The Oscars Break Ultimate Records in Age and Diversity


The 93rd Annual Academy Awards reached a multitudinous amount of milestones and achievements across all areas of film and entertainment.

This year’s Oscars were nothing short of groundbreaking with multiple record-breaking wins and nominations across all of the categories. The Oscars were held on Sunday, April 25th at Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. There were also international locations such as London via satellite. 

The Oscars this year had some ultimate highs in regards to films and their nominations. Mank, the story behind the creation of Citizen Kane, took the lead with ten nominations. The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Nomadland, Sound of Metal, and Trial of the Chicago Seven all tied with six nominations. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Promising Young Woman tied with five nominations, News of the World had four, and One Night in Miami had three. 

With the Oscars being the most popular awards show for the film industry, it was expected for the nominees along with the viewers to go in with high hopes. What made this year even more special was that the lineup was the most diverse it had ever been. Out of all seventy-six nominations, seventy of them included women. To top it off, nine out of twenty of the acting nominations were non-white. 

In the Best Actor category, Stephen Yeun became the first Asian American to be nominated, Riz Ahmed became the first Muslim actor to be nominated, and Chadwick Boseman became the seventh actor past death to get nominated. Among all of the Best Actor nominees, Anthony Hopkins ended up winning for his role in The Father, becoming the oldest actor to win the award at age eighty-three. 

In the Supporting Actor and Actress categories, Leslie Odom Jr. became the fourth person overall and the first man to receive acting and music nomination for Regina King’s film One Night in Miami and Yuh-Jung Youn became the first supporting actress to win from Korea for her role in Minari. Frances McDormand became the third woman and twentieth person overall to receive a Best Acting and Best Picture nomination for Nomadland. Luckily for her, she ended up winning both nominations. 

For the first time ever, two female directors were nominated for Best Director, and to wrap that category up, Chloe Zhao ended up winning with Nomadland, becoming the first woman of color to win the award and the second woman to ever win. Her film also ended up winning Best Picture and Best Actress with Frances McDormand taking the acting win for the third time. Competitor Emerald Fennell, who was nominated for best director on behalf of Promising Young Woman, did not win, but her film ended up winning Best Original Screenplay. 

Alongside those directorial successes was the Netflix hit Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, a biographical piece about the life of Ma Rainey, a former jazz singer in Chicago. Out of all six nominations, it ended up winning two. For Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first black stylists to win. To coincide with this, Ann Roth became the oldest winner in history at the mere age of 89 for Best Costume Design. The critically acclaimed film also granted Viola Davis a Best Actress nomination, making her become the most nominated black actress in history. 

In the Best Picture category, two different records were broken. Judas and the Black Messiah, a period piece highlighting the betrayal of the Black Panther Party by William O’ Neil (played by Lakeith Stanfield, nominated for Best Supporting Actor) on behalf of Fred Hampton (played by Daniel Kaluuya, who also won Best Supporting Actor). The film highlighted the first all-black producing crew to be nominated for Best Picture and had ten black nominated contributors, breaking the record for the most in any Best Picture nominated film. It also marked the first time that two black males were in the Supporting Actor category. 

Alongside Judas and the Black Messiah was Minari, an A24 film about a Korean American family moving to Arkansas to try and live out the American Dream. The film brought many powerful performances through actors such as Youn Yuh-Jung, Steven Yeun, and Alan S. Kim. Minari received multiple nominations including Best Picture, officially marking the first time an Asian American producer was nominated in the category. 


Shown below is the list of winners in all of the categories. 

  • Best Picture: Nomadland
  • Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins
  • Best Actress: Frances McDormand
  • Best Original Song: Fight For You HER
  • Best Supporting Actress: Youn Yuh-Jung
  • Best International Feature Film: Another Round
  • Best Director: Chloe Zhao Nomadland
  • Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya
  • Best Animated Feature: Soul
  • Best Documentary Feature: My Octopus Teacher
  • Best Original Screenplay: Promising Young Woman
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: The Father
  • Best Visual Effects: Tenet
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Best Cinematography: Mank
  • Best Live-Action Short Film: Two Distant Strangers
  • Best Costume Design: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Best Film Editing: Sound of Metal
  • Best Animated Short Film: If Anything Happens, I Love You
  • Best Short Documentary: Colette
  • Best Production Design: Mank
  • Best Sound: Sound of Metal