Oscars 2021

The Best and Worst Moments of the 2021 Oscars

In between a cinematic entrance and a letdown of an ending, there were breakthroughs, heartbreaks and a wolf howl. It was a strange night. Watch the pictures below!

  • The 93rd Academy Awards were already shaping up to be unusual — delayed because of the pandemic and featuring movies that, for the most part, bypassed theaters for streaming.
  • Producers, including Steven Soderbergh and Stacey Sher, were asked to shake up the show. That they did, setting it at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and upending the order of awards so that best picture was announced earlier than usual and best actor was the last to be revealed.
  • While “Nomadland” won best picture as pundits predicted, hopes were high for a sweep by actors of color, only to be dashed late in the evening.

Most Cinematic Entrance

Regina King heading into the ceremony on Sunday night.Credit...ABC

The opening set expectations high: The camera followed the first presenter, Regina King, making her way through the depot in a long, tracking shot that continued to trail her as she wound through the banquet-style tables, surrounded by guests who had all been Covid-tested, tested and tested again, for good measure. King, whose directorial debut, “One Night in Miami,” was nominated for three Oscars, served as a tour guide to a scene that almost made us forget we were in the middle of a pandemic. — Sarah Bahr

Most Unexpected Trendsetters

From left, Colman Domingo, Paul Raci and Leslie Odom Jr.Credit...Pool photos by Chris Pizzello

On the red, er pink, carpet, it was the men who raised the bar: Colman Domingo in tone-on-tone hot pink, Leslie Odom Jr. in all gold (really channeling the statuette there), and Paul Raci in all black. Including the nails. — Vanessa Friedman

Most Ambitious Dressers

Andra Day, left, and Carey Mulligan before the show.Credit...Pool photos by Chris Pizzello

Both Carey Mulligan, nominated for best actress for “Promising Young Woman,” and Andra Day, nominated in the same category for “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” tried to manifest an Oscar win in gold. Take home a statuette or just dress like one. — Vanessa Friedman

Biggest Breakthroughs

Chloé Zhao with her Oscars for directing and producing “Nomadland.”Credit...Pool photo by Chris Pizzello

This year’s Academy Award nominees were historically among the event’s more diverse lineups: Seventy women earned nods across 23 categories, and nine people of color were nominated for their acting. And that led to a few history-making victories:

Chloé Zhao, the Chinese-born filmmaker behind “Nomadland,” was the first woman of color to win — and to be nominated — for best director. (As a producer of “Nomadland,” Zhao also won best picture.)

Yuh-Jung Youn, named best supporting actress for her turn as the wry grandmother in “Minari,” was the first Korean actor to win an Oscar.

Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson, who worked on “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” were the first Black women to win best makeup and hairstyling (and to be nominated for the category). “I know that one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking,” Neal said in her acceptance speech. “It will just be normal.”

Anthony Hopkins, at 83, became the oldest actor to win best actor. He won for his performance as a man suffering from dementia in “The Father.”

Ann Roth, who won for the costume designs in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” became the oldest woman to ever be awarded an Oscar. She is 89.

And finally, a losing streak: Glenn Close, nominated for supporting actress for “Hillbilly Elegy,” hit a less exciting milestone: After eight fruitless nods, she has tied the record held by Peter O’Toole for most acting nominations without a win. — Nancy Coleman

Most Heartbreaking Speech

Thomas Vinterberg with his statuette for best international feature.Credit...ABC

Thomas Vinterberg, the director of the best international feature winner, “Another Round,” grabbed the audience by the throat with a heartbreaking speech that belied the joy captured in his film. Vinterberg dedicated the victory to his daughter Ida, who was killed by a distracted driver shortly after production began. She was 19 and had been slated to appear in the movie. “We wanted to make a film that celebrates life,” Vinterberg said onstage. “

And four days into shooting, the impossible happened. An accident on a highway took my daughter away — someone looking into a cellphone. And we miss her, and I love her.”

He explained that two months before the shoot, she had sent him a letter “glowing with excitement” about the project. He added, “We ended up making this movie for her, as her monument. So, Ida, this is a miracle that just happened. And you’re a part of this miracle. Maybe you’ve been pulling some strings somewhere, I don’t know.” — Nicole Sperling

Worst Timing for a Funny Bit

Well into the show’s third hour, the producers staged their first genuine comedy bit of the night: a music quiz in which Lil Rel Howery asked stars about songs that were Oscar-nominated, Oscar-winning or Oscar-ignored. The players included Daniel Kaluuya, Andra Day and Glenn Close. It seemed like a lot to ask of Close, who had already lost a record-tying eighth nomination, but she was game for a challenge about “Da Butt,” a go-go hit from “School Daze,” even demonstrating the dance to everyone’s delight. If only the bit hadn’t arrived when the show was already running late, prolonging the strange evening even more. — Stephanie Goodman

Weirdest Ending

The best actor winner, Anthony Hopkins, was absent, so Joaquin Phoenix, last year’s best actor winner, accepted on his behalf. Credit...ABC

It felt like walking out of the arena after a 10-time state champion in basketball sinks a last-second shot to beat an underdog in overtime. The producers decided the best-actor category should take the final slot of the night this year, instead of best picture, then Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) upset Chadwick Boseman and the Oscars just … ended. Hopkins wasn’t even at the ceremony to accept, and the credits rolled on a shellshocked theater. Boseman, who died of cancer in August at age 43, had been nominated for his final film appearance, in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” It was a performance that had been honored all awards season (there were wins at the Golden Globes and other ceremonies), and his victory seemed a given until recent days when pundits started reporting a surge in interest in Hopkins. But there was no Hollywood ending here. — Sarah Bahr

Source: NY Times

Bruno Wahrmann Lockhart

Digital Media Expert. Journalist. Former TV host. University of San Diego Alumni. 6′ 4″ but my mom still calls me 'tiny'+ info

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