Oscar nominees 2021: the biggest snubs of the 93rd Academy Awards

on Mar15
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The 2021 Oscar nominees were announced Monday and gave nods to a lot of popular films that debuted this past year while simultaneously snubbing a handful of fan-favorites. 

After a long wait due to the coronavirus pandemic, married couple Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas announced the nominees from London. While hits like “Mank,” “Judas And the Black Messiah” and “Minari” received nominations in the highly coveted best picture category, stars like Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Kirby and Chadwick Boseman got acting nods.

However, of the dozens of nominations announced, critics and fans still found some surprising snubs for some of their favorite artists and films that debuted amid the pandemic. To help movie buffs keep track, below are some of the most talked-about snubs from the 93rd annual Academy Awards: 

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' did not earn a best picture nomination.

‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ did not earn a best picture nomination.

Based on the 1982 play of the same name, the film tells the story of a particularly eventful recording session at Paramount recording studios in Chicago with a regarded blues singer, Ma Rainey, and the seasoned Georgia Jazz Band members who play for her. 


Despite earning nominations for Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman as well as nods for best costume design, best makeup and hairstyling and best production design, the film didn’t make the cut for a best picture nomination. It was similarly snubbed by the Golden Globes for best picture, but many had high-hopes that the Academy would prevail where the Globes failed. 

“One Night in Miami”

Similarly, the Regina King-directed drama earned three Oscar nods, one for Leslie Odom Jr., another for best-adapted screenplay and a third for the  original song “Speak Now.” However, it was passed over in the best picture category. 


In addition, King did not earn a nomination for best director despite the fact that the Academy could have made history by making her the first Black woman to be nominated in the category, which had only seen five female directors nominated in its history prior to Monday when two more women, Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell, were nominated for their films. 

Zhao is the first woman of color to be nominated for best director and the first woman of Asian descent.

“Da 5 Bloods”

After taking home his first Oscar in 2019 for “BlacKKlansman,” many thought that Spike Lee would find himself in the best director or best picture category for his 2020 film “Da 5 Bloods,” about a group of Black U.S. soldiers returning to Vietnam to recover gold and their squad leader’s remains. 

Unfortunately, the movie was snubbed in both categories. Fortunately for Lee, “Da 5 Bloods” managed to secure one nomination for best original score for Terence Blanchard.

Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin's 'Trial of the Chicago 7' did not earn him a best director nomination.

Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Trial of the Chicago 7’ did not earn him a best director nomination.

Although he’s received multiple writing nominations in the past, as well as a win for the 2011 film “The Social Network,” many thought his second outing as a director on “The Trial of the Chicago 7” would earn him his first nomination in that category. However, he’ll have to settle for a best picture nomination, which is among the seven total awards the film was nominated for in 2021. 

Tom Hanks

Although he’s been highly decorated by the Academy throughout his career, many believed that Hanks would secure himself another acting nomination for his role as Captain Kidd in post-Civil War era adventure movie “News of the World.” 


The film sees Hanks play a Civil War veteran tasked with taking a woman who was captured by the Kiowa people years prior across the country to find a home, even if she’s coming against her will. 

Although it received no acting nominations, the film was nominated for a total of four Oscars including best original score, production design, cinematography and sound.


Zendaya did not receive a nomination at the 2021 Oscars.

Zendaya did not receive a nomination at the 2021 Oscars.
(Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

The actress had a big year, earning her first Emmy award for her role in the HBO drama “Euphoria.” However, she did double duty this year and also starred in the black-and-white romantic drama “Malcolm & Marie,” for which many hoped she would earn herself two of the most coveted screen awards in one year.

Unfortunately, she’ll have to try another year as the movie was entirely passed over for any nods this year. 

Alan Kim

After winning over viewer’s hearts in “Minari,” which was nominated for several awards including best picture, 8-year-old Kim melted those viewer’s hearts at the Critics Choice Awards when he tearfully accepted the award for best young actor or actress for his role in the film. 


At 8, he would have been among some of the youngest nominees to ever get attention from the prestigious Academy. However, he was not given any personal attention for this year’s awards. 

Amy Adams

While he co-star, Glenn Close, earned a supporting actress nomination for her part in the Ron Howard-directed “Hillbilly Elegy,” Adams was not given any attention for her role in the film, much to the dismay of fans of the adapted memoir. 


In fact, the film itself was only given one other nomination in the category of makeup and hairstyling.

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