Tuesday, September 21

‘Nomadland’, the Chinese look at the end of the American dream conquers Hollywood in the most anodyne Oscars


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The Oscars began with Regina King entering the Union Station stage to the rhythm of the trumpet as if it were a scene from ‘Ocean’s Eleven’, and ended with the empty stage after the last Oscar of the night, the one for best actor – something unpublished -, awarded an Anthony Hopkins who did not show up. It was the most abrupt and strange closing of any gala in remembrance, except for the ‘La la land’ incident. Until then, the oscars they were a litany of speeches that filled with solemnity what should be a party. But at this point it did not matter: the Hollywood Academy had managed to celebrate the first post-pandemic face-to-face gala in an event full of glamor, stars and a lot of cinema.

The party of humor and politics of other years was transformed into a love song to celluloid, with a script in which candidates and guests revealed their best memories in a room. With that ‘leitmotiv’ he could only win the Oscar for Best Picture ‘Nomadland’, the most ‘author’ film of the nominees, for which Chloé Zhao also won the best director and best adapted screenplay. It was also a stick from the Academy to the platforms, since most of the winners have had their ‘traditional’ premiere on the big screen despite the difficulties of the year of the pandemic.

They were flat Oscars like a sustained note. There were no musical performances, no comic outbursts, no show beyond a ‘trivial’ that came before the last awards to the despair of those present. The night is summed up in something like a string of thanks until the final prize. The only discordant note was given by the organization by awarding the award for best film before those for interpretation. Just like the idea of ​​delivering a better address in the first hour of the show. It seemed like a formula from the organizers to try to fill with emotion a record in which the predictions were fulfilled: the favorite, ‘Nomadland’, swept the main categories.

The winners of the most distributed Oscars

Emerald Fennell collected the first Oscar of the night for the script of 'A promising young woman'
Emerald Fennell collected the first Oscar of the night for the script of ‘A promising young woman’

And it is that only the twilight look of Chloé Zhao on the end of the American dream convinced the academics, who until then seemed have organized a track record to please everyone. Or almost everyone. Because Aaron Sorkin was speechless. The six nominations for her film, ‘The Chicago 7 Trial’, were transformed into zero awards, and she was left as the only one of the best film candidates who did not receive a consolation statuette. Another veteran, David Fincher, must have had a similar anger, who saw how the 10 nominations for ‘Mank’ were left in two minor mentions, production design and photography. How would it be the thing that even ‘Tenet’, who only opted for two technicians, was given visual effects.

“See our movie on the biggest screen you can find,” said the producer and star of ‘Nomadland’, Frances McDormand, who also won the Oscar for best actress. It was the distillation in plain words of the message that the Academy had sent as a prize: Oscars are for movies released on the big screen. Or, in another way, that Netflix and Disney (because ‘Nomadland’ is Fox for all intents and purposes, even if it was bought by the mouse giant) will have to wait another year for an ‘original’ of theirs to win the main Oscar.

The night of the records

The 93rd edition of the Oscars, that of the pandemic and the return to ‘normality’, became that of records. Anthony Hopkins goes down in history as the oldest Oscar winner, having triumphed yesterday at age 83. Another veteran, Glenn Close, marked a milestone difficult to overcome, although in this case to his regret. The interpreter has eight nominations and zero awards. Yesterday another old woman took him away, Youn Yuh-jung, the grandmother of ‘Minari’. At least both actresses starred in the two – and only – moments of the night. The Korean did it with a brilliant speech and after flirting with Brad Pitt, who gave her the Oscar, and Close won the award for the actress with the best humor after scoring a ‘perreo’ to the rhythm of rap.

In addition, Chloé Zhao became the second woman in history to win for best director, after Kathryn Bigelow. And of course in the first female director born in Beijing raising the statuette. The filmmaker was also opting for the Oscar for best adapted screenplay – ‘El padre’ took it off – and editing – the victory of ‘Sound of metal’ was surprised -; but seeing the smile he had after the ceremony, he did not seem to care that he had not achieved the ‘big four’.

The academics also gave the bell by awarding the scripts of two debutants. In addition to the aforementioned libretto of ‘The father’, by Florian Zeller, the British Emerald Fennell won the statuette to Best Original Screenplay for ‘A Promising Young Woman’. By the way, Zeller thanked him from Paris, but not from his home and via ‘Zoom’ as in the Golden Globes, but rather on a rooftop where all the lights of the city could be seen. The contrast of the Parisian night against the sun that still bathed the exteriors of Union Station, the improvised home of the Oscars in this ‘post-pandemic’ gala, was striking. A sample that you can make a gala without falling into the ‘amateur’ thing of having the nominees lying on the sofa at home.

It was the great success of the 93rd edition of the Oscars, to show that there is a future in live events, with everyone gathered and celebrating the cinema. And, unfortunately, it was also the realization that Sir Anthony Hopkins did not feel like staying up all night to see if they gave him his Oscar.

Oscar winners 2021

Best film

Nomadland

Best director

Chloé Zao (Nomaland)

Best Leading Actor

Frances McDormand (Nomadland)

Best Leading Actor

Anthony Hopkins (Father)

Best Supporting Actor

Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah)

Best Supporting Actress

Yuh Jung Youn (Minari)

Best Costume Design

The mother of blues

Best soundtrack

Soul

Best short film

Two distant strangers (Travon Free y Martin Desmond Roe)

Better sound

Sound of metal

Best Adapted Screenplay

The father

Best Original Screenplay

A promising young woman

Best Animated Film

Soul

Best photography

Mank

Best documentary

My octopus Teacher

Best Documentary Short

Colette

Best Editing

Sound of metal

Best international film

Another Round, by Thomas Vinterberg. (Denmark)

Makeup and hairdressing

The mother of blues

Best Original Song

Fight for you (Judas and the black messiah)

Production design

Mank

Special effects

Tenet

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