26 April 2021 - Oscars 2021
Historic wins for Nomadland – and surprise victory for Anthony Hopkins – at odd Oscars
Benjamin Lee (The Guardian, 26/04/2021)
During an unusual Oscars ceremony, on-the-road drama Nomadland triumphed with a win for best picture, best actress and a historic victory for Chloé Zhao, becoming the first woman of colour to be named best director and only the second woman ever.
The film, starring Frances McDormand as a woman living out of her van and interacting with real-life nomads, took home the top trophy near the end of a delayed night and a delayed season amid the pandemic. The ceremony played out in person but with safety precautions and a modest guest list.
A Restrained but Revitalized 2021 Oscars Ceremony
Richard Brody (The New Yorker, 26/04/2021)
The auteur theory of Oscar broadcasts asserted itself last night with a giddy vengeance. The show’s co-producer, Steven Soderbergh, had promised something unusual in this unusual year, and he delivered an idiosyncratic Oscar broadcast, whose blend of peculiarity and forced gaiety fulfilled his plan for a movie-like experience. In lieu of the usual venue of the Dolby Theatre, where nominees and their guests sit elbow to elbow in serried ranks, this year’s edition was held in Los Angeles’s cavernous Union Station. For the occasion, it was converted into a ballroom-like setting that allowed for the necessary social distancing. The resulting affair was intimate: presenters stood not on a stage in front of the room but on the floor of the multilevel array of round tables and banquettes, among the nominees and guests. The effect, from the start, was low-key and relatively informal, despite the star power that filled the room and the snazzy gowns and suits and styles that adorned it. The paradoxical tone, of glamour looking at itself in the face and wondering what are we all doing here, meshed aptly with the modest yet starry movies that the Academy celebrated, principally “Nomadland,” which took Best Picture, Directing, and Actress in a Leading Role.
The Oscars Promised To Be A Movie, And Boy, Did It Have A Twist Ending
Marina Fang (The Huffington Post, 26/04/2021)
The producers of Sunday’s Oscars promised the pandemic ceremony would be something different: a movie. It sounded corny, but after the longest and strangest awards season ever and months of Zoom acceptance speeches, it seemed like it could be a fun experiment.
And it was a lot of fun — until it wasn’t, delivering a twist ending that was, in fact, befitting of a movie, albeit a deeply unsatisfying one. In by far the biggest surprise in recent award show history, Anthony Hopkins won the Best Actor Oscar for “The Father.” All through awards season, the single most certain prediction that movie fans and awards season prognosticators could make was that the Best Actor trophy was expected to go to the late Chadwick Boseman for his towering final performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Oscars couldn't have failed harder if it tried
Wenlei Ma (New Zealand Herald, 26/04/2021)
The Oscars could not have stuffed up that final moment more if they tried. Honestly.
For once, the post-Oscars recriminations wash-up isn't on some baffling decision made by the voters – or by Faye Dunaway – but by the people who were running the ceremony.
The producers, including director Steven Soderbergh, were so convinced of the late Chadwick Boseman's win for his role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, they took the unprecedented step of swapping the category running order around.