2021 Oscar nominations slugfest: Our contributors on spreading the wealth among more women, international filmmakers and people of color [WATCH]

“The wealth was spread around nicely, and that was really great to see,” opines Tom O’Brien. “What I think I like most about it, is that as opposed to last year where there were four films in double digits, [this year] there’s only one, and just barely,” he says. O’Brien joins Gold Derby editors Matt Noble and Rob Licuria and fellow contributors Charles Bright and Tony Ruiz to discuss the glorious surprises and heartbreaking snubs from Monday morning’s Oscar nominations. Watch the video above.

“I will fight anyone who says that 2020 was a bad year for film. I thought it was brilliant,” Licuria says. “It gave us so much sustenance and happiness over such a difficult year. So many of those films are so close to my heart and this Oscar season is one of my most favorite ever.”

SEE Complete list of 2021 Oscar nominations in all 23 categories

Netflix’s “Mank” led the field with an impressive 10 nominations, including Best Picture. But the wealth was indeed shared around, with 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.”

“These are all films that I thought were great,” declares Matt Noble. “I’d love to see those films win Oscars, and some of those films will definitely be winning Oscars. There’s not as many films this year that I’m upset about being in the conversation,” he says. “Most of those films I’d be happy with winning Best Picture.”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Promising Young Woman” are right behind with five apiece, while “News of the World” nabbed four and both “One Night in Miami” and “Soul” earned a trio of Oscar nominations and eight movies bagged a pair: “Another Round,” “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” “Collective,” “Emma,” “Hillbilly Elegy,” “Pinocchio,” “Mulan” and “Tenet.”

For the first time in Oscar history, two women, both first-timers, earned Best Director nominations: Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”) and Emerald Fennell (““Promising Young Woman”). “I’m really happy that this year is the coronation of Chloe Zhao,” Ruiz proclaims. “I’ve been a fan of hers for so long.” Bright agrees, adding that “”I think ‘Nomadland’ is out front,” when looking ahead to the likely Best Picture winner.

Zhao and Fennell are joined in the directing race by previous nominee David Fincher (“Mank”) and fellow debutantes 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”) and potential contenders Darius Marder (“Sound of Metal”), Regina King (“One Night in Miami”) and Florian Zeller (“The Father”). Women filmmakers also succeeded across the board in other categories, like in Best International Feature, with Kaouther Ben Hania (“The Man Who Sold His Skin”) nabbing the first-ever nod for a Tunisian film and BAFTA-nominated Jasmila Zbanic nabbing a second-ever nomination for Bosnia Herzegovina with “Quo Vadis, Aida?” after “No Man’s Land” won back in 2002.

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

The lead acting categories feature an array of Black and Asian actors this year, with three men of color nominated for Best Actor (Riz Ahmed, Chadwick Boseman and Steven Yeun) and two Black women nominated for Best Actress for the first time in decades (Viola Davis and Andra Day). In the supporting races, three Black actors are nominated (Daniel Kaluuya, Leslie Odom Jr. and LaKeith Stanfield) and Yuh-Jung Youn made history as the first Korean actress to be nominated.

The Oscars also embraced a number feature films not in the English language, over and above the impressive six nods bagged by Korean-language American film “Minari.” Two Italian films scored below-the-line nominations – “Pinocchio,” which scored in Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling and “The Life Ahead,” which scored a Best Song nod for “Io Se (Seen).” Romanian Best International Feature nominee “Collective” also showed up in Best Documentary Feature alongside Chilean film “The Mole Agent,” while the aforementioned Vinterberg garnered a prestigious directing nod for his Danish International Feature nominee “Another Round,” and Ramin Bahrani landed a surprise Best Adapted Screenplay nod for “The White Tiger,” which is partly in Hindi.

PREDICT the 2021 Oscars winners through April 25

Make your predictions at Gold Derby now. Download our free and easy app for Apple/iPhone devices or Android (Google Play) to compete against legions of other fans plus our experts and editors for best prediction accuracy scores. See our latest prediction champs. Can you top our esteemed leaderboards next? Always remember to keep your predictions updated because they impact our latest racetrack odds, which terrify Hollywood chiefs and stars. Don’t miss the fun. Speak up and share your huffy opinions in our famous forums where 5,000 showbiz leaders lurk every day to track latest awards buzz. Everybody wants to know: What do you think? Who do you predict and why?

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s newsletter with experts’ latest predictions

More News from GoldDerby