All About This Year’s Oscar Nominations


Photo Credit: Dave_B_ from Creative Commons

Anna Salinas, OwlFeed Lifestyle Editor

This year on April 25, the 93rd Oscars will be taking place, awarding the movies that were released during 2020. 

Not only is this year different because of the pandemic, but this year has resulted in various movies being nominated, from relevant historical depictions to heart melting animations. This year is also different as this year has the most diverse acting slate ever as there are nine actors of color nominated. 

Also if you are interested in any of the movies listed below, trailers will be linked. And also remember that not all of these movies are suited for all audiences.

Best Pictures

To start, nominated for Best Picture, film editing, production design, and writing (adapted screenplay) is ‘The Father’ released February 26 of this year. The movie is a 2020 drama co-written and directed by Florian Zeller based on his 2012 play ‘Le Père.’ To briefly explain what the movie is about, the Los Angeles Times said, “Just keep rolling with those ads and posters showing Olivia Colman gazing lovingly at a beaming Anthony Hopkins and lean into the movie’s touching story of a daughter trying to take care of her aging father.”

Secondly, nominated for Best Picture, music (original song), and writing (original screenplay) is ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ which was released February 12 of this year. The movie is directed, written and produced by Shaka King. ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ is a American biographical drama film that takes place in late-1960s Chicago. The movie follows the betrayal of Fred Hampton (played by Daniel Kaluuya), chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, at the hands of William O’Neal (played by Lakeith Stanfield), an FBI informant.

Nominated for best picture, cinematography, costume design, directing, makeup and hairstyling, music (original score), production design, and finally sound is ‘Mank.’ The movie is directed by David Fincher and was written by his father Jack Fincher. Taking place in 1930s Hollywood, the movie depicts scathing wit and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, as he races to finish “Citizen Kane.” ‘Mank’ was released on November 13 of last year and can be watched on Netflix.

Nominated for best picture, directing, music (original score), and writing of an original screenplay is ‘Minari.’ Written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung, ‘Minari’ follows a Korean American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of its own American dream. Amidst the challenges of this new life in the strange and rugged Ozarks, they discover the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.

Nominated for best picture, cinematography, directing, film editing, and writing (adapted screenplay) is ‘Nomadland.’ Nomadland was released February 19 of this year and can be watched on Hulu. The movie follows a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. It is directed, written and produced by Chloé Zhao, who is a Chinese filmmaker and is known primarily for her work in independent U.S. films.

Nominated for best picture, directing, film editing, and writing (original screenplay) is ‘Promising Young Woman.’ Written and directed by Emerald Fennell, ‘Promising Young Woman’ follows Cassie, played by Carey Mulligan, as she is a wickedly smart woman and is living a secret double life. When one day an unexpected encounter gives her the chance to right the wrongs from the past. 

Next we have ‘Sound of Metal,’ which is nominated for best picture, film editing, sound, and writing (original screenplay). Co-written and directed by Darius Marder, ‘Sound of Metal’ tells the story of a heavy-metal drummer’s life as it is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.

Finally, our last best picture is ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7.’ Beside best picture this movie is also nominated for cinematography, film editing, music (original song), and writing (original screenplay). Directed and written by Aaron Sorkin, this movie is based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, arising from the countercultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial sparked a conversation about mayhem intended to undermine the U.S. government. The movie is on Netflix if you have interest in watching it.

Animation and Short Film

For this year’s Animated Feature Film nominations, we have Pixar’s ‘Onward’ created by Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae; ‘Over the Moon’ (can be watched on Netflix) by Glen Keane, Gennie Rim, and Peilin Chou; ‘A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon’ by Richard Phelan, Will Becher and Paul Kewley; Apple TV’s ‘Wolfwalkers’ by Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young and Stéphan Roelants; and finally Pixar’s ‘Soul’ created by Pete Docter and Dana Murray. 

Out of all of these animated movies the one that stands out the most is ‘Soul,’ as it is not only nominated for Animated Feature Film but also for music (original score) and sound. For more about ‘Soul’ you can also read this article I wrote a couple months ago.

Nominated for Animated short film is ‘Burrow’ by Madeline Sharafian and Michael Capbarat, ‘Genius Loci’ by Adrien Mérigeau and Amaury Ovise, ‘If Anything Happens I Love You’ by Will McCormack and Michael Govier, ‘Opera’ by Erica Oh, and finally ‘Yes-People’ by Gísli Darri Halldórsson and Arnar Gunnarsson.

Finally, nominated for Live Action Short Film is ‘Feeling Through’ by Doug Roland and Susan Ruzenski, ‘The Letter Room’ by Elvira Lind and Sofia Sondervan, ‘The Present’ by Farah Nabulsi and Ossama Bawardi, ‘Two Distant Strangers’ by Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe, and ‘White Eye’ by Tomer Shushan and Shira Hochman.

Acting Nominations

For this year’s best actor in a leading role, Riz Ahmed in ‘Sound of Metal’ is the first person of Pakistani descent to ever be nominated for a best acting award. Alongside him for the same award, Steven Yeun, who is mostly remembered for his role in ‘The Walking Dead,’ was nominated for his performance in ‘Minari’ and is the first ever Asian-American to be nominated for best actor. Also nominated for best actor is Chadwick Boseman for ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,’ Anthony Hopkins for ‘The Father,’ and finally Gary Oldman for ‘Mank.’ According to Adam B. Bary from, “This is also the first time in Oscar history that the best actor category is not majority white.”

For this year’s best leading actress, well-known actress Viola Davis is nominated for her role in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ alongside Andra Day in ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday,’ Vanessa Kirby in ‘Pieces of a Women,’ Frances McDormand in ‘Nomadland,’ and Carry Mulligan in ‘Promising Young Woman.’

Photo Credit: Dave_B_ from Creative Commons

Of course while there are nominations for best actors and actresses, there are the best supporting actors and actresses. 

For best actor in a supporting role is Sacha Baron Cohen for his role in ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7,’ Daniel Kaluuya and Lakieth Stanfield in ‘Judas and the Black Messiah,’ Leslie Odom, Jr. in ‘One Night in Miami…,’ and Paul Raci in ‘Sound of Metal.’

Finally for supporting actress, Maria Bakalova, who is an Bulgarian actress, for her role in ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,’ Glenn Close in ‘Hillbilly Elegy,’ Olivia Coleman in ‘The Father,’ Amanda Seyfried in ‘Mank’ and lastly Yuh-Jung Youn who is Korea’s first ever Oscar-nominated actress, for her role in ‘Minari.’

If you have been busy and have not been able to catch up on any of these beautifully nominated movies, know that they are all on different streaming platforms (like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max etc.) due to the pandemic and in some movie theaters. 

All of the nominations can be found here.