93rd Academy Awards | The era of renewal?

Often criticized for its poor representation of diversity, the Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences is offering an honor roll this year where we can feel a clear improvement in this area. Two women directors in the running for the Oscar for best achievement – never seen before – and several artisans from Afro-descendant communities are invited to a ball where Mank, cited 10 times, should in principle beat time. But nothing is over yet.

Marc-André Lussier

Marc-André Lussier

Actors make history

Nine of the twenty actors selected in the four categories of interpretation are not white. Among them, Viola Davis is cited for the fourth time, more than any other African-American actress in Oscar history. Chadwick Boseman could become the first Oscar winner for best actor posthumously since Peter Finch in 1977 for Network. Steven Yeun and Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari), Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah), Leslie Odom, Jr. (One Night in Miami), Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) and Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) are also in contention this year. The categories of interpretation are also very high. Thanks to its performance in Nomadland, Frances McDormand could win the Oscar for Best Actress for the third time. As for Glenn Close, cited for the eighth time and so far never a winner, this year she achieved the feat of being in the running for the Oscars and the Razzie Awards (which rewards the worst films of the year) for the same role. , either the one she holds in Hillbilly Elegy, film generally criticized by critics.


Chloé Zhao recently won the Golden Globe for best achievement. The director of Nomadland could receive the same honor at the Oscars.

Two directors for an Oscar

Eleven years after Kathryn Bigelow, still to this day the only director to win the Oscar for best director (The Hurt Locker, in 2010), Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) are in the running for one of the most coveted golden statuettes. The two women find themselves selected in this category for the very first time in 93 years. The filmmakers become only the sixth and seventh to receive this honor, after Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow and Greta Gerwig. Chloé Zhao is also the first woman to be nominated four times in the same year. As a producer of Nomadland, she can indeed get her hands on the Oscar for best film, but she is also cited, individually, in the categories of best director, best adapted screenplay and best editing.

Netflix’s dominance grows

With 35 citations, the online broadcaster Netflix clearly becomes the leader of the film industry. Ten selections for Mank, seven for The Trial of the Chicago 7, five for My Rainey’s Black Bottom, in addition to several simple quotes, especially for Pieces of a Woman, The White Tiger, Da 5 Bloods and The Midnight Sky, Without forgetting Over the moon and A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon in the category of animated films, Crip Camp and My Octopus Teacher in that of the documentary. In second place, with 12 citations, comes Amazon Studios. Sound of Metal, One Night in Miami and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm earned this other online broadcaster this enviable position. The big studios, which have not been able to release many productions on the big screen in this pandemic year, are being much more discreet. Warner Brothers productions garner eight selections (six for Judas and the Black Messiah and two for Tenet), those of Disney, five (three for Drunk, two for Mulan).


Another Round (Breathalyzer) is the big favorite in the category of best international film.

International surprises

All observers expected thatAnother Round (used under the title Breathalyzer in Quebec) is a finalist in the category of best international film, but few could have predicted a selection by Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg in the category of best director. Suddenly, the Oscar for best international film is almost guaranteed to him. Especially since the other four finalists, Better days (Hong Kong), Collective (Romania), Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and The man who sold his skin (Tunisia) are still relatively unknown on the international circuit. In the case of the latter film, it should be noted that Tunisia finds itself a finalist for the very first time and becomes only the fifth African country to receive the honor. Launched at the Venice Film Festival last year, director Kaouther Ben Hania’s feature won Yahya Mahayni the award for best actor in the Horizons section. Note that Of them, French film by Filippo Meneghetti, and The night of kings, a co-production between Côte d’Ivoire, France, Quebec and Senegal directed by Philippe Lacôte, were excluded from the race.


Gary Oldman, nominated for the Oscar for Best Actor, is the headliner of Mank, by David Fincher.

Mank is he really a favorite?

On paper, David Fincher’s film should be named the favorite of the race with its ten caps, four more than its most serious rivals, all cited six times: The Father (Florian Zeller), Judas and the Black Messiah (Shaka King), Minari (Lee Isaac Chung), Nomadland (Chloe Zhao), Sound of Metal (Darius Marder) and The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin). But is it really? Mank is one of those films admired by all, which nevertheless leaves the viewer too far at a distance. Add to that the fact that the screenplay, written by Jack Fincher, the father of the filmmaker, was not selected, which is still a bit strange for a film where the writing is the heart of the matter. Shot in black and white, Mank explores the Hollywood scene of the 1930s and 1940s through the journey of Herman J. Mankiewicz, who wrote the screenplay for Citizen Kane at the request of Orson Welles. In nine decades of existence, only seven feature films have won the Oscar for best film without having at least been mentioned in one or the other of the categories devoted to the screenplays. The last to have achieved this feat is Titanic in 1998, 32 years later The Sound of Music, also winner in the same circumstances.


Paul Raci got an unexpected quote thanks to his performance in Sound of Metal.

Surprises and forgetfulness

There is no cause for scandal this year, but the announcement of the finalists did have a few surprises in store. First of all, we are delighted with the unexpected selection of Paul Raci in the category of best supporting actor. The actor indeed delivers a vibrant performance in the shoes of a deaf war veteran, who uses his experience in the service of others in Sound of Metal. As mentioned above, the presence of the Dane Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round) in the category of best achievement was also not expected, as observers instead saw Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7) or Regina King (One Night in Miami). Popular independent films, Never Rarely Sometimes Always and First Cow, to name but a few, have been completely ignored. Golden Globe winner Jodie Foster is not in the running, nor is The Mauritanian, the film which had earned him this honor. Some were also hoping for a second selection for Chadwick Boseman in the Best Supporting Actor category, but Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee’s film that could have earned him this quote, was ultimately only retained in one category, that of the best musical track (signed Terence Blanchard).

The 93e Academy Awards will be held April 25 at the Dolby Theater and Union Station in Los Angeles.


Best film

The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah




Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best achievement

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

David Fincher, Mank

Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round (Breathalyzer)

Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Best actress

Viola Davis, My Rainey’s Black Bottom

Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Best actor

Ahmed Rice, Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman, My Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Gary Oldman, Mank

Steven Yeun, Minari

Best Supporting Actress

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman, The Father

Amanda Seyfried, Mank

Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

Best Supporting Actor

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami

Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

Best international film

Another Round (Breathalyzer), Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark)

Better days, Derek Kwok-cheung Tsang (Hong Kong)

Collective, Alexander Nanau (Romania)

Quo Vadis, Aida?, Jasmila Žbanić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

The man who sold his skin (The Man Who Sold his Skin), Kaouther Ben Hania (Tunisia)

> See the complete list of finalists

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93rd Academy Awards | The era of renewal?

Hank Gilbert