…And the Oscar for Best Casting Goes To…


“More than 90% of directing is the right casting,” – Martin Scorsese


Yes, it’s time for my annual rant about The Academy’s Big Insult.

Despite the BAFTAs getting on board with a Casting category in 2019 there is still no Oscar for Best Casting even though the current president of the Academy’s Board of Governors is a Casting Director. David Rubin’s credits include The Talented Mr Ripley and Lars and the Real Girl. I like to think he’s working behind the scenes to change the hearts and minds of the old guard.

As Stephen Frears, director of The Queen and A Very English Scandal, recently said in The Guardian: “I wouldn’t even cross the road without my casting director, Leo Davis. Whenever I make a good film, it’s generally down to the writing and the casting. I would give them the kingdom of heaven. I would give them whatever they want. They are priceless. I spend my life on my knees being grateful to casting directors. I have no sympathy for people who can’t see what their contribution is.”

BBA’s Best Casting Nominees 2020: There was a lot of inspired casting this year from Alan S. Kim as the young son, David, and Yuh-Jung Youn as the grandmother in Minari to Paul Raci in Sound of Metal to all those real people in Nomadland to the powerful ensembles in The Trial of the Chicago 7One Night in Miami and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Best Picture

Judas and the Black Messiah: Alexa Fogel

Mank: Laray Mayfield

Minari: Julia Kim

Nomadland: Nathan Harrison and Hannah Peterson

Promising Young Woman: Lindsay Graham and Mary Vernieu

Sound of Metal: Susan Shopmaker

The Trial of the Chicago 7: Francine Maisler

PS The Father does not list a credit for casting.

Best Ensemble Nominees

Da 5 Bloods: Kim Coleman

Mank: Laray Mayfield

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: Avy Kaufman

Minari: Julia Kim

Mulan: Debra Zane

One Night in Miami: Kimberly Hardin

The Trial of the Chicago 7: Francine Maisler

CASE STUDY: John Krasinski #SGN