Greek-American Sarandos’ Netflix Leads in Oscar Nominations This Year

NEW YORK – The Oscar nominations were announced on March 15 with Greek-American Ted Sarandos’ Netflix, as expected, leading all studios with 35 nominations. The streaming service is still hunting its first best-picture winner, and this year has two shots with Mank and The Trial of the Chicago 7 — a movie Paramount Pictures sold off during the pandemic. Netflix led last year, too, with 24 nominations, but came away with just two wins.

Sarandos is the co-chief executive officer and chief content officer for Netflix.

Although Greek films were snubbed this year for the Best International Film category, Athens, Greece-born Phedon Papamichael received a nomination for Best Cinematography for his work on The Trail of the Chicago 7, which is also nominated for Best Picture.

Yorgos Lamprinos is up for Best Film Editing for The Father, a French-British co-production starring the legendary Anthony Hopkins as a man who struggles with aging as he moves into his daughter's flat. The film is also up for Best Picture. Lamprinos is an editor of Greek descent living and working in Paris. He has worked with diverse directors including Costa-Gavras, Rachida Brakni, Mehdi Charef, Evangelia Kranioti, and Florian Zeller, the director of The Father. Lamprinos has already won Best Film Editing for The Father this year at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, the International Online Cinema Awards, and the British Independent Film Awards.

After a pandemic year that shuttered movie theaters and upended the movie business, Academy Awards nominations on Monday went to two female filmmakers for the first time, to a historically diverse slate of actors and to David Fincher's lead-nominee Mank, a traditional kind of Oscar contender — an old Hollywood homage — in very untraditional year.

The nominations were announced from London by husband and wife presenters Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The Academy Awards would typically have happened by now, but the ceremony has been pushed back to April 25 this year.

Fincher's Mank, a black-and-white, period drama about Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, easily topped nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards — delayed two months by the coronavirus pandemic — with 10 nominations, including best picture, best director, acting nods for Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried, and a host of others for its lavish craft.

Nominations were spread among a wide variety of contenders. Six films, all of them also up for best picture, score six nods: Judas and the Black Messiah, Nomadland, Minari, Sound of Metal, The Trial of the Chicago 7, and The Father. Also nominated for best picture was Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman.

History was made in the best director category. Only five women have ever been nominated before. For the first time, two were this year. Chloé Zhao got a nod for her elegiac road-trip drama Nomadland alongside first-time feature filmmaker Fennell for her pitch black #MeToo revenge comedy. "Never going to stop crying," Fennell, also nominated for best screenplay, said on Twitter.

Zhao, the first woman of color nominated for best director, is the most nominated woman in a single year in Oscar history. She was also tipped for the film's adapted screenplay, editing and as a producer in the best picture category. The other directing nominees were Lee Isaac Chung for the tender family drama Minari, Fincher for Mank, and Thomas Vinterberg for his heavy-drinking Danish tragicomedy Another Round.

For performers, it's the most diverse group of nominees ever — and a far cry from the all-white acting nods that spawned the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag five years ago. Nine of the 20 acting nominees are people of color, including a posthumous best-actor nomination  for Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), as well as nods for Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Steven Yeun (Minari), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), and Andra Day (The People vs. Billie Holiday), and supporting nominations for Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah), Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami), and Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari).

Overall, a record 70 women were nominated for 76 Oscars, the Academy said.

The full list of nominations is available online: https://www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2021.

The ceremony is set to air on ABC on April 25. The film academy said Monday that the show will be held at both its usual home, the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, and the city's railway hub, Union Station.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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