A look into the Oscar nominations

The nomination’s for this year’s 93rd Academy Awards highlights diversity

By Parker Otto, Columnist

On Monday, Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Jonas announced the upcoming nominations of the 93rd Academy Awards. The upcoming awards ceremony, set for April 25 at both the Dolby Theater and Union Station in Los Angeles, will honor films released in both 2020 and the first two months of 2021. This year’s nominations marked a massive step in diversity for those in front of the camera as well as those behind it. 

For Best Picture, eight films were nominated as opposed to last year’s nine. The films were “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Sound of Metal” and “The Trial of the Chicago Seven.” While all of these nominations were well-deserved, the films that have the best shot of obtaining the Oscar are “Promising Young Woman,” “The Trial of the Chicago Seven” and “Nomadland,” the lattermost having won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture- Drama.

The categories all contained diversity, especially the category of Best Director, which had three men and two women nominated. Both Chloe Zhao, of “Nomadland,” and Lee Issac Chung, of “Minari,” are Asian which, after a history of non-white directors not getting nominated, shows improvement in how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is moving to be more diverse in their nominations. Zhao also has a strong claim to the Oscar, especially since she won the Golden Globe for Best Director on Feb. 28. 

In the race for Best Actor, the late Chadwick Boseman will inevitably be the recipient of the award (the thirst posthumous acting Oscar) for his role as Levee Green in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Best Actress is more difficult to predict as the year was full of exceptional female performances. However, Carey Mulligan’s layered performance in “Promising Young Woman” might be the one to take home the Academy Award.

Daniel Kaluuya is a perfect fit for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah” while Maria Bakalova’s role as Tutar in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” would make a great selection for Best Supporting Actress.

Aaron Sorkin’s masterfully written screenplay for “The Trial of the Chicago Seven,” which he also directed, will surely win Best Original Screenplay while Best Adapted Screenplay could go to any of the nominees. But “One Night in Miami…” might take the prize thanks to its strong dialogue and interesting story despite being mainly held in one location.

Best International Feature Film has five incredible nominations, but “Another Round” from Denmark seems to be the one that will win with the film also being nominated for Best Director for Thomas Vinterberg. It’s also refreshing to see the American-made “Minari” nominated for Best Picture instead of Best International Feature Film unlike the Golden Globes. At the 78th Golden Globes, “Minari,” which had both Korean and English dialogue, was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film despite that category meant for non-American films, leading “Minari” to get sidelined.

Despite great films being nominated, inevitably there were some snubs. “Tenet,” “Da 5 Bloods,” “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “One Night In Miami…” all were nominated but were given very few nominations despite being some of the year’s finest. “Tenet” was only nominated for Best Visual Effects and Best Production Design while “Da 5 Bloods” only was nominated for Best Original Score. 

While the Oscars typically is geared towards more serious films, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” was a funny and eye-opening look at modern America and deserved more than Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. “One Night In Miami…” was nominated for Best Original Song, best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor with no nominations for Best Picture and Best Director despite achieving those nominations at the 78th Golden Globes.

Despite some films not getting as much attention, this year’s nominations were all well-deserved and, come April 25, it will be fantastic to see so many films get their recognition after a very bizarre year for the film industry.