During a rare Oscars ceremony, the roadside drama Nomadland triumphed with a win for Best Picture, Best Actress and a landmark win for Chloé Zhao, becoming the first woman of color to be named Best Director and the second woman to be named Best Director. the history.
The film, starring Frances McDormand as a woman living in her van and interacting with real-life nomads, took home the biggest trophy near the end of a late night and delayed season amid the pandemic. The ceremony took place in person but with security precautions and a modest guest list.
“Please watch our movie on the biggest screen possible and one day soon, take everyone you know, shoulder to shoulder, into that dark space and see all the movies being played here tonight,” McDormand, who he’s also serving as the film’s producer, he said in his speech, winning two Oscars for image and actress.
Zhao became the second woman in history, after Kathryn Bigelow, to be named best director. In his speech, he called making the film a “once-in-a-lifetime crazy ride” and discussed a childhood game with his father that introduced him to the idea that “people at birth are inherently good,” something that has been stayed with her since. “Although the reverse may sometimes seem to be true, I have always found goodness in the people I have met,” he said.
While many expected Chadwick Boseman to win best actor posthumously for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Anthony Hopkins caused upset by winning for his role in The Father, a drama about dementia. He was not available to give a speech. Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller also won Best Adapted Screenplay for the Film.
Daniel Kaluuya picked up the best supporting actor award for his role as Black Panther Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah, beating his co-star LaKeith Stanfield, who was also nominated. Speaking of Hampton, he said, “What a man, how blessed we are to live in a life in which he existed.” He said the Black Panthers “showed us the power of unity and the power of unity,” but added, “There is a lot of work to be done, guys, and that is up to everyone in this room.” The film also won the award for best original song for HER’s Fight For You.
Youn Yuh-jung became the first Korean actress to win an Oscar, winning the best supporting actress award for her role in the family drama Minari. “I don’t believe in competition,” he said. “How can I beat Glenn Close… tonight, I’m here because I’m luckier than you? I think maybe it’s American hospitality for a Korean actor. “
Emerald Fennell picked up the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the darkly comic revenge thriller Promising Young Woman, making her the first woman since 2007 to win the award. “I want to thank Carey Mulligan for not only being the most talented person in the world, but also the kindest and funniest person,” she said in her speech, paying tribute to her nominated star.
Soul won for music and best animated film, while the Oscar for international feature film went to the Danish Another Round, whose director, Thomas Vinterberg, was also nominated for best director. He paid tribute to his daughter, who died during production in a car accident. “We ended up making this movie for her as a monument,” he said.
The Guardian also won its first Oscar, for best documentary short film, with Colette, about a French resistance fighter. “This award is a tribute to women of any age who come together and fight for justice,” said producer Alice Doyard.
Netflix’s My Octopus Teacher was named Best Documentary Film.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom won for costume design and best makeup and hairstyling, with Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson the first black winners of the award. “I know one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking, it will just be normal” for black women, trans women and Latinas to claim Oscars, Neal said.
David Fincher’s Mank entered the night with 10 nominations, the most of any film, and walked away with two wins in production design and cinematography. The Riz Ahmed-directed drama Sound of Metal won in sound and editing. Netflix won seven awards overnight, the most of any studio or streamer.
After a year of mostly virtual or at least semi-virtual award ceremonies, the Academy moved from the Dolby Theater to Union Station in Los Angeles with different locations in other cities including London, Sydney, Berlin and Paris to bring together a optimized number of guests. in person: only nominees, their guests and presenters. For the third year in a row, the night was hostless, but dominated by several big names, from Halle Berry to Harrison Ford, Reese Witherspoon and last year’s winners Brad Pitt and Renee Zellweger.
The evening was co-produced by Steven Soderbergh and while he avoided some of the standards (the best songs were previously filmed and kept in the pre-show, while no speech was performed to music), he added a number of stylistic flourishes including the Oscar winner Regina King, director of one of the night’s nominated films One Night in Miami, strutting at the ceremony accompanied by music, closer to the opening credits of a movie. He also likened it to a film set in regards to security procedures, strictly enforced to allow an in-person event.
King also used his stage time to reference the Derek Chauvin trial verdict and the tense climate in America that sees people of color still at disproportionate risk of police violence. “As the mother of a black child, I know the fear that many live with and no amount of fame or fortune changes that,” she said. His words were echoed by Travon Free, who co-directed the police brutality drama Two Distant Strangers, which won the award for best live action short film. “I only ask that please do not be indifferent, do not be indifferent to our pain,” he said. Animated short co-winner Will McCormack also called for systemic reform. “We deserve better, we must do better, we will do better,” he said. In accepting the Jean Hersholdt Humanitarian Award, Tyler Perry also spoke of the importance of rejecting hatred. By presenting the in memoriam section, Angela Bassett also paid tribute to those who died this year as a result of injustice and racism.
The only viral moment of the night came at the end of the day from Glenn Close, who reached out to Experience Unlimited’s Da Butt, a rare moment of levity at a primarily business ceremony.
Last year’s ceremony, which included wins for Joaquin Phoenix and Renee Zellweger and saw Parasite become the first foreign-language film to win best picture, was the least-watched of all time. This year’s awards come after viewership ratings plummeted for both the Golden Globes and the Grammy.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism