LOS ANGELES (CNS) - In a morning filled with firsts, the vintage Hollywood tale “Mank'' scored a leading 10 nominations today for the 93rd Oscars, while “Nomadland'' writer/director Chloe Zhao became the first woman to be nominated four times in a single year.
“Nomadland,'' the life-affirming drama about grief and healing as seen through the eyes of van-dwelling wanderers, is already considered a front-runner in the best picture race, having already collected Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards, while Zhao was named best director at both of those ceremonies
“Nomadland'' and “Mank'' -- the black-and-white portrait of screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz as he struggles to complete the script for the Hollywood classic “Citizen Kane'' -- were both nominated for best picture, along with “The Father,'' “Judas and the Black Messiah,'' “Minari,'' “Promising Young Woman,'' “Sound of Metal'' and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.''
Zhao was nominated as a producer of “Nomadland,'' as well as for directing, adapted screenplay and editing to become the first woman with four nods in a single year. “Promising Young Woman'' producer/director/writer Emerald Fennell earned three nominations, joining Sofia Coppola and Fran Walsh as the only women to accomplish that feat.
Viola Davis became the most-nominated Black actress in Oscar history, earning her fourth career nod for her leading turn in “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.'' Davis was previously tied with Octavia Spencer at three. Both Davis and Spencer have won once.
Also nominated for best actress were Andra Day for “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,'' Vanessa Kirby for “Pieces of a Woman,'' Frances McDormand for “Nomadland'' and Carey Mulligan for “Promising Young Woman.''
The late Chadwick Boseman is the early front-runner to win the best-actor prize for his work opposite Davis in “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.'' Also nominated were Riz Ahmed for “Sound of Metal,'' Anthony Hopkins for “The Father,'' Gary Oldman for “Mank'' and Steven Yeun for “Minari.''
The nomination makes Ahmed the first Muslim actor to ever land in the best-actor category, while Yeun's is the first for an Asian performer. Hopkins, at age 83, is the oldest-ever best-actor nominee.
Many pundits expected Boseman to also land a supporting-actor nomination for his work in Spike Lee's “Da 5 Bloods,'' but he was left off the list. Nominations went to Sacha Baron Cohen for “The Trial of the Chicago 7,'' Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah,'' Leslie Odom Jr. for “One Night in Miami,'' Paul Raci for “Sound of Metal'' and Lakeith Stanfield for “Judas and the Black Messiah.''
For supporting actress, nominations went to Maria Bakalova for “Borat Subsequent Movie Film,'' Glenn Close for “Hillbilly Elegy,'' Olivia Colman for “The Father,'' Amanda Seyfried for “Mank'' and Yuh-Jung Youn for “Minari.''
Joining Zhao in the best-director category were Thomas Vinterberg for the Danish film “Another Round,'' David Fincher for “Mank,'' Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari'' and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.'' Fincher is the only repeat nominee in the category, having received previous career nods for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'' and “The Social Network.''
With Zhao and Fennell in the category, it marks the first time two women have ever been nominated for best director in the same year.
A total of 76 nominations went to women, which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said is a record for any given year.
Competing with Fennell for original screenplay will be Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas and Keith Lucas for “Judas and the Black Messiah''; Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari''; Darius Marder, Abraham Marder and Derek Cianfrance for “Sound of Metal''; and Aaron Sorkin for “The Trial of the Chicago 7.''
In the adapted screenplay category, Zhao will be challenged by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern and Nina Pedrad for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm''; Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller for “The Father''; Kemp Powers for “One Night in Miami''; and Ramin Bahrani for “The White Tiger.''
Denmark's “Another Round,'' in addition to scoring a best-director nomination for Vinterberg, was also nominated for best international feature, along with Hong Kong's “Better Days,'' Romania's “Collective,'' Tunisia's “The Man Who Sold His Skin'' and Bosnia and Herzegovina's “Quo Vadis, Aida?'' The nominations were the first for films from Romania and Tunisia.
Disney/Pixar's “Soul'' leads the list of contenders for best animated feature, a category that also includes Disney's “Onward,'' Apple's “Wolfwalkers'' and Netflix's “Over the Moon'' and “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.''
The nominations for the 93rd Oscars were announced from London by singer/actor Nick Jonas and his actress wife, Priyanka Chopra Jonas. During the live-streamed event, the Academy also announced that the April 25 Academy Awards ceremony will originate from two locations due to the COVID-19 pandemic - - the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and Union Station near downtown.
Photo: Getty Images
Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.