2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards: ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7,’ ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,’ ‘The Crown,’ ‘Schitt’s Creek’ win big

April 4, 2021

by Carla Hay

Cast members of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Pictured in front, from left to right: Dusan Brown and Viola Davis. Pictured in back, from left to right: Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts and Glynn Turman (Photo by David Lee/Netflix)

The Netflix drama films “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” were the top movie winners at the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards show, which was televised on April 4, 2021. TNT and TBS had the U.S. telecast of the show, which was a prerecorded virtual ceremony because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the TV categories, the Netflix drama series “The Crown” and the Pop network comedy series “Schitt’s Creek” had the most TV wins, with two SAG Awards each.

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” won the prize for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” got SAG awards for the late Chadwick Boseman (Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role) and Viola Davis (Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role). “The Crown” and “Schitt’s Creek” went into the ceremony with the most awards (five each), while “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” had three nominations each.

Eligible movies were those released in the U.S. in 2020 and in January and February 2021. The eligibility window, which usually ends at the end of a calendar year, was extended for movies because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible TV programs were those that premiered on U.S. networks and U.S. streaming services in 2020.

Here is the complete list of winners and nominations for the 2021 SAG Awards:

*=winner

MOVIES

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture 
“Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
“Minari” (A24)
“One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)*

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”)
Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)*
Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”)
Gary Oldman (“Mank”)
Steven Yeun (“Minari”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Amy Adams (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)*
Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”)
Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”)
Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Chadwick Boseman (“Da 5 Bloods”)
Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)*
Jared Leto (“The Little Things”)
Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Olivia Colman (“The Father”)
Youn Yuh-Jung (“Minari”)*
Helena Zengel (“News of the World”)

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Da 5 Bloods”
“Mulan”
“News of the World”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”
“Wonder Woman 1984”*

TELEVISION

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“Better Call Saul” (AMC)
“Bridgerton” (Netflix)
“The Crown” (Netflix)*
“Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
“Ozark” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“Dead to Me” (Netflix)
“The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
“The Great” (Hulu)
“Schitt’s Creek” (Pop)*
“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)*
Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”)
Josh O’Connor (“The Crown”)
Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
Regé-Jean Page (“Bridgerton”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Gillian Anderson (“The Crown”)*
Olivia Colman (“The Crown”)
Emma Corrin (“The Crown”)
Julia Garner (“Ozark”)
Laura Linney (“Ozark”)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Nicholas Hoult (“The Great”)
Dan Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
Eugene Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso”)*
Ramy Youssef (“Ramy”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”)
Linda Cardellini (“Dead to Me”)
Kaley Cuoco (“The Flight Attendant”)
Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”)*

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Bill Camp (“The Queen’s Gambit”)
Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton”)
Hugh Grant (“The Undoing”)
Ethan Hawke (“The Good Lord Bird”)
Mark Ruffalo (“I Know This Much Is True”)*

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Cate Blanchett (“Mrs. America”)
Michaela Coel (“I May Destroy You”)
Nicole Kidman (“The Undoing”)
Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Queen’s Gambit”)*
Kerry Washington (“Little Fires Everywhere”)

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
“The Boys”
“Cobra Kai”
“Lovecraft Country”
“The Mandalorian”*
“Westworld”

2021 Academy Awards: ‘Mank’ is the top nominee

March 15, 2021

by Carla Hay

Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman in “Mank” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

With 10 nods, the Netflix drama “Mank” is the top nominee for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards, which will take place at Union Station and at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on April 25, 2021. There will be no host for the ceremony, which will be telecast in the U.S. on ABC. The nominations were announced on March 15, 2021, by spouses Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

The nominations for “Mank” include Best Picture, Best Actor (for Gary Oldman), Best Director (for David Fincher) and Best Supporting Actress (for Amanda Seyfried). The movie is about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, nicknamed Mank, and his experiences while writing the Oscar-winning screenplay to the 1941 film “Citizen Kane, including his clashes with “Citizen Kane” director/co-writer Orson Welles.

The other contenders for Best Picture are Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Father,” Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Judas and the Black Messiah,” A24’s “Minari,” Searchlight Pictures’ “Nomadland,” Focus Features’ “Promising Young Woman,” Amazon Studios’ “Sound of Metal” and Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” All of these movies except for “Promising Young Woman” have six Oscar nominations each, which is the second-highest number of nominations for the 2021 Academy Awards ceremony. (Click here to read Culture Mix’s reviews of all these movies that are nominated for Best Picture.)

The awards are voted for by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For the 2021 ceremony, eligible movies were those released in the U.S. in 2020 and (due to the coronavirus pandemic) the eligibility period was extended to movies released in January and February 2021. Because of the pandemic, movies that were planned for a theatrical release but were released directly to home video or on streaming services were also eligible. Beginning with the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony, there will be a required 10 movies nominated for Best Picture. From 2009 to 2021, the rule was that there could be five to 10 movies per year nominated for Best Picture.

Snubs and Surprises

“Da 5 Bloods” director Spike Lee (pictured at far left) with cast members Isiah Whitlock Jr., Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters and Norm Lewis on the set of “Da 5 Bloods.” (Photo by David Lee/Netflix)

The Netflix drama “Da 5 Bloods,” which has been getting nominations at other major award shows, only managed to garner one Oscar nod: Best Original Score (for Terence Blanchard). Some pundits had predicted that “Da 5 Bloods” would get Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (for Spike Lee) and Best Actor (for Delroy Lindo). Other highly acclaimed movies that were shut out of the Best Picture race include the Amazon Studios drama “One Night in Miami…” and the Netflix drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” although “One Night in Miami…” got three Oscar nods in other categories, while “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” received five Oscar nominations.

Meanwhile, movies that have been getting awards and nominations elsewhere were completely snubbed by the Academy Awards. They include the Focus Features drama “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” the STX drama “The Mauritanian,” the Netflix comedy “The Forty-Year-Old Version” and the A24 drama “First Cow.” 

Although “Mank” leads with the most Oscar nominations this year, the movie failed to get a nod for Best Original Screenplay. (The movie was written by David Fincher’s late father Jack Fincher.) This lack of a screenplay Oscar nomination doesn’t bode well for “Mank’s” chances to win Best Picture. It’s very rare for a movie not to win Best Picture without getting a screenplay nomination.

And shut out of the race for Best Director is Aaron Sorkin of “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” even though he has been getting Best Director nominations at almost every major award show where he’s eligible for this movie. However, as the screenwriter for “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Sorkin did score an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay. 

Some of the biggest surprise nominations came from international films. Thomas Vinterberg of the Samuel Goldwyn Films drama “Another Round” (a movie from Denmark) received a nomination for Best Director. Gravitas Ventures’ Chilean film “The Mole Agent” got a nomination for Best Documentary Feature, after being largely ignored for nominations at other movie award shows.

And “Judas and the Black Messiah” co-star LaKeith Stanfield got a surprise nod for Best Supporting Actor, a category that also includes “Judas and the Black Messiah” co-star Daniel Kaluuya. Stanfield was shut of of getting nominated for this movie at most other award shows, while Kaluuya has been winning Best Supporting Actor prizes for the movie, thereby making Kaluuya a frontrunner in the category this year.

Diversity and Inclusion

Steven Yeun, Alan S. Kim, Yuh-Jung Youn, Yeri Han and Noel Cho in “Minari” (Photo by Josh Ethan Johnson/A24) 

For the first time in Academy Awards history, two women have been nominated in the same year for Best Director: Chloé Zhao of “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell of “Promising Young Woman.” Zhao (who is the first women of color to get an Oscar nod for Best Director) is a quadruple Oscar nominee this year for “Nomadland,” since she’s also nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing. Fennell is a triple nominee, since her other Oscar nominations this year are for Best Picture and for Best Original Screenplay.

Racial diversity is in every actor/actress category at 2021 Academy Awards, since there is at least one person of color nominated in each category. Black people are represented the most with “Judas and the Black Messiah,” which made Oscar history for being the first movie from an all-black team of producers (Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler) to be nominated for Best Picture. The movie also earned nominations for the aforementioned co-stars Kaluuya and Stanfield; songwriter H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas, whose song “Fight for You” is up for Best Original Song’; and “Judas and the Black Messiah” director Shaka King, who co-wrote the screenplay, is a double Oscar nominee this year, since he’s also up for Best Original Screenplay.

Leslie Odom Jr. is a double nominee for “One Night in Miami…,” since he received nods for Best Supporting Actor and for co-writing the song “Speak Now,” which is one of the contenders for Best Original Song. Kemp Powers received his first Oscar nomination (Best Adapted Screenplay), for “One Night in Miami…,” which is based on the play that he wrote of the same title. Powers is a co-director of the Oscar-nominated animated film “Soul,” but he was not nominated for this movie, since the nomination for Best Animated Feature goes to a film’s director(s) and producer(s). However, composer Jon Batiste of “Soul” is nominated for Best Original Score, along with lead composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” got expected nominations for the late Chadwick Boseman (Best Actor) and Viola Davis (Best Actress). With this nomination, Davis is the black actress with the most Oscar nods. She has four so far, including one win for Best Supporting Actress for the 2016 drama “Fences.” Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” made Oscar history by being the first black people nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. 

Also nominated for Best Actress at the 2021 Academy Awards is Andra Day of Hulu’s “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” Ironically, the only other time that two black actresses were nominated in the same year for Best Actress was in 1973, when Diana Ross was nominated for her role as Billie Holiday in 1972’s “Lady Sings the Blues” and Cicely Tyson was nominated for 1972’s “Sounder.” As of this writing, Halle Berry is the only black person who has won an Oscar for Best Actress. She did so for 2001’s “Monster’s Ball.”

Real-life singers Ma Rainey and Billie Holiday also represent the only LGBTQ characters in the actor/actress categories. In real life, Rainey was a lesbian and Holiday was bisexual. Their sexualities are each portrayed in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”

Asians were represented in more Oscar categories than ever before, mostly because of “Minari,” a drama about a Korean American family that moves to rural Arkansas so that the family patriarch can become a farmer. “Minari” earned nods for producer Christina Oh (Best Picture); Lee Isaac Chung (Best Director and Best Original Screenplay); Steven Yeun (Best Actor); and Yuh-jung Youn (Best Supporting Actor). Yeun is the first Asian American to get an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

As previously mentioned, Chinese filmmaker Zhao has four Oscar nominations for “Nomadland” this year. And the Hong Kong drama “Better Days” garnered a Best International Feature nomination for director Derek Tsang. And the Netflix drama “The White Tiger” earned a Best Adapted Screenplay nod for Indian filmmaker Ramin Bahrani.

Pakistani British actor Riz Ahmed of “Sound of Metal” received his first nomination for Best Actor. Ahmed plays a heavy-metal drummer who goes deaf in the film. Paul Raci, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for “Sound of Metal,” also portrays a deaf person in the film. The disability community is also represented in Anthony Hopkins’ role as a man with dementia in “The Father,” whose six nominations include Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. Meanwhile, “Crip Camp” co-director Jim LeBrecht, who is paraplegic, is nominated for Best Documentary Feature for this Netflix movie, which is about the civil rights movement for the disability community.

The Hispanic/Latino people nominated for Oscars this year were all people who work in behind-the-camera roles. Sergio Lopez-Rivera is one of three people nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” And as previously mentioned, the Chilean film “The Mole Agent” (directed by Maite Alberdi) is nominated for Best Documentary Feature.

Also in the Best International Feature category is director Kaouther Ben Hania, who is nominated for the Tunisian film “The Man Who Sold His Skin,” making it the first time that a movie from Tunisia has gotten an Oscar nomination in this category. 

Here is the complete list of nominations for the 2021 Academy Awards:

Best Picture

“The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics) 

“Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros.) 

“Mank” (Netflix) 

“Minari” (A24) 

“Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) 

“Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features) 

“Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios) 

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) 

Best Director

Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)

David Fincher (“Mank”) 

Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”) 

Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”) 

Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”) 

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) 

Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) 

Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) 

Gary Oldman (“Mank”) 

Steven Yeun (“Minari”) 

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) 

Andra Day (“The United States v. Billie Holiday”) 

Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) 

Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) 

Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”) 

Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) 

Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”) 

Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”) 

LaKeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) 

Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”) 

Olivia Colman (“The Father”) 

Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”) 

Yuh-jung Youn (“Minari”) 

Best Adapted Screenplay

“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman and Lee Kern; Story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer and Nina Pedrad

“The Father,” Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller

“Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao 

“One Night in Miami,” Kemp Powers 

“The White Tiger,” Ramin Bahrani 

Best Original Screenplay

“Judas and the Black Messiah.” Screenplay by Will Berson, Shaka King; Story by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas and Keith Lucas

“Minari,” Lee Isaac Chung 

“Promising Young Woman,” Emerald Fennell 

“Sound of Metal.” Screenplay by Darius Marder and Abraham Marder; Story by Darius Marder, Derek Cianfrance

“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin 

Best Cinematography

“Judas and the Black Messiah,” Sean Bobbitt 

“Mank,” Erik Messerschmidt 

“News of the World,” Dariusz Wolski 

“Nomadland,” Joshua James Richards 

“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Phedon Papamichael 

Best Film Editing

“The Father,” Yorgos Lamprinos

“Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao 

“Promising Young Woman,” Frédéric Thoraval 

“Sound of Metal,” Mikkel E.G. Nielsen 

“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Alan Baumgarten 

Best Sound

“Greyhound,” Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders and David Wyman

“Mank,” Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance and Drew Kunin

“News of the World,” Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller and John Pritchett

“Soul,” Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott and David Parker

“Sound of Metal,” Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh

Best Original Score

“Da 5 Bloods,” Terence Blanchard 

“Mank,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross 

“Minari,” Emile Mosseri 

“News of the World,” James Newton Howard 

“Soul,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste 

Best Original Song

“Fight for You,” (“Judas and the Black Messiah”). Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas

“Hear My Voice,” (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”). Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite

“Húsavík,” (“Eurovision Song Contest”). Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson

“Io Si (Seen),” (“The Life Ahead”). Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini

“Speak Now,” (“One Night in Miami”). Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth

Best Animated Feature Film

“Onward” (Pixar) 

“Over the Moon” (Netflix) 

“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” (Netflix) 

“Soul” (Pixar) 

“Wolfwalkers” (Apple TV+/GKIDS) 

Best International Feature Film

“Another Round” (Denmark) 

“Better Days” (Hong Kong)

“Collective” (Romania) 

“The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)

“Quo Vadis, Aida?”(Bosnia and Herzegovina) 

Best Documentary Feature

“Collective” (Magnolia Pictures and Participant) 

“Crip Camp” (Netflix) 

“The Mole Agent” (Gravitas Ventures) 

“My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix) 

“Time” (Amazon Studios) 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

“Emma,” Marese Langan, Laura Allen, Claudia Stolze

“Hillbilly Elegy,” Eryn Krueger Mekash, Patricia Dehaney, Matthew Mungle 

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson

“Mank,” Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams, Colleen LaBaff

“Pinocchio,” Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli, Francesco Pegoretti

Best Costume Design

“Emma,” Alexandra Byrne 

“Mank,” Trish Summerville 

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Ann Roth 

“Mulan,” Bina Daigeler 

“Pinocchio,” Massimo Cantini Parrini

Best Production Design

“The Father.” Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton

“Mank.” Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale

“News of the World.” Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan

“Tenet.” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas

Best Visual Effects

“Love and Monsters,” Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt and Brian Cox 

“The Midnight Sky,” Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon and David Watkins

“Mulan,” Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury and Steve Ingram

“The One and Only Ivan,” Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones and Santiago Colomo Martinez

“Tenet,” Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher

Best Documentary Short Subject

“Colette” (Time Travel Unlimited) 

“A Concerto Is a Conversation” (Breakwater Studios) 

“Do Not Split” (Field of Vision) 

“Hunger Ward” (MTV Documentary Films)

“A Love Song for Latasha” (Netflix) 

Best Animated Short Film

“Burrow” (Disney Plus/Pixar)

“Genius Loci” (Kazak Productions) 

“If Anything Happens I Love You” (Netflix) 

“Opera” (Beasts and Natives Alike) 

“Yes-People” (CAOZ hf. Hólamói) 

Best Live-Action Short Film

“Feeling Through” 

“The Letter Room” 

“The Present” 

“Two Distant Strangers” 

“White Eye” 

2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards: ‘The Crown’ and ‘Schitt’s Creek’ are the top nominees

February 4, 2021

by Carla Hay

Pennie Downey, Marion Bailey, Josh O’Connor, Charles Dance, Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Erin Doherty, Michael Thomas and Pennie Downie in “The Crown” (Photo by Des Willie/Netflix)

With five nominations each, the Netflix drama series “The Crown” and Pop network’s Canadian comedy series “Schitt’s Creek” are the top contenders at the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be televised on April 4, 2021. TNT and TBS will have the U.S. telecast of the show at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony will not a large gathering but will instead be virtual.

“The Crown” is nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. “Schitt’s Creek,” which ended in 2020 after six seasons, is a contender for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Male and female cast members from both shows received individual nominations. The SAG Awards do not have supporting actor/actress categories for TV shows.

“The Crown” co-stars Gillian Anderson, Olivia Colman, Emma Corrin are three of the five contenders for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. Meanwhile, Josh O’Connor of “The Crown” is nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series. For “Schitt’s Creek,” father and son co-stars Eugene Levy and Dan Levy are each nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series, while Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy are among the contenders for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series.

For movies, the top nominees scored three nominations each: the Netflix drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” the Netflix drama “Da 5 Bloods,” the Netlix drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and the A24 drama “Minari.” All four films are nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

The other nominations for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” are Viola Davis (for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role) and Chadwick Boseman (for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role). The other nominations for “Da 5 Bloods” are for Boseman (Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role) and Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture. “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is also up for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture, as well as Sacha Baron Cohen’s nod for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. “Minari” co-stars also scored individual nods: Steven Yuen (for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role) and Youn Yuh-Jung (for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role).

The late Boseman (who died of pancreatic cancer in 2020) is one of two actors who received three nominations each at the SAG Awards this year. Colman received the previously mentioned two nominations for “The Crown,” plus a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, for the Sony Pictures Classics drama “The Father.”

Eligible movies were those released in the U.S. in 2020 and in January and February 2021. The eligibility window, which usually ends at the end of a calendar year, was extended for movies because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible TV programs were those that premiered on U.S. networks and U.S. streaming services in 2020.

Snubs and Surprises

Shira Haas in “Unorthodox” (Photo by Anika Molnar/Netflix)

Although “Da 5 Bloods” scored a nod for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Delroy Lindo didn’t make the cut in the category for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. He’s still nominated as part of “Da 5 Bloods” cast. Focus Features’ “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” and Vertical Entertainment’s “Miss Juneteenth” were completely shut out of the SAG Awards this year, even though they’ve been winning acting awards and nominations elsewhere.

In television, the biggest snubs were for the Netflix limited series “Unorthodox” and for the HBO drama series “Insecure,” which received several Emmy nominations each for the 2019-2020 TV season, but were completely shut of the SAG Awards this year. Also left out of the SAG Awards race was the Amazon Prime Video anthology series “Small Axe.” And all of the programs produced by Ryan Murphy for Netflix were completely snubbed: the limited series “Hollywood” and “Ratched” and the movies “The Boys in the Band” and “The Prom.”

One of the biggest surprises in the movie categories was that the Netflix drama “Hillbilly Elegy,” which got mostly negative reviews, but received two SAG Award nods: Amy Adams is nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, while Glenn Close is among the nominees for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. In the television categories, only two shows are represented in the category for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: “The Crown” and “Ozark.” Laura Linney and Julia Garner are the nominees from “Ozark.”

Diversity and Inclusion

Cast members of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Pictured in front, from left to right: Dusan Brown and Viola Davis. Pictured in back, from left to right: Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts and Glynn Turman (Photo by David Lee/Netflix)

The racial diversity for SAG Award nominees is a big improvement in 2021, compared to 2020. In 2020, people of color were only 14% of the 50 nominees in the SAG Award categories for individuals. In 2021, that percentage doubled to 28%. People of color are about 28% of the U.S. population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, and that number is expected to be much higher for the 2020 U.S. Census. Despite the overall increase in people of color who are SAG Award nominees in 2021, compared to 2020, there were some noticeable diversity problems. In the TV categories, no women of color were nominated in the categories for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series. And absolutely no Latino/Hispanic people received nominations in any of the categories for individuals.

The black nominees in the movie categories for individuals are Boseman for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Da 5 Bloods”; Davis for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”; Leslie Odom Jr. for “One Night in Miami”; and Daniel Kaluuya for Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Judas and the Black Messiah.” The TV categories for individuals have Sterling K. Brown for NBC’s “This Is Us”; Regé-Jean Page for Netflix’s “Bridgerton”; Daveed Diggs for Disney+’s “Hamilton”; Michaela Coel for HBO’s “I May Destroy You”; and Kerry Washington for Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere.”

In the SAG Award categories for groups this year, three of the five movies nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture have predominantly black casts: “Da 5 Bloods,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “One Night in Miami.” “Minari,” which is also nominated in this category, has a predominantly Asian cast of Korean heritage.

Asians are represented the most with “Minari,” while Pakistani British actor Riz Ahmed of Amazon Studios’ “Sound of Metal” got a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. Ahmed’s role in “Sound of Metal” represents the disabled community, since he portrays a heavy metal drummer who goes deaf. Another person of color who received a SAG nomination this year is Egyptian American actor Ramy Youssef of “Ramy,” who’s nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series.

Actors who are nominated for their portrayals of disabled people include the aforementioned Ahmed as a deaf musician in “Sound of Metal” and Anthony Hopkins as a man with dementia in Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Father,” who are each nominated in the same category. In television, Emmy-winning “I Know This Must Be True” star Mark Ruffalo portrays identical twins, one of whom has schizophrenia. For his role in this HBO limited drama series, Ruffalo is nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.

The LGBTQ community has very little representation among the SAG Award nominees this year. The only LGBTQ acting performances to get recognition are from straight actresses portraying queer women: Davis as real-life lesbian blues singer Ma Rainey in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and Washington as fictional queer artist Mia Warren in “Little Fires Everywhere.”

Here is the complete list of nominations for the 2021 SAG Awards:

MOVIES

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture 
“Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
“Minari” (A24)
“One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”)
Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”)
Gary Oldman (“Mank”)
Steven Yeun (“Minari”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Amy Adams (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”)
Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”)
Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Chadwick Boseman (“Da 5 Bloods”)
Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Jared Leto (“The Little Things”)
Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Olivia Colman (“The Father”)
Youn Yuh-Jung (“Minari”)
Helena Zengel (“News of the World”)

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Da 5 Bloods”
“Mulan”
“News of the World”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”
“Wonder Woman 1984”

TELEVISION

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“Better Call Saul” (AMC)
“Bridgerton” (Netflix)
“The Crown” (Netflix)
“Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
“Ozark” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“Dead to Me” (Netflix)
“The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
“The Great” (Hulu)
“Schitt’s Creek” (Pop)
“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)
Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”)
Josh O’Connor (“The Crown”)
Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
Regé-Jean Page (“Bridgerton”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Gillian Anderson (“The Crown”)
Olivia Colman (“The Crown”)
Emma Corrin (“The Crown”)
Julia Garner (“Ozark”)
Laura Linney (“Ozark”)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Nicholas Hoult (“The Great”)
Dan Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
Eugene Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso”)
Ramy Youssef (“Ramy”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”)
Linda Cardellini (“Dead to Me”)
Kaley Cuoco (“The Flight Attendant”)
Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Bill Camp (“The Queen’s Gambit”)
Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton”)
Hugh Grant (“The Undoing”)
Ethan Hawke (“The Good Lord Bird”)
Mark Ruffalo (“I Know This Much Is True”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Cate Blanchett (“Mrs. America”)
Michaela Coel (“I May Destroy You”)
Nicole Kidman (“The Undoing”)
Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Queen’s Gambit”)
Kerry Washington (“Little Fires Everywhere”)

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
“The Boys”
“Cobra Kai”
“Lovecraft Country”
“The Mandalorian”
“Westworld”

2021 Golden Globe Awards: ‘Mank’ is the top nominee

February 3, 2021

by Carla Hay

Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman in “Mank” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

With six nominations, Netflix’s movie-industry drama “Mank” is the leading contender for the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards, which will be presented on February 28, 2021. The Golden Globes ceremony has traditionally been held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no large, in-person gathering at the ceremony. Instead, the Golden Globes ceremony will like do what other major live televised award shows have done when going virtual during the pandemic: There will most likely be video linkups of the nominees, so that when the winners are announced, the winners can react live with their acceptance speeches. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the ceremony, with Fey at the Rainbow Room in New York City and Poehler at the Beverly Hilton.

NBC has the U.S. telecast of the show, which begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) votes for the nominations and awards. The HFPA and Dick Clark Productions are producing the Golden Globe Awards telecast. Eligible movies for the show were those released in the U.S. in 2020 and in January and February 2021. The eligibility window, which usually ends at the end of a calendar year, was extended for movies because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible TV programs were those that premiered on U.S. networks and U.S. streaming services in 2020.

“Mank” tells the story of movie screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (nicknamed Mank) and his experiences while he co-wrote the 1941 classic “Citizen Kane,” including his clashes with “Citizen Kane” director Orson Welles. “Mank” picked up expected nominations in the Motion Picture – Drama categories: Best Picture and Best Actor (Gary Oldman). The other “Mank” nominations are for Best Director (David Fincher), Best Screenplay (the late Jack Fincher, David’s father), Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried) and Best Original Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross). Another movie contender with multiple nominations is Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” with five nods. Focus Features’ “Promising Young Woman,” Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Father” and Searchlight Pictures’ “Nomadland” have four nominations each. “One Night in Miami…” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (both from Amazon Studios) earned three nods each.

For the television categories, the leading contender is Netflix’s “The Crown,” which received six nominations, including Best Television Series – Drama. Following closely behind is the Pop network’s comedy series “Schitt’s Creek,” which scored five nominations, including Best Television Series – Comedy. The Netflix drama series “Ozark,” the HBO limited series “The Undoing” and the Netflix limited series “Ratched” received four nominations each.

Snubs and Surprises

Filmmaker Spike Lee and actors Isiah Whitlock Jr., Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters and Norm Lewis on the set of “Da 5 Bloods” (Photo by David Lee/Netflix)

The most noticeable Golden Globes snub this year was Netflix’s award-winning, critically acclaimed drama movie “Da 5 Bloods” (directed and co-written by Spike Lee), which failed to get any Golden Globe nominations. “Da 5 Bloods” told a fictional story about four African American military veterans of the Vietnam War who go back to Vietnam to look for hidden treasure. Other movies that have been shut out of the Golden Globes race are the Focus Features drama “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” the A24 drama “First Cow” and the Netflix comedy “The Forty-Year-Old Version,” which have all received several nominations and some wins at independent film awards. Golden Globe TV snubs this year included the Hulu limited drama series “Little Fires Everywhere” and the HBO comedy series “Insecure,” which each received several Emmy nods. Also shut out was the HBO limited drama series “I May Destroy You.”

In terms of surprises, some movies picked up their first major award nominations, despite being shut out of earlier award shows for which they were eligible. Vertical Entertainment’s “Music” is one such example, by receiving two Golden Globe nods in the Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy field: Best Picture and Best Actress (Kate Hudson). Netflix’s star-studded musical “The Prom,” which got mixed reviews from critics and audiences, also scored two nods in the Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy field: Best Picture and Best Actor (James Corden). After getting snubbed in major Emmy Awards categories in 2020, Hulu’s comedy series “The Great” did better than expected at the Golden Globes for the “The Great’s” first season: “The Great” scored three nominations in the Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy field: Best Television Series, Best Actress (Elle Fanning) and Best Actor (Nicholas Hoult).

Diversity and Inclusion

Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. and Anthony Ramos in “Hamilton” (Photo courtesy of Disney+)

In terms of diversity, the Golden Globes ended a long drought of not nominating any female directors. This year, women are three of the five Best Director nominees: Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland,” Regina King for “One Night in Miami …” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.” Zhao and Fennell are also nominees in another traditionally male-dominated Golden Globes category: Best Screenplay.

The major movie categories each had at least one person of color as a nominee, except for two categories: Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Supporting Actress. Black people are the people of color with the highest representation this year.

In the movie categories, there are nominations for “One Night in Miami…” and Netflix’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which are both based on plays written by and about African Americans. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” has two nominations in the Motion Picture – Drama field: Best Actress (for Viola Davis) and Best Actor (for the late Chadwick Boseman). Daniel Kaluuya’s portrayal of Black Panther activist Fred Hampton in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Judas and the Black Messiah” garnered a nod for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture. “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” earned two nominations for star Andra Day: Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama and Best Original Song. In the category of Best Original Song, three of the five nominated songs were written and performed by African Americans: Day’s “Tigress & Tweed”; Leslie Odom Jr.’s “Speak Now” (from “One Night in Miami…”); and H.E.R.’s “Fight for You” (from “Judas and the Black Messiah”).

STX’s “The Mauritanian,” which is about a suspected terrorist imprisoned in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay, stars Algerian French actor Tahar Rahim, who is nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama.

Asian representation at the Golden Globes this year is mostly from “Nomadland” filmmaker Zhao, who is nominated as a director, producer and screenwriter for the film. Riz Ahmed, who is of Pakistani British heritage, is nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, for his role in Amazon Studios’ “Sound of Metal,” where he portrays an American heavy metal drummer who goes deaf. Indian British actor Dev Patel of Searchlight Pictures’ “The Personal History of David Copperfield” got a nod for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. A24’s “Minari,” about a Korean American family who moves to rural Arkansas, is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

Latinos, who were mostly shut out of the Golden Globes this year, are represented only by Shudder’s Guatemalan horror movie “La Llorona” (nominated for Best Foreign Language Film) and by “Hamilton” star/creator Lin-Manuel Miranda (who is Puerto Rican American descent), who got nominations for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, while “Hamilton” (which has a multiracial cast) was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. “Hamilton,” which is a filmed 2016 performance of the Tony-winning musical, is available exclusively on the Disney+ streaming service and is not eligible for the Oscars because the movie was never released in theaters.

People of color are underrepresented in the TV categories. Almost all of the nominees are white in most of the TV categories this year. Black people got the most nominations in the the TV categories because of Amazon Prime Video’s limited series “Small Axe” (about Caribbean immigrant life in England), which picked up two nods: Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, while “Small Axe” star John Boyega is nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

African American actor Don Cheadle of Showtime’s “Black Monday” is nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy. HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” which has a predominantly African American cast, is up for Best Television Series – Drama, although that is the only Golden Globe nomination it received this year.

Egyptian American actor Ramy Youssef from Hulu’s “Ramy” is nominated for Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy, an award he won in 2020. Native Americans, who are severely underrepresented in entertainment, received no nominations in any of the Golden Globe categories this year.

Portrayals of the disabled community are in nominated performances by Ahmed in “Sound of Metal” (about a musician who goes deaf) and Anthony Hopkins as a man with dementia in Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Father.” Vertical Entertainment’s “Music,” about a recovering addict (played by Kate Hudson) raising her autistic teenage half-sister named Music (played by Maddie Ziegler), has sparked criticism over how autism is portrayed by Ziegler, who is not autistic, and for a controversial scene in which the autistic person is physically restrained. In television, Emmy-winning “I Know This Must Be True” star Mark Ruffalo portrays identical twins, one of whom has schizophrenia. For his role in this HBO limited drama series, Ruffalo is nominated for Best Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

The LGBTQ community is represented in the movie categories with the musical “The Prom,” which is about a lesbian teenager who wants go to her school prom with her girlfriend. “The Prom,” directed and produced by Ryan Murphy (who is openly gay), is nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, while James Corden (who plays a gay character in the movie) is nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The French drama “Two of Us,” about two elderly lesbians, is nominated for Best International Film. And, as previously mentioned, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” star Davis (who portrays lesbian singer Ma Rainey) and “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” star Day (who depicts bisexual singer Billie Holiday) are each nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.

In television, the Murphy-produced Netflix limited series “Ratched” earned nominations for lead actress Sarah Paulson and supporting actress Cynthia Nixon, who are both openly lesbian/queer. Murphy is also nominated as an executive producer for “Ratched,” which is a contender for Best Television Series – Drama. Meanwhile, openly gay actor/writer/producer Dan Levy earned two nominations for “Schitt’s Creek”: Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. “Schitt’s Creek” (which has its series finale on the Pop Network in 2020) swept all the major categories for comedy TV series at the 2020 Emmy Awards, so it will be interesting to see how well “Schitt’s Creek” does at the Golden Globes.

Here is the complete list of nominations for the 2021 Golden Globe Awards:

MOVIES

Best Motion Picture – Drama
“The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“Mank” (Netflix)
“Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)
“Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Studios)
“Hamilton” (Disney+)
“Palm Springs” (Neon/Hulu)
“Music” (Vertical Entertainment)
“The Prom” (Netflix)

Best Director 
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
David Fincher, “Mank” (Netflix)
Regina King, “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)
Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”)
Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”)
Gary Oldman (“Mank”)
Tahar Rahim (“The Mauritanian”)

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
James Corden (“The Prom”)
Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton”)
Dev Patel (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”)
Andy Samberg (“Palm Springs”)

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”)
Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”)
Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”)
Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
Kate Hudson (“Music”)
Michelle Pfeiffer (“French Exit”)
Rosamund Pike (“I Care a Lot”)
Anya Taylor-Joy (“Emma”)

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Jared Leto (“The Little Things”)
Bill Murray (“On the Rocks”)
Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”)

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture 
Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Olivia Colman (“The Father”)
Jodie Foster (“The Mauritanian”)
Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”)
Helena Zengel (“News of the World”)

Best Screenplay
“Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features) – Emerald Fennell
“Mank” (Netflix) – Jack Fincher
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) – Aaron Sorkin
“The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics) – Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton
“Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) – Chloé Zhao

Best Original Score
“The Midnight Sky” – Alexandre Desplat
“Tenet” – Ludwig Göransson
“News of the World” – James Newton Howard
“Mank” – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
“Soul” – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste

Best Original Song 
“Fight for You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah” – H.E.R., Dernst Emile II, Tiara Thomas
“Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7” – Daniel Pemberton, Celeste
“Io Si (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead” – Diane Warren, Laura Pausini, Niccolò Agliardi
“Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios) – Leslie Odom Jr, Sam Ashworth
“Tigress & Tweed” from “The United States vs. Billie Holliday” (Hulu) – Andra Day, Raphael Saadiq

Best Animated Film 
“The Croods: A New Age” (DreamWorks Animation/Universal Pictures)
“Onward” (Pixar Amination Studios/Disney)
“Over the Moon” (Netflix)
“Soul” (Pixar Animation Studios/Disney)
“Wolfwalkers” (Cartoon Saloon/Apple TV+)

Best Foreign Language Film
“Another Round” (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
“La Llorona” (Shudder)
“The Life Ahead” (Netflix)
“Minari” (A24)
“Two of Us” (Magnolia Pictures)

TELEVISION

Best Television Series – Drama
“The Crown” (Netflix)
“Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
“The Mandalorian” (Disney Plus)
“Ozark” (Netflix)
“Ratched” (Netflix)

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
“Emily in Paris” (Netflix)
“The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
“The Great” (Hulu)
“Schitt’s Creek” (Pop)
“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)

Best Actor in a Television Series – Drama
Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)
Josh O’Connor (“The Crown”)
Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
Al Pacino (“Hunters”)
Matthew Rhys (“Perry Mason”)

Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama
Olivia Colman (“The Crown”)
Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”)
Emma Corrin (“The Crown”)
Laura Linney (“Ozark”)
Sarah Paulson (“Ratched”)

Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Don Cheadle (“Black Monday”)
Nicholas Hoult (“The Great”)
Eugene Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso”)
Ramy Youssef (“Ramy”)

Best Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Lily Collins (“Emily in Paris”)
Kaley Cuoco (“The Flight Attendant”)
Elle Fanning (“The Great”)
Jane Levy (“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”)
Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”)

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
“Normal People” (Hulu/BBC)
“The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
“Small Axe” (Amazon Prime Video/BBC)
“The Undoing” (HBO)
“Unorthodox” (Netflix)

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Bryan Cranston (“Your Honor”)
Jeff Daniels (“The Comey Rule”)
Hugh Grant (“The Undoing”)
Ethan Hawke (“The Good Lord Bird”)
Mark Ruffalo (“I Know This Much Is True”)

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Cate Blanchett (“Mrs. America”)
Daisy Edgar-Jones (“Normal People”)
Shira Haas (“Unorthodox”)
Nicole Kidman (“The Undoing”)
Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Queen’s Gambit”)

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
John Boyega (“Small Axe”)
Brendan Gleeson (“The Comey Rule”)
Dan Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
Jim Parsons (“Hollywood”)
Donald Sutherland (“The Undoing”)

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Gillian Anderson (“The Crown”)
Helena Bonham Carter (“The Crown”)
Julia Garner (“Ozark”)
Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
Cynthia Nixon (“Ratched”)

Review: ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7,’ starring Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Mark Rylance, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langella and Michael Keaton

December 29, 2020

by Carla Hay

Pictured in front row: Caitlin FitzGerald, Alex Sharp, Jeremy Strong, John Carroll Lynch and Sacha Baron Cohen in “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Photo by Nico Tavernise/Netflix) 

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Directed by Aaron Sorkin

Culture Representation: Taking place from 1968 to 1970, primarily in Chicago and briefly in Washington, D.C., the dramatic film “The Trial of the Chicago 7” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with some African Americans) representing the middle-class and upper-class.

Culture Clash: Eight men accused of inciting riots during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago go on trial in a case that exemplified the conflicts between the “establishment government” and “radical activists.”

Culture Audience: “The Trial of the Chicago 7″ will appeal primarily to people interested in dramatic interpretations of real political and legal events in American history during the Vietnam War, with the stories being unapologetically sympathetic to progressive liberal politics.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Ben Shenkman, Mark Rylance, Eddie Redmayne and Alex Sharp in “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Photo by Nico Tavernise/Netflix)

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” might as well have been called “The Showcase of Sacha Baron Cohen.” Although the movie has a big ensemble cast, he ends up stealing the show in his portrayal of left-wing activist Abbie Hoffman. This elevation of Hoffman as the “star” of the story is entirely by design, since “The Trial of Chicago 7” writer/director Aaron Sorkin has a reputation for not allowing actors to improvise in the movies that he writes and directs.

Taking place mostly in Chicago from 1968 to 1970, amid protests against the controversial Vietnam War, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” seems entirely calculated to win as many prestigious awards as possible. “The Trial of Chicago 7” exposes those ambitions too blatantly for it to feel like a truly immersive cinematic experience. The results are that viewers will feel constantly reminded that they’re watching showboat performances and re-enactments rather than being transported to experiencing the genuine emotions of the real-life people involved in this story.

Sorkin (who won an Oscar for writing the 2010 movie “The Social Network”) delivers the type of articulate and verbose screenplay that people would expect from the Emmy-winning former showrunner of “The West Wing.” “The Trial of Chicago 7” has got plenty of sociopolitical commentary that makes conservatives look like villains, and liberals look like heroes. (Sorkin is an outspoken liberal in real life.) There’s also a lot of snappy dialogue with witty one-liners and feisty arguments. And the film editing, which jumps back and forth in time, keeps the tone and pace of the movie very lively.

The trial is obviously the center of the story, but the movie’s non-chronological scenes alternate between showing the trial, showing events leading up to the trial, and showing what happened outside of the courtroom during the six months that the trial took place. It’s a lot to cram into a feature-length movie—”The Trial of the Chicago 7″ clocks in at 129 minutes—so some defendants get a lot more screen time and backstories than others. For the most part, the dramatic retelling of this true story works. However, there are a few scenes that were obviously fabricated for the movie, while the movie also leaves out a lot of uncomfortable truths.

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” begins with a brief overview of how the U.S. was affected by the Vietnam War, which was declared by President Lyndon Johnson (a moderate Democrat) in 1965 to save Vietnam from Communism. The Vietnam War escalated into a conflict that American protesters believed was a pointless and expensive war. As thousands of people died in the war, young men in America tried to avoid being drafted into the military. And millions of Americans, especially many of college age, became conscientious war protestors. Vietnam War advocates labeled anti-war protesters as “radicals” and “unpatriotic.”

In 1968, Johnson did not seek re-election. Hubert Humphrey, a former U.S. Senator from Minnesota, became the U.S. presidential nominee for the Democratic Party that year. Humphrey’s conservative Republican opponent was Richard Nixon, a former U.S. vice president under Dwight D. Eisenhower. Nixon would go on to win the presidential election in 1968 and was inaugurated in January 1969.

But before that happened, the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Chicago in August 1968 became a flashpoint for increasing civil unrest over the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. Thousands of protestors gathered in Chicago, resulting in violent clashes between law enforcement (Chicago police and the National Guard) and protestors. The riots lasted for two days and ended with 11 people dead, an untold number of people wounded, and thousands of people arrested.

In April 1968, U.S. Congress passed the Rap Brown Law, to make it illegal for people who live outside a community to incite confrontations in a community where they don’t live. It was intended as an anti-riot law, but critics of the law believed its was just the government’s response to people who wanted to organize widespread protests against the Vietnam War and racial injustice. People who advocated for the law believed that it was necessary to help prevent violence during protests.

Johnson and his administration’s U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to federally prosecute anyone for the violence that happened at the 1968 DNC, which ended up being used as an example of how divided America was over the Vietnam War. However, Johnson’s presidential successor Nixon, who ran for U.S. president on a platform to restore “law and order,” had other ideas on how to deal with the chief protestors who were at the 1968 DNC. The Rap Brown Law was about to be enforced, and certain protestors were going to be prosecuted for it.

One of the early scenes in the movie takes place in 1969, in Washington, D.C., by depicting a meeting called by John Mitchell (played by John Doman), the U.S. attorney general appointed by Nixon. In the meeting with Mitchell are attorneys Richard Schultz (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Thomas Foran (played by J.C. MacKenzie) and Howard Ackerman (played by Damien Young), who is a special adviser to Mitchell. Mitchell tells Schultz and Moran that he intends to use the Rap Brown Law to prosecute the leaders of some of the anti-Vietnam War groups who were at the 1968 DNC.

Schultz, who is a very by-the-book young attorney, can’t understand why this prosecution should take place, because Johnson declined to federally prosecute anyone for the 1969 DNC riots because of a lack of evidence. Mitchell essentially says that he doesn’t care, and he agrees with Nixon in wanting to make an example out of these “radical” left-wing leaders. Mitchell also strongly hints that he has a grudge against Clark (played by Michael Keaton), because Mitchell believes that Clark disrespected him in the transition process when the Nixon administration took over from the Johnson administration.

Mitchell decides that Schultz will be the lead prosecutor in the case, with Foran also on the prosecution team. Schultz is very reluctant to take the job because he feels that he doesn’t have enough experience in handling such a big, high-profile case. However, Mitchell insists that Schultz is the best person for the job and convinces Schultz to be the lead prosecutor in the case. It’s not said outright, but viewers can infer that Mitchell chose Schultz because Mitchell probably felt that Schultz’s youth and inexperience would make it easier for the U.S. government to manipulate Schultz.

On March 20, 1969, eight left-wing group leaders were indicted for conspiracy to cross state lines to incite the 1968 DNC riots, among other charges. Their joint trial began in Chicago on September 24, 1969. Presiding over the trial was Judge Julius Hoffman (played by Frank Langella) of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The eight men on trial were:

  • Tom Hayden, a former president and prominent leader of the activist group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).
  • Rennie Davis (played by Alex Sharp), another prominent SDS leader, who is depicted in the movie as Hayden’s best friend.
  • Abbie Hoffman (played by Baron Cohen), co-founder of the Youth International Party, also known as the Yippies, a group advocating for counterculture politics and lifestyles.
  • Jerry Rubin (played by Jeremy Strong), co-founder the Youth International Party.
  • David Dellinger (played by John Carroll Lynch), a prominent member of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (The MOBE), a conference of anti-Vietnam War groups.
  • John Froines (played by Danny Flaherty), a MOBE member who was eventually acquitted of all charges in the trial.
  • Lee Weiner (played by Noah Robbins), a MOBE member who was eventually acquitted of all charges in the trial.
  • Bobby Seale (played by Yayha Abdul-Mateen II), co-founder of the Black Panther Party, an activist group against racial discrimination of black people.

The attorneys for the defendants who are portrayed in the movie are William Kunstler (played by Mark Rylance) and his colleague Leonard Weinglass (played by Ben Shenkman). Kunstler is portrayed as passionate supporter of civil liberties who is fairly even-tempered except when his patience is pushed to the limits. On the prosecution side, Schultz’s courtroom style is more conventional than Kunstler’s style. The supporting lawyers on each side (Foran for the prosecution, Weinglass for the defense) don’t have as much screen time or personality in the movie as the lead attorneys.

And from the beginning, there were problems with Seale being on trial in the first place. He’s depicted as very outspoken in trying to distance himself from the other defendants, by saying that he didn’t even know most of them and certainly didn’t conspire with them. Seale was only in Chicago for four hours to give a speech on one of the days of the 1968 DNC. And in the portions of the trial that are depicted in the movie, Seale vehemently objected on his own behalf because his attorney Charles Garry wasn’t in the courtroom because Garry was in Oakland, California, having surgery.

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” portrays the biggest villain in the courtroom as Judge Hoffman, who doesn’t try to hide his bias against the defendants. The movie also shows that the judge had a racist side in how he treated Seale differently from the other defendants. Judge Hoffman didn’t seem to care that Seale’s attorney wasn’t present during the trial. In a harrowing scene, after Seale was jailed for contempt of court, for angrily talking back to the judge, the Black Panthers leader experienced police brutality from cops who were basically given permission by the judge to do whatever they wanted to Seale to teach him a lesson.

After being physically assaulted by these cops, Seale was paraded back in the courtroom in handcuffs and chains, with a gag on his mouth. Although the white defendants also received several contempt of court citations, they were not physically assaulted and humiliated in the way that Seale was during the trial. The movie depicts several people, including lead attorneys Kunstler and Schultz, being shocked and outraged at how Seale was mistreated, but not doing much about it.

In real life, several of the white defendants were heavily involved in the civil rights movement and fighting against racial discrimination. However, the movie focuses more on the white defendants’ anti-Vietnam War protests as their main activism. Racism is mostly used in the movie as a plot device for Seale’s storyline.

Early on in the trial, Kunstler advises Fred Hampton (played by Kelvin Harrison Jr.), the leader of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panthers, to tell the Black Panthers who are gathered in the courtroom to not sit together. The implication is clear: A bunch of black people sitting together is considered a “threat,” while it’s perfectly okay for white people to sit together. Hampton understands why this request was made, and he tells the Black Panthers in the courtroom to spread out and to take off their hats—not because he wants to be subservient to white racism but because he knows that Seale has a better chance of being acquitted if the Black Panthers in the courtroom aren’t perceived as a “threat.”

And once Seale is out of the picture (a mistrial was declared for Seale on November 6, 1969), the issue of racism also disappears from the movie. Seale’s departure leaves seven remaining defendants, and then the movie really becomes the Abbie Hoffman Show. “The Trial of Chicago 7” makes wisecracking Hoffman out to be the “class clown” who’s also the “hero” of the movie. Hoffman clashes with Hayden outside of the courtroom, so that the movie can show that these seven defendants didn’t have the united front that the public thought they had at the time.

Hoffman’s sarcastic persona is often expressed in how he talks back to the judge. In an early part of the trial, Judge Hoffman announces in court that the record should reflect that he’s not related to Abbie Hoffman. In response, defendant Hoffman shouts out in mock indignation, “Father!”

It’s one of many outbursts that Hoffman makes in the courtroom during the trial. Hoffman also makes fun of the judge when the judge repeatedly and mistakenly uses the name Derringer when referring to defendant Dellinger. Hoffman suggests that the judge remember that Derringer is the brand name of a gun.

While out on bail, the movie shows several scenes of Hoffman on stage in darkly lit places filled with audiences eager to hear what he has to say. The movie frames these scenes as if Hoffman is a stand-up comedian in a nightclub, as he delivers jokes and one-liners about what it’s like to be on trial and what a farce he thinks the trial is. Judge Hoffman is often mentioned in Abbie Hoffman’s rants against the system.

Rubin is portrayed as Hoffman’s loyal sidekick who is effective in a way that calls less attention to himself than Hoffman’s more loudmouthed techniques. However, Hoffman and Rubin’s fiery brand of activism and shenanigans outside the courtroom garner enough media attention that Judge Hoffman wants to sequester the jury. It’s also implied that Hayden resented all the media attention that Hoffman was getting, and that was part of the reason why Hoffman and Hayden clashed so much behind the scenes during the trial.

Although “The Trial of Chicago 7” makes Hoffman the comic relief in the film, the movie also portrays him not as a buffoon but as the savviest one of the defendants. He’s the first one to declare in a meeting with the other defendants, “This is a political trial. It [the outcome] was already decided for us,” while Hayden still wants to believe that the defendants will get a fair trial.

Hayden is less inclined to believe that there are larger political motives behind the trial. “I would love it if the trial wasn’t about us, but I assure you that it is,” he tells a disbelieving Hoffman. Hayden also disagrees with Hoffman’s view that society needs a radical overhaul. During one of their arguments, Hayden yells at Hoffman: “I don’t have time for cultural revolution! I have time for actual revolution!”

Overall, Hayden’s character is portrayed in a less sympathetic light than Hoffman’s character. Hayden is depicted as uptight, somewhat pretentious and someone who isn’t as revolutionary as he claims to be. There are many hints that show that Hayden was using SDS because he had future ambitions to become a mainstream politician. (And if you don’t know what Hayden did with his life after the trial, the movie has an epilogue summary of what happened to all the trial’s main players.)

The most problematic and unrealistic scene in the film is when Hoffman and Rubin, out on bail during the trial, see lead prosecutor Schultz with one of his kids in a park. Hoffman and Rubin call Schultz over for a conversation, which is basically yet another scene to showcase Hoffman being a wiseass. Anyone who knows anything about trials would immediately see that it’s highly unethical and a cause for a mistrial for a prosecutor, while a trial is ongoing, to talk to the trial’s defendants outside of the courtroom without the defendants’ attorneys present.

It’s a scene that’s also out-of-character for Schultz, who made an impression as someone with high standards of playing by the rules, up until this scene. It just doesn’t make sense for prosecutor Schultz to risk having an unethical conversation before the trial is over with two defendants in a public park, of all places, where there would be witnesses who could report seeing this conversation. Not only could this unethical conversation cause a mistrial, but it could also taint Schultz’s career.

And therefore, the only conclusion that viewers can come to when noticing this big legal blunder in the movie is that this scene was concocted as a way to make Hoffman and Rubin have a face-to-face confrontation with one of their trial adversaries outside of the courtroom. It cheapens the movie’s screenplay and it actually insults the intelligence of anyone who knows what the law is when it comes to what U.S. trial participants can and cannot do before the trial is over.

There are also many disruptions during the trial that look exaggerated for the sake of making the movie more dramatic, comedic and tension-filled. There’s a point in the movie where Judge Hoffman loses control of the courtroom in such a way that it looks very fake. Don’t take a drink of alcohol every time Judge Hoffman is seen banging his gavel in frustration because people won’t listen to him, because you might end up with alcohol poisoning.

The costume design and production design for “The Trial of the Chicago 7” are very accurate, but the way the movie is filmed, everything looks like a movie set and everyone looks like an actor playing a role. The riot scenes are filmed in a perfunctory manner, in the way that many other similar Vietnam War-era riot scenes have been filmed in other movies. There’s some real-life news footage spliced in some of the scenes, which will just remind viewers even more how staged the re-enactments are.

And this is very much a “boys’ club” movie, since the few women with significant speaking roles in the film are either playing the role of an office worker, a romantic partner or a “temptress.” Caitlin FitzGerald is the only woman who’s listed as a co-star in the cast ensemble. She plays Agent Daphne O’Connor, an undercover officer who poses as a radical counterculture activist named Debbie, who pretends to show a romantic interest in Rubin so she can get information out of him. Agent O’Connor later testifies for the prosecution in the trial, and the movie makes a big deal out of Rubin being emotionally hurt over being “tricked” by this temptress.

What’s deliberately omitted from “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is any acknowledgment that these so-called “liberal” and “free-thinking” men who were on trial were leaders of organizations that perpetuated a culture of sexism against women. While this movie is busy making Hoffman look like a progressive left-wing hero, it doesn’t show or question why Hoffman couldn’t be bothered to treat women as equals in the activist group that he founded.

Women are certainly seen in the movie’s protest scenes, but they’re only as background extras, along with male protesters. In real life, there were some women who were able to break through sexist barriers and have prominent roles in America’s anti-Vietnam War activism, such as Sandra “Casey” Cason, Judy Gumbo and Robin Morgan, just to name a few of the female contemporaries who at one time or another worked with Hoffman and/or Hayden. But these women, or women who are like them, are completely shut out of the movie.

If you were to believe everything in “The Trial of Chicago 7,” women didn’t come up with any clever ideas or take any leadership roles in organizing these protests or activism in general. It’s a huge blind spot in the movie that erases women’s important contributions to this part of American history and therefore paints a very inaccurate picture. The movie makes it look like men did all the real work behind the scenes, and women just basically answered the phones.

Despite these flaws, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” can be considered entertaining enough because of the performances from the cast members. Baron Cohen is the obvious standout, but Redmayne, Abdul-Mateen and Rylance also turn in memorable and noteworthy performances. But just like the TV series “Law & Order” shouldn’t be considered a completely accurate portrayal of the U.S. criminal justice system, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” shouldn’t be considered a completely accurate depiction of this notorious case.

Netflix released “The Trial of the Chicago 7” in select U.S. cinemas on September 25, 2020. The movie premiered on Netflix on October 16, 2020.

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