Oscars 2021 predictions: Emerald Fennell should win Best Director for Promising Young Woman


The much-coveted Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are right around the corner and like every year, cine-goers from all over the world have been making their guesses as to who will win the most recognised award in the world. Despite fewer theatrical releases in 2020, the categories have been flooded with some of the best content presented via OTT platforms and film festivals.

We have already shared our predictions with you for the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress category and now, it’s time to share who we think could win the Best Director trophy.

This year, the nominations for Best Director are – David Fincher for Mank, Lee Isaac Chug for Minari, Chloe Zhao for Nomadland, Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman and Thomas Vinterberg for Another Round.

We believe the director who will win the trophy this year is…

Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman

Emerald Fennell has written and directed the film that deals with an issue that has been relevant for ages but has finally found the voice it deserved in the post #MeToo world. It would be a historic win as only one female director has previously won in this category (Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker). The nomination of two women in this category (Fennell and Zhao) has already been seen as a historic milestone. Before this year, only five women have gotten nominated in this category in the Academy’s 92 years of giving awards.

Promising Young Woman follows Carey Mulligan’s Cassie who is trying to avenge the death of her best friend after she was raped at a college party. Fennell relies on the contrasts in her storytelling that highlight the subject of the film at every juncture. Every predator is played by an actor known for their ‘good-guy’ persona, every dark turn in the story is visually presented with bright, flashy colours and every time your perception clouds your judgement as an audience member, Fennell pulls the rug from under your feet.

Promising Young Woman is a film that sparks conversation about predatory behaviour, by both men and women, and has a lasting effect on the viewer. The choice of music (particularly Britney Spears’ Toxic), the act of placing the protagonist at the centre of the frame when she is in the presence of a negative character and even the casting of Laverne Cox in the role of Cassie’s only confidante speaks volumes about the perceived notions of the society.

Here are the other nominations in the Best Director category:

Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

Chloe Zhao helmed this nomadic journey starring Frances McDormand that makes you question the traditional ways of life. Zhao gets you in Fern’s corner as soon as the film begins and she starts her journey. Zhao gets you to smile with Fern as she enjoys a makeshift spa day, and worry for her when she is short on cash to get her van fixed. Zhao’s film establishes that this story is not of a homeless person but a houseless person, and that distinction is pivotal in the film.

Lee Isaac Chung for Minari

Lee Isaac Chung’s film is the story of a Korean American family as they move to a rural part of the country searching for better prospects. The monetary troubles of the family are on the verge of tearing them apart as the father believes that money could translate to happiness, and the mother thinks that family should take precedence over everything else. The grandmother and the kids are trying to make their own world amid the dysfunctional world that presents them with many troubles and opportunities.

David Fincher for Mank

David Fincher’s Mank follows the story of Herman J Mankiewicz as he writes Citizen Kane. The film unfolds in two timelines – one focuses on the story that inspired him to create the characters of the Orson Welles film, and the other has him writing the film independently, without any interference from Welles. ‘Who wrote Citizen Kane?’ has been a widely debated topic since the time the film came out and here, Fincher presents the story from Mankiewicz’s point of view. Mank’s world view and the characters of Amanda Seyfried and Charles Dance compel you that it was these characters that inspired one of the most iconic films in history.

Thomas Vinterberg for Another Round

The Danish film starring Mads Mikkelsen follows a group of middle-aged men as they start an experiment to maintain their blood alcohol level to a certain mark so they can be their most confident self. The experiment starts well but takes an ugly shape as the group members have to face some consequences of their actions in an inebriated state.



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