Meet the Real People Who Inspired These 2021 Oscar-Nominated Films

Perhaps it’s not surprising that, in a year marked by hardship for so many people, a slew of popular films succeeded by telling real-life individuals’ stories of pain and triumph.

Heading into the 2021 Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, April 25, many of the films in the hunt for Oscars tell biographical narratives about public figures and lesser-known folks alike. 

Earning the most nominations of any film this year with 10, Mank focuses on screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, the title character played by Gary Oldman, who is under pressure to complete his script for Orson Welles‘ Citizen Kane

Also earning accolades for bringing historical figures to life were Judas and the Black Messiah, The Trial of the Chicago 7 and The United States vs. Billie Holiday, among others. 

It makes sense that Hollywood continues looking for true tales to propel its films. After all, recent years have seen Oscar wins for performers including Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland in Judy (2019), Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) and Mahershala Ali as Don Shirley in Green Book (2018).

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