Oscars 2021: A Trio of Female Directors, History-Making SAG Nominations, and More

Image from THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 — Courtesy of Netflix

What a week. After last month’s Gotham Awards ceremony and the Spirit Awards nominations kicked off the season, things really got going this week with major announcements from some key precursors. If we thought there wasn’t a frontrunner yet, there certainly is one now. After receiving special recognition from the Gothams and being named one of AFI’s Films of the Year, The Trial of the Chicago 7 emerged this week with five Golden Globe nominations and three from the Screen Actors Guild.

“Frontrunner” status at this stage, though, is not always a good thing for films hoping to win the coveted Best Picture prize. There is still a month to go before nomination voting starts, and as we have said repeatedly, anything can happen. But Chicago 7 got a boost it really needed, considering it was released four months ago.

Academy News

Image from THE DISSIDENT — Courtesy of Briarcliff Entertainment

AMPAS will release its shortlists of documentary and international feature films, as well as the music, makeup & hairstyling, visual effects, and short film categories on Tuesday. Ahead of those announcements, they have confirmed 238 documentaries and 93 international features were submitted. These will be narrowed Tuesday to 15 and 10, respectively. Additionally, there will be 27 animated feature films to consider. It is a record-setting year for filmmakers around the world.

The Academy also announced the recipients of their Scientific and Technical Awards. These prizes are awarded for achievements in the science of making movies, rather than for work specific to one film or project. The Sci/Tech Awards will be presented Saturday, February 13 at 1pm PT and can be viewed at oscars.org.

Precursor Updates

Image from MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM — Courtesy of Netflix

Screen Actors Guild

As previously mentioned, it was a great week for Aaron Sorkin’s second directorial achievement. It was also a significant week for Chadwick Boseman, who became the first person nominated for four Screen Actors Guild awards. He earned individual nods for his leading role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and his supporting work in Da 5 Bloods. He was also part of the nominated ensembles for both films.

Regina King, who has an Oscar and multiple Emmys to her name, has only been nominated for a SAG Award once, as part of the ensemble for Ray in 2004. And now, her first feature in the director’s chair has two nominations, one for the cast of One Night in Miami, and one for Leslie Odom, Jr.

Golden Globes

Speaking of King, One Night in Miami also earned three Golden Globe nominations. While it wasn’t included in the lineup of Best Pictures, King was nominated for Best Director in a record-setting year. She was joined by Emerald Fennell and Chloé Zhao, making this the first time the Golden Globes have ever nominated three female directors in the same year. They are also the sixth, seventh, and eighth women nominated in the category. Barbra Streisand and Kathryn Bigelow have each been nominated twice, and Streisand is the only one to win for her 1983 film, Yentl.

NAACP Image Awards

Regina King was also nominated this week for Entertainer of the Year at the NAACP Image Awards. She is recognized alongside D-Nice, Viola Davis, Trevor Noah, and Tyler Perry. One Night in Miami also received nods for Outstanding Motion Picture and Supporting Actor Aldis Hodge. Meanwhile, Viola Davis was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which was one of six nods for the film, including Motion Picture, cast ensemble, Lead Actor for Chadwick Boseman, and supporting cast, Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo, and Taylour Paige.

There’s still a long road to the Oscars, but Netflix and Amazon are well positioned to see a lot of success over the next 10 weeks.

Movie Releases

Here are the films releasing this week:

Written by
Karen Peterson is the Awards Editor for We Live Entertainment. She previously worked as the Assistant Editor at Awards Circuit, now owned by Variety. Her work can also be found at Citizen Dame and at the Watch and Talk podcast. Her non-awards season hobbies include Angels baseball, taking pictures of other peoples' pets, and tweeting about The Bachelor franchise.

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