Back to IndieWire

‘Mank’ Leads the Critics Choice Awards Nominations; Is It This Year’s ‘Irishman’?

With extra categories and slots, the Critics Choice Awards includes more contenders, but they won't all make it to the Big Show.

David Fincher on the set of "Mank"

David Fincher on the set of “Mank”


Last year, Netflix’s “The Irishman” led the Critics Choice Awards nominations with 14. And now, this year’s nominations lead with Netflix’s “Mank,” with 12.

Will history repeat? Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” wound up with one Critics Choice win (Best Ensemble), 10 Oscar nominations, and no wins. The two films are similar. A top pedigreed director delivers an impeccable movie with extraordinary production values. But sometimes the movie winds up leaving Oscar voters cold.

So far, David Fincher’s “Mank” led the Golden Globes field with six nods, but failed to score an ensemble nomination at the SAG Awards nominations, notching a Best Actor nod for Gary Oldman but missing an Amanda Seyfried nomination. “Mank” leads all Critics Choice films this year with 12 nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor for Oldman, Best Supporting Actress for Seyfried, Best Director for Fincher, Best Original Screenplay for his father Jack Fincher, Best Cinematography for Erik Messerschmidt, Best Production Design for Donald Graham Burt and Jan Pascale, Best Editing for Kirk Baxter, Best Costume Design for Trish Summerville, Best Hair and Makeup, Best Visual Effects, and Best Score for Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.

Minari” (A24) followed with 10 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Steven Yeun, Best Supporting Actress for Yuh-Jung Youn, Best Young Actor/Actress for Alan Kim, Best Acting Ensemble, Best Director and Original Screenplay for Lee Isaac Chung, Best Cinematography for Lachlan Milne, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Score for Emile Mosseri.

Netflix’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” followed with eight nods; “News of the World” (Universal) with seven; with six each, “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix), “Nomadland” (Searchlight), “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios), “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features), and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix), and with five each, “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios) and “Tenet” (Warner Bros.).

The annual Critics Choice Awards are voted on by the Critics Choice Association voters for film, television and documentaries. Because it’s the largest film critics organization in North America (400 television, radio, and online critics), the CCAs are often the most accurate predictor of Academy Award nominations. The documentary awards were announced on November 16, 2020. The film and TV winners will be revealed at the hybrid Critics Choice Awards gala, broadcast live and virtually on The CW Network on Sunday, March 7,  2021.

Netflix has earned 72 nominations across their series and films. Television nominations were announced on January 18, led by Netflix’s “Ozark” and “The Crown.” Action nominees were folded into the Super Awards, held on January 10, 2021; “Palm Springs” and “Soul” led film wins with three at that event. The Golden Globes and SAG Awards nominations have already been announced. Oscar ballots are due March 10, and will be announced on March 15.

Given the Critics Choice comedy categories — as well as two extra slots for each category — several nominees are up for multiple awards, such as comedy contenders “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “On the Rocks.” With her nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Father,” Olivia Colman is the only talent recognized for their work in both film and television this season, having previously been announced as a nominee for her leading role in “The Crown” (Netflix). Chadwick Boseman also received multiple nominations for his outstanding performances in both “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix) and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix), and Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross have two chances to win in the Best Score category with their nominations for “Mank” (Netflix) and “Soul” (Disney).

Many of this year’s director nominees pulled double duty, and are nominated for their screenplays as well, including Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland,” Aaron Sorkin for “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari,” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.”

Not making the Best Picture cut was late-breaking “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros.), although it ranked in Best Ensemble and Daniel Kaluuya landed a Supporting Actor nod. Lee Daniels’ “United States vs. Billie Holiday” had to settle for Best Actress Andra Day in the title role. “Da 5 Bloods,” which had been overlooked by the Golden Globes, did rank among the top 10 nominees at Critics Choice, with six nods.

In the Actress race, SAG and Globes also-ran Kate Winslet again made a notable no-show for Neon’s lesbian romance “Ammonite.” Making the cut instead was Zendaya for Sam Levinson’s “Malcolm & Marie,” her first nomination so far. And Ben Affleck finally got on the boards for his performance as an alcoholic basketball coach in “The Way Back.”

With seven nominations for Best Director, the question is who gets left out at Oscar time: three women directors are in the running, including Globe nominees Zhao, King, and Fennell. They won’t all make the Oscar list of five, as they compete with indie Lee Isaac Chung as well as established filmmakers Lee, Fincher and Sorkin. Missing from the director list are the filmmakers behind Best Picture nominees “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (George C. Wolfe), “Sound of Metal” (Darius Marder), and “News of the World” (Paul Greengrass).

Film nominations for the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards are listed below.


“Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

“Mank” (Netflix)

“Minari “(A24)

“News of the World” (Universal Pictures)

“Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

“One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

“Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

“Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

The Way Back Ben Affleck

“The Way Back”

Warner Bros.


Ben Affleck – “The Way Back” (Warner Bros.)

Riz Ahmed – “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)

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

Tom Hanks – “News of the World” (Universal Pictures)

Anthony Hopkins – “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Delroy Lindo – “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)

Gary Oldman – “Mank” (Netflix)

Steven Yeun – “Minari” (A24)

The United States vs Billie Holiday

“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”



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

Andra Day – “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” (Paramount/Hulu)

Sidney Flanigan – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)

Vanessa Kirby – “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix)

Frances McDormand – “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Carey Mulligan – “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

Zendaya – “Malcolm & Marie” (Netflix)


Chadwick Boseman – “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)

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

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

Bill Murray – “On the Rocks” (A24/Apple TV+)

Leslie Odom, Jr. – “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

Paul Raci – “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Netflix

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”



Maria Bakalova – “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Studios)

Ellen Burstyn – “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix)

Glenn Close – “Hillbilly Elegy” (Netflix)

Olivia Colman – “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Amanda Seyfried – “Mank” (Netflix)

Yuh-Jung Youn – “Minari” (A24)

“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”

Focus Features


Ryder Allen – “Palmer” (Apple TV+)

Ibrahima Gueye – “The Life Ahead” (Netflix)

Alan Kim – “Minari” (A24)

Talia Ryder – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)

Caoilinn Springall – “The Midnight Sky” (Netflix)

Helena Zengel – “News of the World” (Universal Pictures)


“Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)

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

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

“Minari” (A24)

“One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)


Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari” (A24)

Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

David Fincher – “Mank” (Netflix)

Spike Lee – “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)

Regina King – “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

Aaron Sorkin – “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Steven Yeun appears in <i>Minari</i> by Lee Isaac Chung, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.rrAll photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.



Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari” (A24)

Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

Jack Fincher – “Mank” (Netflix)

Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)

Darius Marder & Abraham Marder – “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)

Aaron Sorkin – “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)


Paul Greengrass & Luke Davies – “News of the World” (Universal Pictures)

Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller – “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Kemp Powers – “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

Jon Raymond & Kelly Reichardt – “First Cow” (A24)

Ruben Santiago-Hudson – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)




Christopher Blauvelt – “First Cow” (A24)

Erik Messerschmidt – “Mank” (Netflix)

Lachlan Milne – “Minari” (A24)

Joshua James Richards – “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Newton Thomas Sigel – “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)

Hoyte Van Hoytema – “Tenet” (Warner Bros.)

Dariusz Wolski – “News of the World “(Universal Pictures)


Cristina Casali, Charlotte Dirickx – “The Personal History of David Copperfield” (Searchlight Pictures)

David Crank, Elizabeth Keenan – “News of the World” (Universal Pictures)

Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas – “Tenet” (Warner Bros.)

Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale – “Mank” (Netflix)

Kave Quinn, Stella Fox – “Emma” (Focus Features)

Mark Ricker, Karen O’Hara & Diana Stoughton – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

The Father

“The Father”

Sony Pictures Classics


Alan Baumgarten – “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

Kirk Baxter – “Mank” (Netflix)

Jennifer Lame – “Tenet” (Warner Bros.)

Yorgos Lamprinos – “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Mikkel E. G. Nielsen – “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)

Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)


Alexandra Byrne – “Emma” (Focus Features)

Bina Daigeler – “Mulan” (Disney)

Suzie Harman & Robert Worley – “The Personal History of David Copperfield” (Searchlight Pictures)

Ann Roth – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

Nancy Steiner – “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

Trish Summerville – “Mank” (Netflix)

Anya Taylor-Joy stars as "Emma Woodhouse" in director Autumn de Wilde's EMMA., a Focus Features release. Credit : Focus Features

Anya Taylor-Joy stars as “Emma Woodhouse” in director Autumn de Wilde’s EMMA., a Focus Features release. Credit : Focus Features

Courtesy of Box Hill Films


“Emma” (Focus Features)

“Hillbilly Elegy” (Netflix)

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

“Mank” (Netflix)

“Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

“The United States vs. Billie Holiday” (Hulu)

"The Midnight Sky"

“The Midnight Sky”



“Greyhound” (Apple TV+)

“The Invisible Man” (Universal Pictures)

“Mank” (Netflix)

“The Midnight Sky” (Netflix)

“Mulan” (Disney)

“Tenet” (Warner Bros.)

“Wonder Woman 1984” (Warner Bros.)

Maria Bakalova, "Borat 2"

Maria Bakalova, “Borat 2”

Amazon Prime Video


“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Studios)

“The Forty-Year-Old Version” (Netflix)

“The King of Staten Island” (Universal Pictures)

“On the Rocks” (A24/Apple TV+)

“Palm Springs” (Hulu and NEON)

“The Prom” (Netflix)


“Another Round” (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

“Collective” (Magnolia Pictures)

“La Llorona” (Shudder)

“The Life Ahead” (Netflix)

“Minari” (A24)

“Two of Us” (Magnolia Pictures)


“Everybody Cries” – “The Outpost” (Screen Media Films)

“Fight for You” – “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros.)

“Husavik (My Home Town)” – “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” (Netflix)

“Io sì” (“Seen)”  – “The Life Ahead” (Netflix)

“Speak Now” – “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

“Tigress & Tweed” – “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” (Hulu)


Courtesy of Pixar


Alexandre Desplat – “The Midnight Sky” (Netflix)

Ludwig Göransson – “Tenet” (Warner Bros.)

James Newton Howard – “News of the World” (Universal Pictures)

Emile Mosseri – “Minari” (A24)

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – “Mank” (Netflix)

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste – “Soul” (Disney)


Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Awards and tagged , , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox