The Oscars

Oscars - 2020s

2020 Academy Awards®
Winners & History
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Academy Awards History (By Decade):
Introduction, 1927/8-39, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s
Academy Awards Summaries
Winners Charts:
"Best Picture" Oscar®, "Best Director" Oscar®, "Best Actor" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar®,
"Best Actress" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar®, "Best Screenplay/Writer" Oscar®

The winner is listed first, in CAPITAL letters.

Filmsite's Greatest Films of 2020

Best Picture


The Father (2020)

Judas and the Black Messiah (2020)

Mank (2020)

Minari (2020)

Promising Young Woman (2020)

Sound of Metal (2019)

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

Best Animated Feature Film

SOUL (2020)

Onward (2020)

Over the Moon (2020)

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019, UK)

WolfWalkers (2020)

ANTHONY HOPKINS in "The Father," Riz Ahmed in "Sound of Metal," Chadwick Boseman in "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom," Gary Oldman in "Mank," Steven Yeun in "Minari"
FRANCES McDORMAND in "Nomadland," Viola Davis in "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom," Andra Day in "The United States vs. Billie Holiday," Vanessa Kirby in "Pieces of a Woman," Carey Mulligan in "Promising Young Woman"
Supporting Actor:
DANIEL KALUUYA in "Judas and the Black Messiah," Sacha Baron Cohen in "The Trial of the Chicago 7," Leslie Odom Jr. in "One Night in Miami," Paul Raci in "Sound of Metal," Lakeith Stanfield in "Judas and the Black Messiah"
Supporting Actress:
YUH-JUNG YOUN in "Minari," Maria Bakalova in "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm," Glenn Close in "Hillbilly Elegy," Olivia Colman in "The Father," Amanda Seyfried in "Mank"
CHLOE ZHAO for "Nomadland," Thomas Vinterberg for "Another Round," David Fincher for "Mank," Lee Isaac Chung for "Minari," Emerald Fennell for "Promising Young Woman"

Mank (2020)The 93rd Academy Awards were scheduled about two months later than usual, broadcast on April 25, 2021, to allow for a longer eligibility period for films (from January 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021), due to the COVID-pandemic. Nominations were also scheduled later than usual, on March 15, 2021.

Due to the pandemic, all eight Best Picture nominees had a combined worldwide total earnings of barely $35 million at the time of the awards - an unimpressive amount for even a single film in a normal year. Viewership of the movies was extremely dismal. In addition, the TV broadcast of the show, held in socially-distanced Union Station in Los Angeles, CA, tallied less than 10 million viewers (the LOWEST ever) - down 58% from last year's show (a 13.75 million viewer drop-off from the previous low). It was predicted that the show, due to many factors, would suffer in terms of ratings, but not this drastically. Some commentators claimed that politically-oriented and racially-charged statements during the entertainment show turned off some viewership.

There was no clear front-runner or winner this year, and the results were evenly split for the most part. Every Best Picture nominee except one - The Trial of the Chicago 7 - won at least one Oscar. From its total of 35 nominations (across 17 films), Netflix scored the most of any studio - seven trophies: two for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, two for Mank and then individual awards for Best Live-Action Short, Best Animated Short and Best Documentary Feature. Disney (including Fox Searchlight) came away with 5 Oscars - three for Nomadland and two for Pixar's Soul, while Warners had 3 Oscars, and Amazon scored 2 Oscars.

The Best Picture winner was:

  • Nomadland (with 6 nominations and 3 wins, Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress) (Fox Searchlight Pictures) - a road-trip drama about the nomadic lifestyle of a modern-day, van-dwelling migrant in the Great Recession after the 2008 financial collapse

The other most honored films are listed in descending order below:

  • The Father (with 6 nominations and 2 wins, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay) (Sony Classics) - a dementia family drama about a daughter's care for her father suffering from a degenerative disease
  • Mank (with 10 nominations and 2 wins, Best Production Design and Best Cinematography) (Netflix) - a black and white origin tale about the development of director Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941) by alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) [Note: It had an impressive array of nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (David Fincher), Best Actor (Gary Oldman) and Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried)]
  • Judas and the Black Messiah (with 6 nominations and 2 wins, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Song) (Warners Bros.) - an historical thriller about the Illinois Black Panther Party in 1960s Chicago that was infiltrated by the FBI to target its charismatic leader [Note: It was the first Best Picture nominee with an all-black producing team, and the first movie in which two black male actors were nominated for the same film.]
  • Sound of Metal (with 6 nominations and 2 wins, Best Film Editing and Best Sound) (Amazon) - a deaf culture study about a heavy-metal, rock star drummer who began losing his hearing [Note: The film was from 2019 – premiering at the Toronto Film Festival.]
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (with 5 nominations and 2 wins, Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling) (Netflix) - a musical drama about a recording studio session in 1920s Chicago, led by the legendary and contentious "Mother of the Blues" Ma Rainey
  • Minari (with 6 nominations and 1 win, Best Supporting Actress) (A24) - a semi-autobiographical drama about a Korean-American family relocating to a small farm in Arkansas in the 1980s [Note: Christina Oh became the first Asian-American woman to receive a Best Picture nomination.]
  • Promising Young Woman (with 5 nominations and 1 win, Best Original Screenplay) (Focus Features) - a dramatic crime-thriller about a vengeful, traumatized female who cunningly sought retribution against sexual abuse

There were three other multiple nominees that received no awards:

  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 (with 6 nominations and no wins) (Netflix) - a courtroom drama about anti–Vietnam War protesters on trial for conspiracy after disruptions at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois
  • News of the World (with 4 nominations and no wins) (Universal) - a post-Civil War adventure film about the trek of a Civil War veteran Captain to deliver a hostile, twice-orphaned 10 year-old girl (raised by nomadic Kiowa natives) to her biological parents - against her will
  • One Night in Miami (with 3 nominations and no wins) (Amazon) - a fictional account of "one night in Miami" in 1964 when four cultural and civil rights icons (Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown) came together

In the Animated Feature Film category, the winner was:

  • Soul - (Disney/Pixar) (with 3 nominations and two wins, including Best Original Score (win) and Best Sound), a computer-animated musical fantasy about NYC jazz pianist Joe Gardner's transport to the afterlife to reevaluate his life [Note: For the first time ever, two Pixar films were nominated in the same year for Animated Feature, Onward and Soul. This win marked Disney's/Pixar's 11th Best Animated Feature Film win.]

The other Animated Feature Film nominees were:

  • Onward - (Disney/Pixar), a computer-animated fantasy adventure film about the exploits of two teenaged elf brothers to locate an artifact and bring back their deceased father for one day
  • Over the Moon - (Netflix), an American-Chinese computer-animated musical family fantasy film about young girl Fei Fei's interstellar quest in a rocket ship to search for a mythical goddess named Chang'e (a lunar deity)
  • A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon - (Netflix) - from the UK (Aardman Animations), the story of Shaun the Sheep's efforts to help an unusual blue alien creature named Lu-La return home after crash-landing near Mossy Bottom Farm
  • WolfWalkers - (Apple TV+/GKIDS) - from Ireland (the third film in a "Irish Folklore Trilogy"), an animated medieval fantasy film about the friendship of a young female apprentice (Robyn Goodfellowe) and her wolf-hunting father Bill with a feral, free-spirited native girl named Mebh

In the Best Director category, there were two women nominated - it was the first time that more than one woman was nominated for that prize in the awards' 93-year history. And it was the first time that two Asian filmmakers (Chung and Zhao) were nominated in the category in the same year. The only white male American filmmaker nominated for Best Director was David Fincher. The Best Picture and Best Director nominees did not directly match up, but the Best Director and Best Picture winner did match up. The winner for Best Director was:

  • 38 year-old Chinese director Chloe Zhao (with her first nomination and win), for Nomadland
    [Note: Zhao was the first woman of Asian descent (and the first "woman of color") to be nominated for Best Director and the first Asian (or "woman of color") female to win. Zhao also became the third Asian person to win Best Director, after Ang Lee's two wins for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Life of Pi (2012), and Bong Joon-ho's win for Parasite (2019). Zhao also became the second woman to ever win Best Director at the Academy Awards, following Kathryn Bigelow's win for The Hurt Locker (2009). She also became the first woman to ever receive four Oscar nominations in a single year, and just the 9th person to ever earn that much recognition in a single ceremony. Her four nominations were Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.]

The other Best Director nominees were:

  • 58 year-old David Fincher (with his 3rd Best Director nomination), for Mank
    [Note: Fincher's previous two nominations (with no wins) were for: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), and The Social Network (2010).]
  • 51 year-old Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (with his first nomination - a surprising one), for the dark comedic drama about testing the limits of alcohol use, Another Round (with only two nominations, also Best International Feature Film (Denmark))
  • 42 year-old US-born South Korean director Lee Isaac Chung (with his first nomination), for his semi-autobiographical Minari
  • 35 year-old British director Emerald Fennell (with her first nomination), for Promising Young Woman
    [Note: Fennell’s nomination represented the second time a woman was nominated for Best Director for her debut feature. The first was Greta Gerwig, nominated for Lady Bird (2017).]

In terms of the 20 acting nominations, it was the most diverse Oscars ever, with 9 of the 20 acting nominees of color (and/or from ethnic-minority backgrounds), as follows: Best Actor (2), Best Actress (2), Best Supporting Actor (3), and Best Supporting Actress (2). Six nominees were black performers. Only 4 acting nominees were white Americans: Frances McDormand, Paul Raci, Glenn Close, and Amanda Seyfried.

In the Best Actor category - there were three first-time nominees (one deceased), two past Oscar winners, and three minority-ethnic members (one black). The winner for Best Actor was:

  • 83 year-old British actor Anthony Hopkins (with his 6th nomination, and 2nd Best Actor win and overall career win) for his role as aging and memory-struggling Anthony, the father of Anne (nominated co-star Olivia Colman), in The Father
    [Note: Hopkins was previously nominated three times for Best Actor (with one win): The Silence of the Lambs (1991) (win), The Remains of the Day (1993), and Nixon (1995), and twice for Best Supporting Actor (no wins): Amistad (1997) and The Two Popes (2019). He became the oldest Best Actor nominee of all time, surpassing 79 year-old Richard Farnsworth for The Straight Story (1999). With his win, he became the oldest Best Actor winner of all time, surpassing 76 year-old Henry Fonda for On Golden Pond (1981).]

The other nominees for Best Actor included:

  • 62 year-old English actor Gary Oldman (with his 3rd Best Actor nomination) for his role as alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, in Mank
    [Note: Oldman had previously been nominated for Best Actor twice for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and Darkest Hour (2017) (win).]
  • Chadwick Boseman (black actor deceased at 43 years of age in August of 2020) (with his first nomination) for his final film role as young ambitious trumpeter Levee Green, in the musical drama Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
    [Note: Boseman became the 8th posthumous performance nominee in Oscar history.]

  • 38 year-old English (and Pakistani Muslim) actor Riz Ahmed (with his first nomination) for his role as Ruben Stone, an ex-drug addict and drummer in the duo Blackgammon, who began to suffer hearing loss, in director Darius Marder's musical drama Sound of Metal
    [Note: With Ahmed's nomination, he became the first Muslim (and first of Pakistani descent) Best Actor nominee.]
  • 37 year-old South Korean actor Steven Yeun (with his first nomination) for his role as South Korean immigrant Jacob Yi coming to the US with his family in the 1980s, in Minari
    [Note: Yuen became the first Asian-American nominee for Best Actor.]

In the Best Actress category, two were black nominees, and two were first-time nominees. This year marked the first time since 1972 that two black women were nominated in Best Actress in the same year (Cicely Tyson for Sounder (1972), and Diana Ross for Lady Sings the Blues (1972)). Ironically, both Andra Day and Diana Ross played legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday. The winner for Best Actress was:

  • 63 year-old Frances McDormand (with her sixth nomination and third Best Actress win - a major feat) for her role as nomadic van-dweller Fern, in Nomadland
    [Note: McDormand was a previous two-time Best Actress Oscar winner for Fargo (1996) and for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017). As of now, McDormand has never lost a Best Actress race. With her win, she became the only actress to win three Best Actress Oscars, just behind Katharine Hepburn with four Best Actress Oscars. She became the first actress nominated for acting and producing for the same film.
    In the past, she was also nominated 3 times for Best Supporting Actress (with no wins): Mississippi Burning (1988), Almost Famous (2000), and North Country (2005). McDormand also received a shared nomination as co-producer for Best Picture-nominated Nomadland. McDormand became only the 4th actor to have nominations across five decades.]

The other Best Actress nominees were:

  • 55 year-old Viola Davis (with her fourth nomination) for her title role as blues singer Ma Rainey, in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
    [Note: With her nomination, Viola Davis became the most-nominated black actress in Oscars' history, with four nominations (two in lead, and two in supporting). She also became the first black actress ever to have earned more than one Best Actress Oscar nomination. She had previously been nominated two times (with one win) for Supporting Actress, for Doubt (2008) and for Fences (2016) (win), and also one previous nomination for Best Actress, for The Help (2011).]
  • 35 year-old British actress Carey Mulligan (with her second Best Actress nomination) for her role as sexual abuse avenger Cassandra "Cassie" Thomas, in the thriller Promising Young Woman
    [Note: Mulligan's previous nomination was for An Education (2009).]
  • 36 year-old African-American singer/songwriter Andra Day (with her first nomination) for her title role as iconic jazz singer Billie Holiday in the biopic, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
    [Note: Black singer/actress Diana Ross was previously nominated for Best Actress for her role as blues singer Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues (1972).]
  • 32 year-old English actress Vanessa Kirby (with her first nomination) for her role as Martha Weiss, in the drama Pieces of a Woman

In the Best Supporting Actor category, there were two competing nominees for Judas and the Black Messiah and one won the Oscar. [Note: The double nomination marked just the 11th time in Oscars history that two people from the same film were nominated in the category.] All of the nominees were first-time acting nominees, except for Daniel Kaluuya, and three were black actors. This year also marked the first time in Oscar's history that three black actors (Daniel Kaluuya, Leslie Odom Jr. and LaKeith Stanfield) competed in the same category. The winner for Best Supporting Actor was:

  • 32 year-old British black actor Daniel Kaluuya (with his second nomination and first win) won for his role as charismatic, surveilled Black Panther Chicago Chapter leader Chairman Fred Hampton, in Judas and the Black Messiah
    [Note: Kaluuya's previous nomination was for Best Actor for Get Out (2017). Kaluuya became the first black British actor to receive more than one nomination. He also became the 7th youngest actor to win Best Supporting Actor at 32 years, 60 days of age.]

The other Best Supporting Actor nominees were:

  • 49 year-old England-born Sacha Baron Cohen (with his first acting nomination) for his role as Youth International Party (yippie) Abbie Hoffman, one of the Chicago 7, in The Trial of the Chicago 7
    [Note: Cohen's other two nominations were both for Adapted Screenplay, for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006), and for this year's Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: (2020).]
  • 39 year-old black actor Leslie Odom, Jr. (with his first acting nomination) for his role as singer Sam Cooke, in One Night in Miami
    [Note: Odom was also co-nominated for this year's Best Original Song for One Night in Miami.]
  • 72 year-old Paul Raci (with his first nomination) for his role as deaf-mentoring Joe, the manager of a rural shelter for deaf recovering addicts, in Sound of Metal
  • 29 year-old black actor LaKeith (Keith) Stanfield (with his first nomination) for his role as William "Bill" O'Neal, a under-cover FBI informant tasked with infiltrating the Black Panther Party in Chicago, in Judas and the Black Messiah

In the Best Supporting Actress category, there were two ethnic-minority nominees, a South Korean and Bulgarian. The winner was the South Korean female:

  • 73 year-old South Korean actress Yuh-Jung Youn (with her first nomination and win) for her role as elderly Soon-ja (Monica's mother), in the semi-autobiographical tale Minari
    [Note: Yuh-Jung Youn was the first Korean nominee in an Oscar acting category (lead or supporting). She also was the third East Asian Best Supporting Actress nominee, and the second East Asian Best Supporting Actress winner, following Miyoshi Umeki (a win for Sayonara (1957)) and Rinko Kikuchi (a nomination for Babel (2006)). With her win, Yuh-Jung Youn at 73 years and 310 days became the third-oldest Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner in history.]

The other nominees for Best Supporting Actress included:

  • 73 year-old Glenn Close (with her 8th nomination) for her role as rough but loving grandmother Bonnie "Mamaw" Vance, in director Ron Howard's family drama Hillbilly Elegy
    [Note: Close had three previous Supporting Actress nominations (with no wins) for The World According to Garp (1982), The Big Chill (1983), and The Natural (1984), and four previous Best Actress nominations (with no wins) for Fatal Attraction (1987), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Albert Nobbs (2011), and The Wife (2017). It was a surprise to note that the notorious Razzie Awards nominated Close's performance as 'Worst Supporting Actress.' Close was the 2nd person to have received 8 acting Oscar nominations without a win (joining Peter O’Toole). With her 8th Oscar nomination, Glenn Close became the living actress with second most nominations after Meryl Streep.]
  • 47 year-old English actress Olivia Colman (with her second nomination) for her role as caring daughter Anne, in the psychological drama The Father
    [Note: Colman's previous nomination (and win) was Best Actress for The Favourite (2018).]
  • 35 year-old Amanda Seyfried (with her first nomination) for her role as Hollywood actress Marion Davies (Kane's benefactress and mistress), in the biographical drama Mank
  • 24 year-old Bulgarian (Slavik-born) actress Maria Bakalova (with her first nomination) for her role as Borat's teenaged daughter Tutar (a prospective bride for VP Mike Pence in 2020), in the satirical mockumentary sequel Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Oscar Omissions and Snubs:

Best Picture:
A potential Best Picture contender, Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods only received one nomination (without a win) for Best Score. Two other hopefuls denied Best Picture nominations included Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and One Night in Miami.

Best Director:
It appeared that the unexpected nomination for Danish director Thomas Vinterberg for Another Round (aka Druk), edged out Aaron Sorkin (for The Trial of the Chicago 7), Regina King (for One Night in Miami), and Spike Lee (for Da 5 Bloods).

Best Actor:
Chadwick Boseman might have received two post-humous nominations, but missed out on his supporting role as Stormin' Norman in Da 5 Bloods. Fan and critics favorite Delroy Lindo also missed out on receiving a Best Actor nod for his role as Paul in Da 5 Bloods.

Best Supporting Actress:
Jodie Foster was snubbed in this category for her role as Nancy Hollander in The Mauritanian. (Foster became the first Best Supporting Actress Golden Globes winner to not earn an Oscar bid in 44 years, since Katharine Ross in Voyage of the Damned (1976).)

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