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How to Explain the Most Surprising Twists of This Year’s Oscar Nominations

From Thomas Vinterberg to "My Octopus Teacher," the 2021 Oscar nominations included a number of unexpected developments — but many them make more sense than meets the eye.


“My Octopus Teacher”


Thomas Vinterberg is in Best Director. “My Octopus Teacher” (above) is in Best Documentary. Pedro Almodóvar was snubbed, LaKeith Stanfield became a Supporting Actor, “Promising Young Woman” was all over the place, and “Mank” dominated. For many people, the 2021 Oscar nominations were loaded with surprises — but a lot of them make more sense the closer you look. Over the past few months, various campaigns have snaked their way into the conversation and scored Academy voters’ attention. Some of them generated hype at festivals; others avoided them altogether. In this week’s Screen Talk, Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson explain many of the nominations and then turn to the future to muse on what happens next. Is “Nomadland” still the frontrunner? How much momentum does “Minari” have now? Is it fair to call “The Trial of the Chicago 7” this year’s “Argo”? The answers are yes, quite a bit, and probably not — but a lot can change in the weeks ahead.

Listen to the full episode below.

Screen Talk is produced by Leonardo Adrian Garcia and available on Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Soundcloud. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on Apple Podcasts, and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on Apple Podcasts right here.

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