Cinema - TV

10/2/2021 | Category: Cinema - TV

Oscars shortlists announced in nine categories

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the shortlists for nine categories for the upcoming Oscars. The categories and number of films include documentary feature (15), documentary short subject (10), international feature (15), makeup and hairstyling (10), original score (15), original song (15), animated short film (10), live action short film (10) and visual effects (10).

The shortlist voting concluded on Feb. 5, and the remaining will move on to the official phase one voting, which will take place on March 5-9. The Oscar nominations will be announced on March 15, with the show scheduled to take place on April 25.

The full lists are below with snubs and surprises:


Fifteen films will advance in the documentary feature category out of 238 films eligible films. Members of the documentary branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

  • 76 Days” (MTV Documentary Films) – directed by Weixi Chen, Hao Wu, Anonymous
  • All In: The Fight for Democracy” (Amazon Studios) – directed by Lisa Cortes, Liz Garbus
  • Boys State” (Apple TV Plus) – directed by Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss
  • Collective” (Magnolia Pictures and Participant) – directed by Alexander Nanau
  • Crip Camp” (Netflix) – directed by James Lebrecht, Nicole Newnham
  • Dick Johnson Is Dead” (Netflix) – directed by Kirsten Johnson
  • Gunda” (Neon) – directed by Viktor Kosakovskiy
  • MLK/FBI” (IFC Films) – directed by Sam Pollard
  • The Mole Agent” (Gravitas Ventures) – directed by Maite Alberdi
  • My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix) – directed by Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed
  • Notturno” (Neon) – directed by Gianfranco Rosi
  • The Painter and the Thief” (Neon) – directed by Benjamin Ree
  • Time” (Amazon Studios) – directed by Garrett Bradley
  • The Truffle Hunters” (Sony Pictures Classics) – directed by Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw
  • Welcome to Chechnya” (HBO) – directed by David France

With 238 documentaries submitted, the category presented itself as fairly standard, with no egregious entries or surprises. However, the amount of entries warrants the Academy to consider expanding this lineup from five to ten nominees if large submissions like this continue. Eight of the 15 are helmed by female filmmakers which is incredibly encouraging with Asian, Black, Latinx and the disability community also represented. Very proud of the branch with many of these choices. Dawn Porter delivered a one-two punch this year with “John Lewis: Good Trouble” and “The Way I See It,” both of which failed to make the respective shortlist. Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger’s teamwork on “Totally Under Control” was also shut out.

SNUB: “Totally Under Control” (Neon) and “The Way I See It” (Focus Features)



Fifteen films will advance to the next round of voting in the international feature film category. Films from 93 countries were eligible in the category, the most in Oscars history. Academy members from all branches were invited to participate in the preliminary round of voting and must have met a minimum viewing requirement to be eligible to vote in the category. In the nominations round, Academy members from all branches are invited to opt in to participate and must view all 15 shortlisted films to vote.

  • Another Round” (Denmark) – directed Thomas Vinterberg
  • Better Days” (Hong Kong) – directed by Derek Tsang
  • Charlatan” (Czech Republic) – directed by Agnieszka Holland
  • Collective” (Romania) – directed by Alexander Nanau
  • Dear Comrades!” (Russia) – directed by
  • I’m No Longer Here” (Mexico) – directed by Fernando Frias
  • Hope” (Norway) – directed by Maria Sødahl
  • La Llorona” (Guatemala) – directed by Jayro Bustamante
  • The Mole Agent” (Chile) – directed by Maite Alberdi
  • Night of the Kings” (Ivory Coast) – Philippe Lacôte
  • Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – directed by Jasmila Žbanić
  • Sun Children” (Iran) – directed by Majid Majidi
  • Two of Us” (France) – directed by Filippo Meneghetti
  • A Sun” (Taiwan) – directed by Chung Mong-hong
  • The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia) – directed by Kaouther Ben Hania

This was a close race. There was chatter about “The Man Who Sold His Skin” doing very well with Academy members, but also concerns that not enough would see it. Guess I was wrong there, but all the usual suspects are still in the running. Spain is usually one of the default choices and with the power of Netflix behind it, I thought it would have a fighting chance. Despite playing film festivals, Poland also missed out on making the shortlist this year.

SNUB: “The Endless Trench” (Spain) and “Never Gonna Snow Again” (Poland)

SURPRISE: “Better Days” (Hong Kong) and “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)


  • Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” (Warner Bros)
  • Emma” (Focus Features)
  • The Glorias” (Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment)
  • Hillbilly Elegy” (Netflix)
  • Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
  • The Little Things” (Warner Bros)
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
  • Mank” (Netflix)
  • One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)
  • Pinocchio” (Roadside Attractions)

Netflix dominated here with four films in the running, but their tentpole film “The Trial of the Chicago 7” missing out could be an early warning signal, though it’s nearly impossible to read into the shortlist. “The Glorias” is one of those entries that when you see it on the list, you feel stupid for not predicting it considering they have three different women playing Gloria Steinem at different points in her life. The inclusion of “Birds of Prey” is a pleasant surprise, considering that it seems Warner Bros. didn’t put much effort behind it (omitting it from its FYC site). The big misses here are Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman,” which looked like a potential winner, and Lee Daniels’ “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” both of which made the Critics Choice lineup earlier this week. “The Prom” was also left off.  The frontrunner here seems to be “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

SNUB: “Promising Young Woman” and “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”

SURPRISE: “Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” and “The Glorias”


Fifteen scores will advance in the original score category for the 93rd Academy Awards, out of 136 eligible scores. Members of the music branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

  • “Ammonite” (Neon) – Dustin O’Halloran, Volker Bertelmann
  • “Blizzard of Souls” (Film Movement) – Lolita Ritmanis
  • “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix) – Terence Blanchard
  • “The Invisible Man” (Universal Pictures) – Benjamin Wallfisch
  • “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix) – John Debney
  • “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)” (Netflix) – Gabriel Yared
  • “The Little Things” (Warner Bros) – Thomas Newman
  • “Mank” (Netflix) – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
  • “The Midnight Sky” (Netflix) – Alexandre Desplat
  • “Minari” (A24) – Emile Mosseri
  • “Mulan” (Walt Disney Pictures) – Henry Gregson-Williams
  • “News of the World” (Universal Pictures) – James Newton Howard
  • “Soul” (Pixar) – Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
  • “Tenet” (Warner Bros) – Ludwig Göransson
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) – Daniel Pemberton

One woman made this shortlist, and it wasn’t the one we expected. Lolita Ritmanis makes the cut for the international feature “Blizzard of Souls,” which didn’t make its respective lineup. Tamar-kali, who delivered great work in “Shirley,” will be sitting this one out, as will “Emma” co-composers Isobel Waller-Bridge and David Schweitzer. Familiarity and legacy typically work well with the music branch, which helped surprise inclusions like John Debney and Thomas Newman. But that didn’t help Elliot Goldenthal for “The Glorias” unfortunately. Another ding for “Promising Young Woman” and “Wolfwalkers,” which I thought would make an appearance. Amen and hallelujah for Terence Blanchard, Emile Mosseri, Daniel Pemberton and especially Benjamin Wallfisch.

SNUB: “Shirley” and “Wolfwalkers”

SURPRISE: “Blizzard of Souls” and “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey”


Fifteen songs will advance in the original song category out of 105 eligible songs. Members of the music branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

  • “Turntables” from “All In: The Fight for Democracy” (Amazon Studios)
  • “See What You’ve Done” from “Belly of the Beast” (Independent Lens)
  • “Wuhan Flu” from “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” (Amazon Studios)
  • “Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” (Netflix)
  • “Never Break” from “Giving Voice” (Netflix)
  • “Make It Work” from “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
  • “Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros)
  • “lo Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)” (Netflix)
  • “Rain Song” from “Minari” (A24)
  • “Show Me Your Soul” from “Mr. Soul!” (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
  • “Loyal Brave True” from “Mulan” (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • “Free” from “The One and Only Ivan” (Disney Plus)
  • “Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)
  • “Green” from “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)
  • “Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

This category offers several exclusions that are surprising to see. The magic for “Over the Moon” wasn’t able to crack the lineup, nor the sincerity of “Onward.” Andra Day’s possibility of a double Oscar nomination has now ended with both of her songs failing to make the list, despite a Golden Globe nomination — which by the way, she can still win. There are two songs from Diane Warren from “The Life Ahead” and “The One and Only Ivan,” and Abraham Marder can also be a double nominee as he wrote the song for “Sound of Metal” and was also a co-writer with his brother, Darius Marder, and director Derek Cianfrance on the screenplay. Good on the Academy for the shout out for the song from “Mr. Soul!” but shame for not shortlisting it for documentary feature.

SNUB: “Onward” (“Carried Me With You”), “Over the Moon” (“Rocket To the Moon”), “Tenet” (“The Plan”) and “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” (“Tigress & Tweed”)

SURPRISE: “Mr. Soul!” (“Show Me Your Soul”) and “Sound of Metal” (“Green”)


Ten films remain in the running in the visual effects category for the 93rd Academy Awards. The visual effects branch executive committee determined the shortlist. All members of the visual effects branch will be invited virtually to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films on March 6. Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscars consideration.

  • “Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” (Warner Bros)
  • “Bloodshot” (Sony Pictures)
  • “Love and Monsters” (Paramount Pictures)
  • “Mank” (Netflix)
  • “The Midnight Sky” (Netflix)
  • “Mulan” (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • “The One and Only Ivan” (Disney Plus)
  • “Soul” (Pixar)
  • “Tenet” (Warner Bros)
  • “Welcome to Chechnya” (HBO)

PREDICTION TALLY: 5/10 with alternate
This was a slaughterhouse of top-tier contenders. Apple TV Plus seemed like a shoo-in with “Greyhound,” as did Universal Pictures’ “The Invisible Man” and Paramount Pictures’ “Sonic the Hedgehog.” All failed to make the lineup in place of shock admissions like Lionsgate’s “Bloodshot” and Paramount’s “Love and Monsters.” “The One and Only Ivan” had a strong day, while “Soul” could be another one of the animated films that typically make the shortlist but fails to make it on nomination day. This year could present a different outcome for it as it may have the goods to go the way of “Kubo and the Two Strings.”

SNUB: “Greyhound,” “The Invisible Man” and “Sonic the Hedgehog”

SURPRISE: “Bloodshot,” “Love and Monsters” and “The One and Only Ivan”


Ten films will advance in the Animated Short Film category, with 96 films qualifying in the category. Members of the short films and feature animation branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:

  • “Burrow”
  • “Genius Loci”
  • “If Anything Happens I Love You”
  • “Kapaemahu”
  • “Opera”
  • “Out”
  • “The Snail and the Whale”
  • “To Gerard”
  • “Traces”
  • “Yes-People”


Ten films will advance in the documentary short subject category for the 93rd Academy Awards out of 114 films that qualified. Members of the documentary branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:

  • “Abortion Helpline, This Is Lisa”
  • “Call Center Blues”
  • “Colette”
  • “A Concerto Is a Conversation”
  • “Do Not Split”
  • “Hunger Ward”
  • “Hysterical Girl”
  • “A Love Song for Latasha”
  • “The Speed Cubers”
  • “What Would Sophia Loren Do?”


Ten films will advance in the live action short film category for the 93rd Academy Awards out of 174 qualifying films. Members of the short films and feature animation branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:

  • “Bittu”
  • “Da Yie”
  • “Feeling Through”
  • “The Human Voice”
  • “The Kicksled Choir”
  • “The Letter Room”
  • “The Present”
  • “Two Distant Strangers”
  • “The Van”
  • “White Eye”