Oscars 2021 Wrap-Up: Nomadland Wins During Unconventional Ceremony

The 93rd annual edition of the Academy Awards occurred last night, while most of the world was still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike the Emmys and Golden Globes, which had most of the winners accept virtually, the Oscars were held during a socially distanced ceremony held at Los Angeles' Union Station. With Steven Soderbergh producing, everything about the ceremony was unconventional, ranging from the cinematic style of the opening and the usual orchestra being replaced by DJing by Questlove.

The big winner of the night was Chloé Zhao's Nomadland, with the filmmaker being the first woman of colour to win the Oscar for Best Director. The film also won the Oscars for Best Actress for and Best Picture. The latter resulted in many viewers scratching their heads, as Best Picture was presented before the lead acting roles, instead of its traditional position at the end of the show. The most logical explanation is that Soderbergh and the other producers seemed to be setting up an emotional posthumous Best Actor win for Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. However, the Best Actor trophy went instead to for The Father, who was not in attendance, resulting in the ceremony coming to an abrupt and awkward end (Hopkins would later make his speech via Instagram from his home in Wales). Other big winners included winning Best Supporting Actor for Judas and the Black Messiah, becoming the first Korean to win Best Supporting Actress for Minari, Emerald Fennell winning Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman, and Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller winning Best Adapted Screening for The Father, based on Zeller's own play.

Despite me having not seen most of the nominated films, resulting in a lot of guesswork, I still ended up doing fairly well with my predictions, as I correctly guessed 15 out of 23 awards. Some of my biggest misses included predicting Nomadland to Best Adapted Screenplay and Cinematography, with the awards going to The Father and Mank respectively. However, I did luck out big time as I correctly predicted the short films Two Distant Strangers and If Anything Happens I Love You to win, despite having seen neither. I correctly predicted H.E.R. to win for the song “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah.

Given the current state of the world, this year's Oscars had a passable presentation, however I don't really want Steven Soderbergh to return and I would like to go back to the more traditional presentation next year. Sometimes it seems like the Academy is too concerned with changing things up to attract television ratings, that it ends up distracting from celebrating the best in cinema. If anything, I do not want to see another In Memorium segment go by in fast-foward.

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This post was proofread by Grammarly