'Mank' leads Oscars nominations in record year for women

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'Mank' leads Oscars nominations in record year for women
The actress Amanda Seyfried on her Catskills farm in upstate New York, Nov. 7, 2020. The “Mean Girls” and “Mamma Mia!” actress knows her performance as Marion Davies in“Mank” will be a turning point in her career — but first, she had to put some distance between herself and Hollywood. Molly Matalon/The New York Times.

by Nicole Sperling and Brooks Barnes

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- “Mank,” David Fincher’s black-and-white meditation on old Hollywood, received 10 Academy Award nominations Monday, leading a diverse set of films and filmmakers after a year in which the movie industry was transformed by the pandemic and the Oscar season was pushed back two months.

The Netflix-produced film was nominated in the best picture, director, actor and supporting actress categories. Voters recognized a number of films in multiple categories, with six nominations each going to “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “Sound of Metal,” “Nomadland,” “Minari,” “Judas and the Black Messiah” and “The Father.”

All of those films were nominated for best picture, along with “Promising Young Woman.”

For the first time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated two women for best director, recognizing Chloé Zhao for her work on “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.” Also nominated were Fincher, Lee Isaac Chung of “Minari,” a semi-autobiographical tale about a Korean American family, and, in a surprise, Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg, for his work on “Another Round,” about middle-age men who decide to get drunk daily. It was also recognized in the best international film category.

Nine of the 20 acting nominations went to people of color. Although the academy, which has 9,137 voting members, remains overwhelmingly white and male, the organization has invited more women and people of color into its ranks following the intense #OscarsSoWhite outcry in 2015 and 2016, when the acting nominees were all white.

This year, nominations in the lead actor category went to Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and Steven Yeun (“Minari”). Gary Oldman (“Mank”) and Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) rounded out the category. Yeun is the first Asian American to be nominated for best actor and Ahmed is the first Muslim to be nominated for best actor.

For best actress, the academy recognized Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) and Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”). Also nominated were Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) and Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”).

As expected, Netflix dominated, with 35 nominations.

The Oscars ceremony, which was pushed back two months because of the pandemic, will be held April 25. The secretive academy has kept details under wraps, except to say that it will take place at two locations this year: the usual Dolby Theater in Hollywood and Union Station downtown.

© 2021 The New York Times Company

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