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Students react to this year’s Oscar nominations

Despite COVID-19’s impact on the film industry, nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards were announced on March 15, and Seton Hall students shared their thoughts on this year’s nominees.

The nominees for Best Picture are “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Sound of Metal” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Nominees for Best Director are Thomas Vinterberg, Chloé Zhao, Lee Isaac Chung, David Fincher and Emerald Fennell.

Nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role are Anthony Hopkins, Riz Ahmed, Chadwick Boseman, Steven Yeun and Gary Oldman. For Best Actress in a Leading Role, Andra Day, Vanessa Kirby, Carey Mulligan, Frances McDormand and Viola Davis were nominated.

Nominees for original screenplay are “Sound of Metal,” “Minari,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Judas and the Black Messiah” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

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Shelby Dzialo, a junior visual and sound media major, said she thought “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” should have also received a nomination for Best Picture.

“It should have especially been nominated because both Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis, the two leads, were nominated for awards,” Dzialo said. “It also would have been a nice way to memorialize the late Chadwick.”

The Oscars have been criticized in the past for the lack of diversity in nominations. But this year, nomination history was made several times. Chung’s “Minari” is the first Asian American produced and directed film starring a mostly Asian cast to be nominated for Best Picture.

This is also the Academy’s first time nominating two women for Best Director. Zhao is also the very first woman of color to receive the accolade. Imoya Brooks, a freshman social work and psychology major, said she was surprised that so many women were nominated overall.

“I always viewed award shows, such as the Oscars, as sexist and patriarchal, and the fact that the amount of women nominated was actually record-breaking is shocking to me,” Brooks said.

More history was made when Davis was named the most nominated Black actress in Oscar history. According to Refinery 29, this is Davis’s fourth time being nominated in the Best Leading Actress category. Chung and Zhao are also the first two Asian directors to compete against each other for Best Director.

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Along with nominations comes snubs for each category. According to CNBC, one of the largest snubs was “Da 5 Bloods” not being nominated for Best Picture this year. The film received multiple critic awards despite not receiving acclaim from the Academy.

Sanjana Patel, freshman nursing major, said she thinks Regina King was robbed of a Best Director nomination.

“She was left off the Best Director ballot,” Patel said. “King seems like a great person for Best Director for her work on ‘One Night in Miami.’”

The upcoming Academy Awards will take place on April 25 at 8 p.m. on ABC. According to Los Angeles Magazine, there is not a specific host at the moment, but the event will be guided by Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins.

Because of the pandemic, the show will be partially in-person at the Dolby Theater with small groups in different locations.

Brooks and Dzialo both said they will be watching the award show this year.

“Being that so much has changed, and this award show is presenting so many breakthroughs, I want to witness the reactions of all the nominees,” Brooks said.

Serena Davis can be reached at serena.davis@student.shu.edu.

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