May 6, 2021

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Oscar night thrills with historic victories, while Chadwick Boseman has been overlooked in a revamped show

Oscar night thrills with historic victories, while Chadwick Boseman has been overlooked in a revamped show

The 93rd Academy Awards returned to our screens on Sunday as the milestone of a year of pandemic-adapted awards.

The 2021 Oscars were a night of novelty and fashion, speeches and upheavals and certainly of change.

A different medium

“Oh, Jesus, I did it,” Regina King said at the start of the show. “It’s been a year and we’re still in the thick of it.”

The words of the director and actor could have spoken for the industry itself. King was the first of the show’s cast of presenters, who took the stage in place of the traditional Oscar presenter. They included other stars Halle Berry, Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford.

The cast of the show wasn’t the only thing that looked different. As the camera circled the audience, a sparse crowd seated at individual tables gave off the atmosphere of a cabaret, but without many jokes.

The awards stage was different at this year’s awards, with a smaller guest list and candidates divided into tables. (Todd Wawrychuk / AMPAS / Getty Images)

Other changes were not so welcome. The new format unfortunately led to extra long speeches, and a length well beyond the three hours expected.

Despite this, a good part of the evening continued the traditions of the Oscars of previous years. There was a red carpet, the friendly interaction between the guests, and most surprising of all, the absence of masks, which left the eerily pre-pandemic spectacle.

The relaxed atmosphere also gave rise to some unique moments: Glenn Close dancing “Da Butt” as an answer to a trivial question, Daniel Kaluuya thanking his mother in the audience and then inserting an off-color line into his acceptance speech. , (“It’s amazing! My mom met my dad, they had sex, that’s great! Like, I’m here!”) And Frances McDormand howling wolf after Nomadland won the best photo.

The return of fashion

Almost unchanged from previous years was the fashion of the night. From Questlove’s golden crocs to Regina King’s gorgeous Louis Vuitton crystal gown, the red carpet didn’t disappoint.

Carey Mulligan stood out with her cut-out Valentino dress and Zendaya’s yellow Valentino suit was paired with layers of Bulgari diamonds, valued at US $ 6 million. A number of stars sported gold. And life size Minari Star Alan S. Kim showed up in a signature tuxedo, which she apparently wore for the first time to walk her dog.

Strange programming

A distinct change occurred at the end of the show. Instead of ending the night with the best picture award as is the tradition of the Oscars, the awards for best acting were instead moved to the end, equivalent to an anti-climatic farewell.

It was an abrupt and bizarre ending.

Of those acting awards, McDormand chose the best actress for her work Nomadland, excluding Viola Davis, who became the most nominated black actress earlier this year.

By moving the Best Actor award to the end of the show, the producers may have wanted to end the night with a posthumous award for My Rainey Black Bottom actor Chadwick Boseman.

Boseman, who died in August 2020 of colon cancer, was heavily favored to receive that trophy. Instead, the honor – surprisingly – went to Anthony Hopkins for his work on The father.

It was Hopkins’ second Academy Award winner, following his first in 1992 for playing Hannibal Lecter in The silence of the lambs.

Aaron Sorkin’s was also excluded The Chicago Trial 7, who went into the night with six nominations but left zero wins.

Chloe Zhao’s historic victory

A less surprising, but extremely welcome, moment was the victory of Chloé Zhao’s best director. With it, she became only the second woman to claim honor and the first black woman to do so.

Zhao’s win rounded off the film’s three nighttime wins: the film garnered Best Picture and Best Actress awards for McDormand. At the end of the night Nomandland’s the loot was the biggest for any single film. But others (Drunk, Mank, Sound of metal, the father is Judas and the black Messiah) has completed two Oscars each.

Zhao wasn’t the only black woman to take a historic victory. Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson won the best makeup and hairstyle for their work My Rainey Black Bottom, making them the first black women to win the category. They gave a speech on how harder work is needed to continue fighting for representation in the sector.

Jamika Wilson, Mia Neal and Sergio Lopez-Rivera accept the makeup and hairstyle award for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. (Todd Wawrychuk / AMPAS / Getty Images)

In her acceptance speech, Zhao talked about perseverance, something she said she learned from a game she played with her father as a child. They memorized classical Chinese texts and then repeated them to each other.

“The first sentence is,” people at birth are inherently good. “And those six words had such an impact on me,” she said.

“So this is for anyone who has the courage or the faith to see the goodness in the world. You inspire me to move forward.”

Speaking of speeches and firsts, Best Supporting Actress winner Youn Yuh-jung became the first Korean woman to win the category and stole the show with her acceptance speech.

After Brad Pitt presented her with the award, the Minari the co-star continued to make a stunted, but captivating scream.

“Mr. Brad Pitt, finally. Nice to meet you,” he joked. “Where were you while we were shooting?”

He also forgave the American public for mispronouncing his name, and when a reporter backstage asked what Brad Pitt smelled like, he gave another sudden answer.

“I didn’t smell him,” she said. “I’m not a dog.”


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