The nominations for the 2021 Oscars were announced yesterday by Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas. This year, the nominations have created history in several major categories.
With Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) and Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) being nominated for Best Director, this is the first time the Oscars have nominated two women in the same year in the category. Zhao is the first Asian woman to be nominated for directing; it’s also the first time the Academy have nominated two Asian-origin directors in the same year, the second being Lee Isaac Chung (Minari).
— Emerald Fennell (@emeraldfennell) March 15, 2021
This year’s in the most diverse acting field at the Oscars ever, with nine people of colour nominated: Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, Chadwick Boseman, Leslie Odom, Jr., Viola Davis, Andra Day, Riz Ahmed, Steven Yeun and Youn Yuh-Jung. Several of them make history with their nominations.
Steven Yeun (Minari) is the first Asian-American actor nominated for Best Actor. It’s the first time the Oscars have nominated two Asian-origin actors in the same year in any acting category, the other being Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal). Ahmed is also the first Muslim lead actor nominee.
Meanwhile, Youn Yuh-Jung’s nomination for Best Supporting Actress (Minari) makes her the first Korean actor ever nominated. Maria Bakalova’s nomination in the same category (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) makes her the first Bulgarian actor ever nominated. With Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Andra Day (The United States vs Billie Holiday) nominated for Best Actress, this is the first time since 1973 that two Black women are nominated for Best Actress in the same year. Interestingly, the 1973 nominations were for Cicely Tyson and Diana Ross – and Ross, like Day, played Billie Holiday (in Lady Sings the Blues).
Davis now becomes the most-nominated Black actress ever, with four nominations (two each for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress) and one win for Fences. She is also the first Black actress with two Best Actress nominations – the other actresses with multiple nominations are Octavia Spencer (3 supporting) and Whoopi Goldberg (one supporting, one lead).
Meanwhile, in the Best Picture field, Judas and the Black Messiah is the first film with an all-black production team to be nominated (director Shaka King, Charles D King and Ryan Coogler).
The ceremony, originally announced for February 28th, was postponed. It will now take place on April 25th, in Los Angeles.