2021 Australian International Academy Awards nominations: ‘Nomadland’ leads with 6; 4 new TV categories announced

Nomadland” reaped a leading six nominations for the 2021 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) International Awards: Best Picture, Direction and Screenplay (writer/director Chloe Zhao), Actress (Frances McDormand), Supporting Actor (David Strathairn) and Supporting Actress (Swankie).

Joining this Searchlight Pictures release in the top race are five-time nominee “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” four-time contenders “The Father” and “Promising Young Woman” and “Minari.” Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Aussie academy won’t stage the 10th annual edition of these awards in Hollywood as they usually do, but will instead present a highlights package of clips and acceptance speeches, debuting on AACTA’s YouTube channel on Friday, March 5 PST / Saturday, March 6 AEDT.

In an attempt to move with the times and recognize the prominence of streaming content in 2020, this is the first year that the Australian International Awards added four global television awards to their honors, singling out the best drama series, comedy series and actor and actress in a series.

SEE A 3rd Oscar for Frances McDormand (‘Nomadland’) would put her within striking distance of Katharine Hepburn’s record

Winners will be decided by about 150 Australian filmmakers. About half of these voters also cast ballots for the Academy Awards and BAFTAs and their roster also includes members of the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which doles out the Golden Globe Awards.

AACTA introduced its international film awards a decade ago to give Australian filmmakers and artists a voice in the lead up to the Oscars. Like their BAFTA brethren in the mother country, the weeks leading up to the Oscar nominations announcement sees numerous groups vie for attention and Oscar prognostication bragging rights. While the Aussie academy are somewhat prescient about spotlighting which films and performers are in the hunt for Oscar recognition, they do tend to favor home grown talent.

Australian nominees include Margot Robbie (“Promising Young Woman” producer) and “Babyteeth” stars Eliza Scanlen and Ben Mendelsohn. On the TV side, there areTony McNamara (“The Great” creator), “Mrs America” star Cate Blanchett, perennial fave Kidman, nominated for her starring role in HBO’s “The Undoing,” as well as two nominations for local neo-Western crime thriller “Mystery Road” for drama series and lead actor Aaron Pedersen, which streams on Amazon Prime Video stateside.

These Down Under awards shouldn’t be overlooked as a good Oscar bellwether, providing valuable clues on where the Oscar race might be headed. Last year, while Bong Joon-ho‘s “Parasite” won Best Picture and Director (as well as Best Screenplay and International Feature) at the Oscars, the AACTAs split the two – handing Best Film to the Korean sensation while giving its helmer prize to Quentin Tarantino for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Brad Pitt also picked up the supporting actor prize for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” at both ceremonies, as did New Zealander Taika Waititi for his “Jojo Rabbit” screenplay. Aussie Margot Robbie won supporting actress for “Bombshell” at the AACTAs while Laura Dern triumphed for “Marriage Story” at the Oscars, and Martin Scorsese‘s “The Irishman” went into both evenings with the most nominations, having the ignominy of leaving empty-handed twice.

At the AACTAs the year before, “Roma” claimed the Best Film and Direction gongs for helmer Alfonso Cuaron, but the Oscars chose “Green Book” over “Roma” for Best Picture while giving Cuaron the director prize. Among the acting races, eventual Oscar winners Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”), Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) and Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”) also took home awards at both ceremonies, while local favorite Nicole Kidman (“Boy Erased”) won the supporting actress prize, which Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) ultimately claimed at the Oscars.

“The Father”
“Promising Young Woman”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Pete Docter, “Soul”
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
David Fincher, “Mank”
Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Adarsh Gourav, The White Tiger
Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
Gary Oldman, “Mank”

Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
Eliza Scanlen, “Babyteeth”

Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
Ben Mendelsohn, “Babyteeth”
Mark Rylance, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
David Strathairn, “Nomadland”

Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Olivia Colman, “The Father”
Saoirse Ronan, “Ammonite”
Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
Swankie, “Nomadland”

“The Father”
“Promising Young Woman”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

“The Crown”
“I May Destroy You”
“The Mandalorian”
“Mystery Road”
“The Queen’s Gambit”

“After Life”
“The Great”
“Schitt’s Creek”
“Sex Education”
“What We Do in the Shadows”

Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Hugh Grant, “The Undoing”
Daniel Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Paul Mescal, “Normal People”
Aaron Pedersen, “Mystery Road”

Cate Blanchett, “Mrs America”
Daisy Edgar-Jones, “Normal People”
Nicole Kidman, “The Undoing”
Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”
Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit”

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