Ranking the 2021 Oscars Best Picture Nominees

The 2021 Academy Awards are right around the block. While this has been an unprecedented year for the film industry, there have been many great movies released – some of which have been recognized in the Best Picture category. 

 

I really enjoyed watching all of these movies as this lineup is loaded with many great, unique films. It was difficult to pit them against one another, but I tried my best! 

 

Here is my ranking of all of the Best Picture nominees from worst to best:

8. Trial of the Chicago 7

Directed by Aaron Sorkin
Image Credit: Marie Claire

Based on true events, this film follows seven defendants on trial for conspiracy for their involvement in the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests. Though well-written and engaging, this movie doesn’t go beyond just being good, somewhat due to its direction and lack of visual style. It’s good, but not as good as many others in this lineup. 

7. Mank

Directed by David Fincher
Image Credit: The New Yorker

Set in the 30s, this film follows an alcoholic screenwriter as he writes the Citizen Kane screenplay. This is a technically great movie and its cinematography shines, which is incredibly dreamy and equally unique. However, I found some points of this movie a bit contrived and boring. As a fan of Fincher’s work, it was disappointing.

6. Promising Young Woman

Directed by Emerald Fennell
Image Credit: NPR

A young woman seeks revenge on predatory men, fuelled by her traumatic past. It honestly hurts to rank this movie so low on this list because I genuinely loved it. The concept is great, as is Carey Mulligan’s performance and Fennell’s direction. However, parts of it were hollow and since I’m forcing myself to rank these, I think it should be here. I still love it though.

5. The Father

Directed by Florian Zeller
Image Credit: IMDb

This film takes us through a short period in an old man’s life, where he deals with dementia. I honestly dreaded watching this movie because it looked boring, but it turned out to be completely the opposite! This movie is something like I’ve never seen before. It forces us to experience dementia: people and faces change, as do the set and time. It’s rightfully confusing and heartbreaking.

4. Sound of Metal

Directed by Darius Marder
Image Credit: Amazon.com

This film centers on a heavy-metal drummer who loses his hearing. The sound design of this movie is incredible and Riz Ahmed deserves all the awards for his performance. Go rent this movie – it’s worth so much more than just six dollars.

3. Judas and the Black Messiah

Directed by Shaka King
Image Credit: Variety

Based on a true story, this film centers on Chairman Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party and William O’Neal, who infiltrates the party after being offered a plea deal by the FBI. Everything about this movie is so incredible and riveting. The performances by Dominique Fishback, Daniel Kaluuya, and Lakeith Stanfield are some of the best of the year.

2. Nomadland

Directed by Chloé Zhao

Image Credit: Deadline

This film follows a woman’s journey through the American West after losing everything. I watched this at a time I needed to and it hit me hard. It’s so much about being human and Zhao captures this with such intimacy and grace. I can’t wait for her to win Best Director.

1. Minari

Directed by Lee Isaac Chung
Image Credit: Time Magazine

In the 80s, this film follows a Korean-American family that moves to Arkansas to start a farm. This movie is stunning in many ways and is filled with so much heart. Every single thing about it shines and I hope it receives the recognition it deserves at the ceremony.

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Jhasna is a first-year Media Production student with a passion for screenwriting and film production. She likes spicy foods, the Criterion Collection, and bad reality TV. One day, she hopes to write for a TV show, produce indie movies, or drop everything and travel the world - Eat Pray Love style.