2021 Oscar nominations are great for diversity everywhere … except Best Picture: Editors slugfest

While this year’s Oscar nominations represent “an amazing year for diverse nominees for acting,” Daniel Montgomery points out that “a lot of the films about Black characters from Black filmmakers were snubbed for Best Picture,” including “Da 5 Bloods,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “One Night in Miami.” Montgomery joins Gold Derby editors Marcus James Dixon and Zach Laws to discuss the jaw-dropping surprises and snubs from Monday morning’s Oscar nominations, plus what we’re predicting to win. Watch the video above or listen to the audio podcast below.

SEE Complete list of 2021 Oscar nominations in all 23 categories

Netflix’s “Mank” led the field with 10 bids, including Best Picture. Six films tied for second place with six nominations apiece: “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Sound of Metal” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Promising Young Woman” came in third with five citations each. Of that group, “Ma Rainey” was the only title to not earn a Best Picture nom, despite showing up in the lead acting categories for Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman.

For the first time in history, two women — “Nomadland’s” Chloe Zhao and “Promising Young Woman’s” Emerald Fennell — earned Best Director nominations. They are joined by David Fincher (“Mank”), Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”) and Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”), who knocked out DGA and Golden Globes nominee Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”).

It was also an historic year for Black and Asian representation in the acting categories, with nominations for Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield (“Judas”), Steven Yeun and Yuh-Jong Youn (“Minari”), Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) and Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”). But, as Montgomery adds, “It’s sort of like Beyonce at the Grammys,” where despite winning more prizes than any other female artist in history (breaking her own record with two prizes at Sunday night’s ceremony for a total of 28 wins), “she almost never wins the top categories.”

SEE After Oscar nominations, who’s up and who’s down in the race for Best Picture?

Despite earning the most nominations, “Mank” is far from a solid frontrunner after missing in Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. “It almost seems cruel for them to nominate it in ten categories and not nominate it in screenplay,” Laws states, “when you consider that the entire reason David Fincher made this movie was to honor his late father [journalist Jack Fincher, who wrote the script before his death in 2003].”

So then what wins Best Picture? It doesn’t help that of the eight nominated films, only two — “Nomadland” and “Promising Young Woman” — contend in directing, acting, writing and editing. Everything else has at least one notable snub in one of those categories. “I’ve been on this ‘Minari’ train for a while, but that editing snub really hurts,” reveals Dixon. “I think I’m just going to go with the flow and pick ‘Nomadland,'” which “got everything it needed” in terms of nominations (Picture, Actress for Frances McDormand, Director, Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing for Zhao and Best Cinematography).

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