: While Aaron Sorkin is a favorite among many Academy voters, the personal and moving story of a family struggling to achieve the idealistic American dream from Lee Isaac Chung is the most deserving among the nominees.

Lee Isaac Chung with Alan Kim on the set of ‘Minari’

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Nomadland – Written by Chloé Zhao based on the book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder
The Father – Written by Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton based on Zeller’s play Le Pére
One Night in Miami – Written by Kemp Powers based on his play of the same name
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – Written by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, and Lee Kern
The White Tiger (Now streaming on Netflix) – Written by Ramin Bahrani based on the novel of the same name by Aravind Adiga

What was snubbed: First Cow – Written by Kelly Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond based on Raymond’s novel The Half Life, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Written by Ruben Santiago-Hudson based on the play of the same name by August Wilson, Pieces of a Woman – Written by Kata Wéber based on her play of the same name, I’m Thinking of Ending Things – Written by Charlie Kaufman based on the novel of the same name by Iain Reid

The predicted winner: With One Night in Miami being snubbed in far too many other categories, it and writer Kemp Powers certainly have earned this win, but there could still be a potential upset by Borat Subsequent Moviefilm or The Father.

A still from ‘One Night in Miami’ written by Kemp Powers

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Soul
Over the Moon (Now streaming on Netflix)
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (Now streaming on Netflix)
Wolfwalkers (Now streaming on Apple TV+)
Onward (Now streaming on Disney+)

What was snubbed: The Willoughbys (Now streaming on Netflix), Lupin III: The First (Now available on VOD), The Croods: A New Age (Now available on VOD), The Wolf House (Now streaming on Shudder), My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Now streaming on Hulu)

The predicted winner: It comes down to Pixar’s Soul and Tomm Moore’s Wolfwalkers. Audiences (and voters) may be more familiar with Soul but Moore’s final installment in his Irish Folklore Trilogy following The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea is the superior film.

A still from ‘Wolfwalkers’, the best animated film of the year

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Crip Camp (Now streaming on Netflix)
Time (Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video)
My Octopus Teacher (Now streaming on Netflix)
The Mole Agent (Now streaming on Hulu)
Collective (Now available on VOD)

What was snubbed: Rewind (Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video), All In: The Fight For Democracy (Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video), Dick Johnson Is Dead (Now streaming on Netflix), Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets (Now available on VOD), Boys State (Now streaming on Apple TV+)

The predicted winner: All of the nominated documentaries tell vital and urgent stories, but none feel more relevant and necessary than Garret Bradley’s Time, a personal look at the unjust justice system of the United States.

A wife, mother, and abolitonist fights to free her husband from prison in ‘Time’

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE

Quo Vadis, Aida? (Now available on Virtual Avalon Theatre)
Another Round (Now streaming on Hulu)
Collective
The Man Who Sold His Skin
Better Days (Now available on VOD)

What was snubbed: La Llorona (Now streaming on Shudder), A Sun (Now streaming on Netflix), Dear Comrades (Now streaming on Hulu), I’m No Longer Here (Now streaming on Netflix), Charlatan

The predicted winner: It’s a true toss-up between Bosnian war drama Quo Vadis, Aida? and Danish surreal comedy Another Round. The former may be a bit more deserving, but the latter has an undeniable appeal and huge word of mouth. Having a star like Mads Mikkelsen doesn’t hurt either.

Mads Mikkelsen in ‘Another Round’

BEST EDITING

Yorgos Lamprinos – The Father
Mikkel E.G. Nielsen – Sound of Metal
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Frédéric Thoraval – Promising Young Woman

Who was snubbed: Harry Yoon – Minari, Tariq Anwar – One Night in Miami, Jennifer Lame – Tenet (Now available on VOD), Kristan Sprague – Judas and the Black Messiah, Adam Gough – Da 5 Bloods, Craig Alpert, Michael Giambra, and James Thomas – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Andrew Dickler and Matthew Friedman – Palm Springs (Now streaming on Hulu), David Barker – Shirley (Now streaming on Hulu)

The predicted winner: Chloé Zhao could potentially earn Nomadland even more awards, but the work that Mikkel E.G. Nielsen puts into Sound of Metal is beyond compare.

Read the full KNOTFEST write-up
‘SOUND OF METAL’: A FILM THAT GIVES METAL THE RESPECT IT DESERVES

A still from ‘Sound of Metal’

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Sean Bobbitt – Judas and the Black Messiah
Dariusz Wolski – News of the World
Phedon Papamichael – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Erik Messerschmidt – Mank
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland

Who was snubbed: Hoyte Van Hoytema – Tenet, Newton Thomas Sigel – Da 5 Bloods, Christopher Blauvelt – First Cow, Martin Ruhe – The Midnight Sky (Now streaming on Netflix)

The predicted winner: The monochrome stylings of Mank is a very worthy contender, but the way Joshua James Richards captures the breathtaking vistas of the United States alongside dirtier views of rugged nomad life will likely earn him the win.

Joshua James Richards with Chloé Zhao and Frances McDormand on the set of ‘Nomadland’

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – Soul
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – Mank
Emile Mosseri – Minari
Terence Blanchard – Da 5 Bloods
James Newton Howard – News of the World

Who was snubbed: Alexandre Desplat – The Midnight Sky, Ludwig Göransson – Tenet, Benjamin Wallsfisch – The Invisible Man

The predicted winner: It’s not often that you see a composer running against themselves, or in this case, two of them. Both Soul and Mank offer significantly different music, but if the previous award ceremonies are to be followed, Soul’s otherwordly score will come out on top.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross in the studio with Jon Batiste working on the score for ‘Soul’

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

David Crank and Elizabeth Keenan – News of the World
Donald Graham Burt and Jan Pascale – Mank
Peter Francis and Cathy Featherstone – The Father
Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas – Tenet
Mark Ricker, Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Who was snubbed: Kave Quinn and Stella Fox – Emma. (Now streaming on HBO Max), Sam Lisenco and Rebecca Brown – Judas and the Black Messiah, Anthony Gasparro and Vanessa Knoll – First Cow, Steve Pilcher – Soul, Noah Klocek – Onward, Lauren Fitzsimmons and Karleigh Engelbrecht – The Mortuary Collection (Now streaming on Shudder)

The predicted winner: Mank’s period setting and all of the intricacies that come with it are exceptionally impressive, but nobody does awe-inspiring, massive blockbuster action quite like Christopher Nolan and his team. Tenet is sure to snag a win here.

Christopher Nolan and John David Washington behind the scenes of ‘Tenet’

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Alexandra Byrne – Emma.
Bina Daigeler – Mulan
Ann Roth – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Trish Summerville – Mank
Massimo Cantini Parrini – Pinocchio (Now available on VOD)

Who was snubbed: Nancy Steiner – Promising Young Woman, Mark Bridges – News of the World, Erin Benach – Birds of Prey (Now streaming on HBO Max)

The predicted winner: Mulan has sweeping and elegant gowns, Mank and Emma. both have gorgeous period clothing, but it’s likely that Ann Roth’s work for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom earns the win.

Viola Davis in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

BEST VFX

The One and Only Ivan (Now streaming on Disney+)
Tenet
Mulan
The Midnight Sky
Love and Monsters (Now available on VOD)

What was snubbed: The Invisible Man, Birds of Prey, Dolittle (Now streaming on HBO Max), Sonic the Hedgehog (Now streaming on Hulu), The Mortuary Collection, The Old Guard (Now streaming on Netflix)

The predicted winner: It’s just very hard to compete with something like Tenet, which has a budget that’s the equivalent of the worth of a small nation and a director known for his stunning visual effects work.

John David Washington in ‘Tenet’

BEST SOUND

Sound of Metal
Greyhound (Now streaming on Apple TV+)
News of the World
Mank
Soul

What was snubbed: The Invisible Man, Tenent, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Da 5 Bloods, One Night in Miami

The predicted winner: This one should be obvious. No other nominee has sound play such an integral part of its story, and with the category literally in the film’s name, Sound of Metal should make this the easiest win.

Riz Ahmed in ‘Sound of Metal’

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Hillbilly Elegy (Now streaming on Netflix)
Emma.
Pinocchio
Mank

What was snubbed: Birds of Prey, Promising Young Woman, One Night in Miami, The Mortuary Collection

The predicted winner: It’s a tight race between Emma., Mank, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, each of which offer different but equally as impressive work for their respective time periods. Ma Rainey’s is likely the winner, but Mank is more in need of a win here, and the challenges inherit in translating hair and makeup to black and white is a challenge that deserves the prize.

Amanda Seyfried in ‘Mank’

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Fight For You” – Judas and the Black Messiah
“Speak Now” – One Night in Miami
“Io Si (Seen)” – The Life Ahead (Now streaming on Netflix)
“Hear My Voice” – The Trial of the Chicago 7
“Husavik (My Home Town) ” – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (Now streaing on Netflix)

What was snubbed: “Tigress and Tweed” – The United States vs. Billie Holiday, “Turntables” – All In: The Fight for Democracy, “Rain Song” – Minari, “Green” – Sound of Metal, “Wuhan Flu” – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, “Loyal Brave True” – Mulan, “Ultraluminary” – Over the Moon

The predicted winner: The Life Ahead may have nabbed itself a surprise win at the Golden Globes, but the favorite to win in the song category is One Night in Miami for Leslie Odom Jr.’s modern day civil rights anthem “Speak Now”.

Leslie Odom Jr. in ‘One Night in Miami’

The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony will take place on April 25th.

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