Oscars 2021 Winners List: ‘Nomadland’ Best Picture, Hopkins and McDormand Take Lead Acting Prizes

Zack Sharf
·7 min read

Will Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” win the Oscar for Best Picture? Yes, and it became only the second film directed by a woman to take the Academy’s top prize. Most Oscar pundits agreed the Frances McDormand-starring drama was the one to beat this year considering it’s mostly swept the awards circuit so far, winning Best Picture honors at the Golden Globes, the BAFTA Film Awards, the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and the Critics Choice Awards. Whichever film wins the 2021 Best Picture prize will follow in the footsteps of “Parasite,” which became the first foreign-language winner of Best Picture at the 2020 ceremony.

“Nomadland” star Frances McDormand won the Best Actress prize, the third Oscar of her career. Only Katherine Hepburn has more Oscars as an actress. The supporting acting categories went to Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah” and Yuh-Jung Youn for “Minari.” Anthony Hopkins triumphed in the Best Actor category for “The Father,” winning over presumed frontrunner Chadwick Boseman. Hopkins was not in attendance at the 93rd Academy Awards and thus did not make an acceptance speech. While accepting the Best Picture prize, McDormand urged viewers to watch her movie on the biggest screen possible and to watch all the movies in movie theaters when it becomes safe to do so.

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David Fincher’s “Mank” lead all films this year with 10 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, followed by six films that all earned six nominations each: “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Sound of Metal,” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Netflix’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and Focus Features’ “Promising Young Woman” bagged five nominations each.

The road to the 93rd Academy Awards was an unprecedented one thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, which extended the season by two months. The Oscars usually take place at the end of February, with December 31 being the eligibility cutoff date. The pandemic bumped the 2021 ceremony date to April 25, 2021 and moved the eligibility window to February 28. Films released between January 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021 were thus in contention, making the Oscar race a long and crowded affair. The Academy also allowed films that moved to streaming and/or PVOD releases to remain eligible for Oscars as long as the film originally planned for a theatrical release.

The following films were nominated in the top category of Best Picture at the 2021 Oscars: “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Sound of Metal,” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.″ The nomination for “Judas” made it the first Best Picture nominee with an all-Black producing team. Other historic Oscar nominations included Steven Yeun (first Asian-American Best Actor nominee), Riz Ahmed (first Muslim Best Actor nominee), Chloe Zhao and Emerald Fennell (first year two women made the Best Director category), and Viola Davis (her Best Actress nom makes her the most-nominated Black actress in Oscars history). Andra Day joined Davis in the Best Actress category, making it only the second time in Oscars history that two Black performers are vying for the Best Actress prize.

Prior to the 2021 Oscars ceremony, the various industry guilds bestowed their top prizes to a handful of different contenders. “The Trial of the Chicago 7” won the Screen Actors Guild prize for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture, while Zhao was awarded the Directors Guild of America prize for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures. At the American Society of Cinematographers ceremony, “Mank” DP Erik Messerschmidt won the top prize. Messerschmidt makes his feature cinematography debut on “Mank.” Oscar nominee “The Midnight Sky” won the Visual Effects Society prize, while “Greyhound” surprised over “Sound of Metal” to win the Cinema Audio Society prize.

As for the above the line categories, Zhao repeated her DGA Award win for Best Director at the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice Awards, the BAFTA Film Awards, and the Spirit Awards. No wonder Zhao is the favorite to win the Best Director Oscar, becoming only the second woman in history to win the prize. Supporting actors Daniel Kaluuya and Yuh-Jung Youn have also dominated their categories in the lead up to the Oscars.

A complete list of Oscar nominees for the 93rd Academy Awards is listed below. Winners are in bold.

Best Picture
“The Father”
“Judas and the Black Messiah”
“Mank”
“Minari”
“Nomadland” (WINNER)
“Promising Young Woman”
“Sound of Metal”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7″

Best Director
Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)
David Fincher (“Mank”)
Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”)
Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”) WINNER
Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”)

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”)
Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) WINNER
Gary Oldman (“Mank”)
Steven Yeun (“Minari”)

Best Actress
Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”)
Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”)
Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) WINNER
Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)

Best Supporting Actor
Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) WINNER
Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”)
Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”)
Lakeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)

Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Olivia Colman (“The Father”)
Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”)
Youn Yuh-jung (“Minari”) WINNER

Best Adapted Screenplay
Sacha Baron Cohen and Co-Writers (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton (“The Father”) WINNER
Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”)
Kemp Powers (“One Night in Miami”)
Ramin Bahrani (“The White Tiger”)

Best Original Screenplay
Will Berson, Shaka King, Keith Lucas, and Kenny Lucas (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”)
Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”) WINNER
Derek Cianfrance, Abraham Marder, Darius Marder (“Sound of Metal”)
Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)

Best Animated Feature
“Onward”
“Over the Moon”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”
“Soul” (WINNER)
“Wolfwalkers”

Best International Feature Film
“Another Round” (WINNER)
“Better Days”
“Collective”
“The Man Who Sold His Skin”
“Quo Vadis, Aida?”

Best Documentary
“Collective”
“Crip Camp”
“The Mole Agent”
“My Octopus Teacher” (WINNER)
“Time”

Best Cinematography
Sean Bobbitt (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Erik Messerschmidt (“Mank”) WINNER
Dariusz Wolski (“News of the World”)
Joshua James Richards (“Nomadland”)
Phedon Papamichael (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)

Best Costume Design
“Emma”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (WINNER)
“Mank”
“Mulan”
“Pinocchio”

Best Film Editing
“The Father”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”
“Sound of Metal” (WINNER)
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Emma”
“Hillbilly Elegy”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (WINNER)
“Mank”
“Pinocchio”

Best Original Score
“Da 5 Bloods”
“Mank”
“Minari”
“News of the World”
“Soul” (WINNER)

Best Original Song
“Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah” (WINNER)
“Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
“Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”
“lo Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)”
“Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami”

Best Production Design
“The Father”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Mank” (WINNER)
“News of the World”
“Tenet”

Best Sound
“Greyhound”
“Mank”
“News of the World”
“Soul”
“Sound of Metal” (WINNER)

Best Visual Effects
“Love and Monsters”
“The Midnight Sky”
“Mulan”
“The One and Only Ivan”
“Tenet” (WINNER)

Best Documentary (Short Subject)
“Colette” (WINNER)
“A Concerto Is a Conversation”
“Do Not Split”
“Hunger Ward”
“A Love Song for Latasha”

Best Short Film (Animated)
“Burrow”
“Genius Loci”
“If Anything Happens I Love You” (WINNEE)
“Opera”
“Yes-People”

Best Short Film (Live Action)
“Feeling Through”
“The Letter Room”
“The Present”
“Two Distant Strangers” (WINNER)
“White Eye”

Launch Gallery: The Best Red Carpet Looks at the 2021 Oscars

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