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Stacey Abrams may have finally made her mark as a producer for her Amazon Prime Video documentary All In, but her film was among the high-profile omissions from the 2021 Oscar nominations, announced Monday morning.
Indeed, the best documentary category left out a number of high-profile hopefuls that had been recognized by other documentary awards and critics groups including Boys State, Dick Johnson Is Dead, MLK/FBI, The Truffle Hunters and Welcome to Chechnya.
Additionally, All In‘s best song contender, Janelle Monáe’s “Turntables,” failed to score a nod, as did Borat Subsequent Moviefilm‘s signature song, “Wuhan Flu.”
Just two years after the Oscars recognized Spike Lee with best adapted screenplay for his work on BlacKkKlansman, one of six nominations for that film, his latest effort Da 5 Bloods only landed one nomination from the Academy in the category of best original score, failing to land the best actor (Delroy Lindo) or supporting actor (Chadwick Boseman) nods pundits predicted.
While Boseman and Viola Davis were nominated for their roles in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, that film also came up short in a few categories, including best picture, best director (George C. Wolfe) and adapted screenplay.
Hanks wasn’t the only star who missed out on a best actor nomination that pundits had predicted: Ben Affleck (The Way Back), Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) and Kingsley Ben-Adir (One Night in Miami) all failed to earn nods in that category.
While the best director category made history with two women nominated in the same year for the first time, fellow female best director hopeful Regina King failed to earn a spot for her feature debut One Night in Miami, as did the helmers of other films that earned numerous other nominations from the Academy: Shaka King (Judas and the Black Messiah), Florian Zeller (The Father) and Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7).
And in the best original screenplay category, Radha Blank’s The Forty-Year-Old Version was a surprising omission.
Blank took to Instagram later Monday morning to reassure fans of her film that despite her film not being nominated for an Oscar, “we good.” Instead she highlighted the opportunity she’d been given with her film and suggested perhaps the subject matter didn’t resonate with the film Academy.
“We got to make an independent film in Harlem with financiers and producers of color, queer folk, folks who are normally ‘marginalized,’ win big at Sundance, get acquired by Netflix, share the film with a global audience … you can’t get robbed of something that is your birthright and we good,” Blank said in part, thanking fans of the film for supporting it. “I’m not expecting an age-old institution that wasn’t really built to celebrate our work to then all of a sudden celebrate a black-and-white film made by black and brown queer people about a black woman’s journey to find her voice in Harlem and in Brooklyn.”
She also called out First Cow and the other “many amazing films … that did not get any acknowledgement.”
“So we’re going to keep telling story,” she said, before pivoting to what she felt were more important issues. “I’m not saying we shouldn’t hold these institutions accountable, but I’d rather focus on the real injustices of the world, which is the fact that no one was convicted in the death of Breonna Taylor. That’s an injustice to me. I’m still here. I still get to tell stories. I still get to live out my dreams; she does not. I appreciate everyone advocating for this film and I hope to use film to amplify our voices more in the future, but there are bigger injustices happening than me not being considered for an Oscar.”
In terms of other surprises, Pinocchio landed a slate of nominations that not many pundits had predicted, with best director nominee Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round) and best supporting actor nominee LaKeith Stanfield also surprising observers with their unexpected nominations Monday morning.
12:44 p.m. This story has been updated with Blank’s response to not receiving an Oscar nomination.
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