Oscars 2021: Ranking The Nominated Performances From Worst To Best

Who gave the best performances of the year? Promising Young Woman, Nomadland, Minari and more!

Trial of the Chicago 7 Sacha Baron Cohen

The Oscars are fast approaching and it is that time of year to not only guess who might take home the trophies but to judge who should take home the trophies or if they should even be nominated at all!

All 20 of the nominated individuals on this list gave worthy and credible performances, despite a hectic COVID year, the Oscars managed to find some decent work amongst all the delayed releases. Of those 20, 12 have never been nominated before. And of the eight who have, only five have won in the past. From a deaf heavy metal drummer to a Blues singer to a Hollywood screenwriter to a dementia sufferer to Borat's own daughter! There are several varied and unique performances to choose from this year.

With a record number of non-white performances recognised from a whole crop of films covering differing social issues such as racism, sexism and immigration, the nominees represent a great shift in Hollywood's focus and make for an exciting collection of nominations.

Not everyone that will win should win when compared to their fellow nominees but each one of these performances are worthy of praise none the less.

20. Gary Oldman - Mank

Trial of the Chicago 7 Sacha Baron Cohen

Gary Oldman is a legend and a well respected actor for good reason, he already has one Oscar to his name for his leading performance in Darkest Hour which he won in 2018. That being said, Mank is hardly his best work.

Starring as the titular screenwriter as he struggles with alcoholism and morals as he writes a first draft of Citizen Kane, Oldman is not bad at all here and an actor of his calibre can always make whatever he's doing seem interesting. What that amounts to however, is Oldman stumbling around being drunk and disagreeable for two hours in a performance that isn't exactly revolutionary.

One of the primary reasons for Oldman to rank last here is the fact there was clearly a better alternative the Academy ignored. Delroy Lindo's unhinged performance in Da 5 Bloods was snubbed here (and practically everywhere else) and is a far superior performance to Oldman's. Tahar Rahim in The Mauratanian would have been a worthy replacement also.

It's not a wholly unworthy nomination, but it is the worst of the bunch.


Opinionated pop-culture commentator who aspires to be a writer so people can opinionatedly comment on the pop-culture I put out.