LOS ANGELES — After a pandemic year that shuttered movie theaters and upended the movie business, nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards were announced on March 15—they went to a historically diverse slate of actors in a very untraditional year.
Nine of the 20 acting nominees are people of color, including Steven Yeun (“Minari”), the first Asian American to be nominated for best actor; Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), of Pakistani descent; and a supporting nomination for Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”). It’s a far cry from the all-white acting nods that spawned the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag five years ago.
History was made in the best director category. Only five women have ever been nominated before. For the first time, two women were nominated this year, including Chinese Chloé Zhao for her elegiac road-trip drama “Nomadland.” 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.
Another directing nominee is Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari.” The drama film about a Korean American immigrant family was produced by Christina Oh. Minari was also nominated for Best Picture, Original Screenplay, and Original Score.
Both “Nomadland” and “Minari” became the second most Oscar-nominated films by a director of Asian descent. At the same time, “Opera,” directed by South Korean filmmaker Erick Oh, was included in the five final candidates for the Short Animated Film category.
The 93rd Academy Awards will be held on April 25.
For a full list of the 2021 nominees, go to oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2021.