Oscar Nominations: The Most Open-Minded Yet

By Anmoldeep Kaur


April is the month during which the art of filmmaking is celebrated and the best that cinema has to offer is recognized by the Academy Awards, which are more commonly known as the Oscars. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, film premieres took place virtually instead of on red carpets in metropolitan cities.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released this year’s nominations on March 15, and the nominees were commemorated for the great writing, phenomenal acting performances, and all of the talent involved in their respective movies. The films in the running for the award for Best Picture include “Minari,” “Mank,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “The Father,” “Nomadland,” “Sound of Metal,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” and “Promising Young Woman.” Many of the films nominated for Best Picture were released directly onto streaming platforms as a result of the industry being shut down for the majority of last year.


The Oscar nominations this year have been groundbreaking, for this year marks the most diverse group of nominations in the award show’s history. Emerald Fennell and Chloe Zhao made history with their nominations in the directing category, and Zhao is also the first woman of color to be nominated for the award. Not only is there more female representation in the Oscars nominations, but there is more representation for people of color as well.


Joining Zhao and Fennel as historic “firsts” in Oscar history are two of the nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role: Riz Ahmed and Steven Yeun. Ahmed is the first Muslim and first person of Pakistani descent to be nominated for the Best Actor in a Leading Role category, and Yeun, who is from South Korea, is now the first Asian American to be nominated for in the category. Last year’s Oscars nominations only included one person of color across all twenty nominations, but things are different this year as nine people of color have been nominated in acting categories.


Source by Saffah Azeem

The best films of the year strive to win various Oscar awards.


“While this is a great milestone that will mark a more inclusive future for the Academy, there is still a long way to come in terms of recognition for countless groups that are under or misrepresented in Hollywood and the amazingly talented actors that are parts of these groups. Appropriate diversity in the Oscars is an extremely nuanced matter that will never be absolutely perfect. Nevertheless, this is still great progress for the Academy,” said junior Laaibah Shoaib.


This year’s Oscars nominations also include Yuh-Jung Youn, who played the role of Soonja in “Minari,” who has now become the first South Korean to be nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category, and Viola Davis, who became the most nominated Black actress in Oscars history this year.


“The 2021 Oscar nominations included a diverse selection of actors and actresses both familiar and new,” said junior Elisa George.


“Last year’s Oscars nominations only included one person of color across all twenty nominations, but things are different this year as nine people of color have been nominated in acting categories...”

Despite the unprecedented diversity seen in the 93rd Oscar nominations, many took to the internet to express dissent over the Academy’s decisions. Films like “Da 5 Bloods” by Spike Lee, “One Night in Miami” by Regina King, and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” by George C. Wolfe were not nominated for Best Picture despite the success and acclaim the films garnered. This upset many audience members who hoped to see these films acknowledged and respected by the Academy.


Another notable aspect of this year’s nominations was that many of the films nominated, including “Mank” and “The Trial of Chicago 7,” were products of streaming platform giants such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO. 2020 was a year in which everybody spent a considerable amount of time at home due to the pandemic, and there was a newfound appreciation for the arts that kept the world entertained during quarantine. The films nominated this year were all released in unprecedented times, yet still provided audiences with phenomenal performances, brilliant writing, prepossessing cinematography, and riveting musical scores. As the date of the 93rd Academy Awards approaches, fans eagerly await to see who walks away with the iconic golden statuettes.