Oscar 2021: Best Picture–Top Contenders by Title and Distributor

2021: Banner Year for Movies

Note: This is NOT my list of Best Films of 2021

One of the interesting facts of this year’s top contenders for major Oscar Awards is their reflection of how much the production and distribution landscapes have changed over the past few years.

Most of the films on my list have been produced and/or distributed by “small” indie companies (A24, Neon) and especially by streaming platforms. (See below).

Titles (A to Z)


“Belfast” Focus Features

Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik, Tamar Thomas

“The Power of the Dog” Netflix

Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Roger Frappier, Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian

“Dune” Warner Bros

Cale Boyter, Joe Caracciolo Jr, Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve

“West Side Story” 20th Century Studios

Kristie Macosko Krieger, Kevin McCollum, Steven Spielberg

“CODA” Apple Original

Films Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi, Patrick Wachsberger, Jerôme Seydoux

“Drive My Car” Sideshow and Janus Films

Tsuyoshi Gorô, Misaki Kawamura, Osamu Kubota, Sachio Matsushita, Yoshito Nakabe, Keiji Okumura, Jin Suzuki, Akihisa Yamamoto

“King Richard” Warner Bros

Tim White, Trevor White, Will Smith

“Licorice Pizza”

MGM/United Artists Releasing Paul Thomas Anderson, Sara Murphy, JoAnne Sellar, Daniel Lupi

“The Lost Daughter” Netflix

Charlie Dorfman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Osnat Handelsman-Keren, Talia Kleinhendler

“Tick, Tick … Boom!” Netflix

Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Julie Oh

“The Tragedy of Macbeth” Apple Original Films/A24

Joel Coen, Robert Graf, Frances McDormand

Strong Contenders

“Being the Ricardos” Amazon Studios

Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch

“Nightmare Alley” Searchlight Pictures

J. Miles Dale, Guillermo del Toro, Bradley Cooper

“Don’t Look Up” Netflix

Adam McKay, Kevin Messick, Scott Stuber, Betsy Koch, Todd Schulman

“C’mon C’mon” A24

Chelsea Barnard, Lila Yacoub, Andrea Longacre-White

“A Hero” Amazon Studios

Asghar Farhadi, Alexandre Mallet-Guy

“The Harder They Fall” Netflix

Lawrence Bender, Jay-Z, James Lassiter, Jeymes Samuel

“Cyrano” MGM/United Artists Releasing

Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Guy Heeley

“House of Gucci” MGM/United Artists Releasing

Ridley Scott, Giannina Scott, Kevin J. Walsh, Mark Huffam

“Flee” Neon

Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen

Distributors of Top Contenders

20th Century Fox

West Side Story


Nightmare Alley


Don’t Look Up

The Lost Daughter

The Power of the Dog

Tick, Tick … Boom!

Amazon Studios:

Being the Ricardos

Focus Features:




King Richard

Apple Original


Apple Original/A24

The Tragedy of Macbeth

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Licorice Pizza


C’Mon, C’Mon

Sideshow and Janus Films

Drive My Car