Your Complete List Of The 2021 Oscar Nominations - Comic Years
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Your Complete List Of The 2021 Oscar Nominations

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BY March 18, 2021

The past year has been one of the most unexpected and intriguing landscapes for cinema in history. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has pushed back release dates, forced premieres out of the theatre, and made streaming services the go-to place for Oscar-bait films. So, there has always been a question mark next to the next Academy Awards. Would Birds of Prey or Sonic The Hedgehog get nominated thanks to a lack of competition? Would the ceremony even happen? Well, a delay and some rules for contention later, we finally have something to celebrate. Here is your complete list of the 2021 Oscar nominations, along with our thoughts and predictions!

Frances McDormand, Nomadland 2021 oscar nominations image via Searchlight Pictures

Our List of the 2021 Oscar Nominations

Best Picture

The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

The fight for Best Picture is the most competitive of the year and the largest category. This crop of nominations is one of the most diverse in the history of the Academy Awards, from subject matter to the people behind it. Nomadland has picked up a lot of steam throughout the awards circuit, but we’d be happy to see Promisng Young Woman take it, too.

Best Directing

Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round
David Fincher, Mank
Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

This is the first time in history that two women have been nominated at the same time for Best Directing. While Lee Isaac Chung and Thomas Vinterberg surprised us, Fincher was almost a lock for a nomination. However, based on other award shows this season and the flawless job she does at portraying the nomadic lifestyle, Chloé Zhao might become the second woman to win an oscar.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

This category is often one of the most competitive. Each of the above nominees portrayed their characters in different, unique, and breathtaking ways. And, to be honest, we’d be happy to see any of them take home the prize. While Davis might seem like a big contender, her role as Ma Rainey didn’t feel like a leading role, but rather a back seat to Boseman’s. It may be McDormand’s to lose, but seeing as she won so recently for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, we might see Mulligan take it.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari

This category is filled with surprises and powerhouses. While the greats like Anthony Hopkins and Gary Oldman are here to compete, we expect them to take a backseat to the newcomers and the fantastic, late Chadwick Boseman. The death of Boseman last year adds another layer of complexity to this category, as his performance is only more heartbreaking when you consider the circumstances behind it being filmed. We’d be thrilled to see him win posthumously. Though Riz Ahmed makes for some strong competition, and we’re especially happy to see him up there as he is the first Muslim to be nominated in this category. Steven Yeun has also made history, as he is the first Asian-American man to be nominated for a leading role.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman, The Father
Amanda Seyfried, Mank
Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

This category is equally tough to predict, as precursors have been going all over the place in who they have awarded. We do anticipate Mank getting something, though, and if anyone deserves it from that film it’s Seyfried, who holds her own against Oldman flawlessly.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

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

Judas and the Black Messiah has shown up strong in the 2021 Oscar nominations list. While we would love to see Kaluuya or Stainfield take it home, this kind of double-nomination may split the votes. Back in the 2020 Oscar nominations, Brad Pitt was an obvious winner long before the ceremony. But this year, I wouldn’t place money on anybody.

Best Original Screenplay

Judas and the Black Messiah
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7, where writer and director Aaron Sorkin is nominated, is almost considered a lock for this role. His fast-paced script is more than deserving. Yet, the remaining films on this list are so complex and cover beautiful and heartbreaking topics, so we aren’t so sure how we feel about this category just yet.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
The Father
One Night in Miami
The White Tiger

Nomadland will likely take this category, which would see Chloé Zhao getting her earned praise.

Best Cinematography

Judas and the Black Messiah
News of the World

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Yeah, we think that Nomadland will take it here, too. Mank does make a strong point with its black and white cinematography, but we still aren’t sure of it.

Best Film Editing

The Father
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7 does a great job at portraying so many characters through its clever and fast-paced editing. We’d be happy to see it win.

Best Animated Feature Film

Over the Moon
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

All of the films on this list are special for different reasons. Soul and Onward both tackled incredibly intimate and mature themes for animated features, but we think that Soul will ultimately take the win.

Best Animated Short Film

Genius Loci
If Anything Happens I Love You

This category is great at inspiring people to watch more animated shorts. I, for one, know that I have to catch up on watching the entire list. Though, based on word-of-mouth, I wouldn’t be surprised to see If Anything Happens I Love You win.

Best Live-Action Short Film

Feeling Through
The Letter Room
The Present
Two Distant Strangers
White Eye

Another category that reminds people of the beauty of short films, this category will be tough to tell.

Best International Feature Film

Another Round
Better Days
The Man Who Sold His Skin
Quo Vadis, Aida?

Another Round surprised us in the directing category, so we hope to see it win something here.

Best Documentary Feature

Crip Camp
The Mole Agent
My Octopus Teacher

Time has been generating a lot of buzz on the award list scene since before the 2021 Oscar nominations were released, so we might take that bet.

Best Documentary Short Subject

A Concerto Is a Conversation
Do Not Split
Hunger Ward
A Love Song for Latasha

How can we learn a lot through an art form in very little time? Well, with a short subject documentary, of course! This category is often hard to predict, but we’ll be re-watching them all before making any serious predictions.

Best Original Score

Da 5 Bloods
News of the World

Soul is a film that thrives on music as a landscape, but Da 5 Bloods has been largely undervalued at this awards show. It could go either way.

Best Original Song

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

I can’t begin to express how happy I am that Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is now an Oscar-nominated film. Still, we think that “JaJa Ding Dong” should have been nominated.

Best Sound

News of the World
Sound of Metal

Note that this is the first year to combine sound mixing and sound editing, and we aren’t surprised considering how hard it was to understand the difference. Sound of Metal takes a unique approach to the concept of sound in general, and we’d love to see it win.

Best Costume Design

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom does well with their costume design. Though, considering how few costumes are shown, we won’t be surprised if it loses. Emma could be our runner-up pick.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Hillbilly Elegy
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Again, Emma or Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom might have it here. This category does often surprise us, though, and Hillbilly Elegy could pull a surprise win.

Best Production Design

The Father
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
News of the World

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom does a great job at translating a play on the big screen. Mank, however, excels at showing us an old Hollywood, and we think that the category will lean in their favor.

Best Visual Effects

Love and Monsters
The Midnight Sky
The One and Only Ivan

Tenet had high hopes when it first released, and it took big risks in doing so at the height of the pandemic. If it were to win any category in our list of the 2021 Oscar nominations, we think that it should be this one.

Readers, we talk a lot about awards shows over at Comic Years, and that’s because they’re like the Super Bowl of Cinema. Ultimately, films are up for interpretation, and we want to hear what you think deserves to win.

In addition to making our predictions, we also want to take note of the exciting and diverse list of cast and crew members up for consideration for the event. The #OscarsSoWhite is in our recent past, and always risks repeating itself. Recent diversity changes have been made to the show to ensure that it stops happening, and we’re thrilled to see a year where women and BIPOC are getting the nominations that they deserve!

Let us know your thoughts about the upcoming event and our list 2021 Oscar nominations before the big night on April 25th!

Featured image via Netflix.


Meghan Hale is the kind of movie lover that has a "must watch" that is a mile long... and growing. When she isn't talking about the latest film and television news she is writing one of her many in-process novels, screaming film trivia at anybody who will listen, and working as a mental health care professional. Follow her on Twitter @meghanrhale for some fun theories and live reactions to all things entertainment.

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