Oscar nominations: ‘Mank’ leads with 10; two women up for best director

The pair of nominations for Chloé Zhao (‘Nomadland’) and Emerald Fennell (‘Promising Young Woman’) marks a first for the Academy.

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“Nomadland” director Chloé Zhao is nominated for the best director Academy Award, and star Frances McDormand is a best actress nominee.

Searchlight Pictures

Director David Fincher’s “Mank” led nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards with 10 nods Monday, and for the first time, two women — Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell — were tipped for best director.

Eight films were nominated for best picture. “Mank” was joined by Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman,” Zhao’s “Nomadland,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Sound of Metal,” “Minari,” “The Father” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

History was made in the best director category. Only five women have ever been nominated in the category before. Zhao is the first woman of Asian descent to get a nod — and the most nominated woman in a single year in Oscar history. She also got nominations for the film’s adapted screenplay, editing and, as a producer in the best picture category.

The other directing nominees were Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari,” Fincher for “Mank” and Thomas Vinterberg for “Another Round.”

For performers, it’s the most diverse slate of nominees ever — and a far cry from the all-white acting nominees that spawned the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag five years ago. Nine of the 20 acting nominees are people of color, including a posthumous best-actor nomination for Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), and nods for Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Steven Yeun (“Minari”), Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”), Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Andra Day (“The People vs. Billie Holiday”) and Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”).


Chadwick Boseman (left) received a posthumous nomination for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which co-stars fellow nominee Viola Davis.


Davis, who won for her performance in 2016’s “Fences,” landed her fourth Oscar nomination, making Davis the most nominated Black actress ever. Yeun is the first Asian American ever nominated for best actor.

The other nominees for best actress are: Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”; Frances McDormand, “Nomadland,” and Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman.”

The remaining nominees for best actor are: Anthony Hopkins, “The Father,” and Gary Oldman, “Mank.”

After a pandemic year that shuttered most movie theaters, the best-picture nominees had hardly any box office to speak of. The Oscars won’t just lack blockbusters, it’s going forward with many movies that have barely played on the big screen at all. That leaves streaming services set to dominate Hollywood’s biggest and most sought-after awards.


Best picture nominee “Mank” stars two nominees playing real-life Hollywood figures: Amanda Seyfried as actress Marion Davies and Gary Oldman as screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz.


Netflix, as expected, led the pack with 35 nominations. The service is still gunning for its first best-picture winner, and this year has two shots in “Mank” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” — a movie Paramount Pictures sold off during the pandemic. Netflix led last year, too, with 24 nominations, but came away with just two wins.

Other streamers were in the mix. Amazon, in particular, was well represented with “Sound of Metal,” “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “One Night in Miami.”

The nominations were announced from London by presenters Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The Academy Awards would typically have happened by now but this year were postponed by two months due to the pandemic. They will instead be telecast April 25.

The film academy confirmed Monday that the show will be held at both its usual home in the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and the city’s railway hub, Union Station.

In addition to Youn, the nominees for best supporting actress are: Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”; Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”; Olivia Colman, “The Father”; Amanda Seyfried, “Mank.”

In addition to Odom Jr., Kaluuya and Stanfield, the nominees for best supporting actor are: Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” and Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal.”

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