The 2021 Oscars promised to be a special and unique awards show and it sure felt like it.
Hollywood’s biggest night and the 2021 awards season just concluded with the 2021 Oscars. In a year where all the award shows had to adapt to the pandemic, this year’s Oscars had a big challenge ahead of it since it is considered the climax of awards season and was being held later than usual. Prior to the show, the producers described how this year’s Oscars was going to be different on many fronts, and the end result showed it. From a new location to surprise winners, here is what went down at the 93rd Academy Awards.
A movie awards show shot like a movie
The producers were aiming to film and present the 2021 Oscars like a movie. The show started with Regina King walking into Union Station, the new home for the Oscars this year, while stylish credits appeared as she walked. The fact that the presenters were introduced as if they were actors acting in a movie added to the movie feeling. For the entire show, there were black bars at the top and bottom of the screen to make it look like you were watching a movie. There was also a fish-eye camera at the roof of the room for a unique perspective.
Keeping with the movie theme, the Oscars also tried to focus on the nominee’s love for movies. For some of the awards, the presenters would talk about how the nominees got into the film-making industry or what movies inspired them. Some of the personalities who presented outside LA, like Bong Joon Ho, did it inside a movie cinema to further add to the film theme.
The show also switched up the order of which the awards were given. In years past, the Best Supporting Actor and Actress awards were given first, but they were switched out for Best Original and Adapted Screenplay. Best Director was also one of the first awards to be given when it usually would be one of the last. Best Picture was also switched from being the last award given after Best Lead Actor and Actress to the other way around.
Historic wins, surprises, and snubs
The 2021 Oscars also had its fair share of historic wins as well as some surprise winners. Chloé Zhao became the second woman, the first woman of color, and the first Asian woman to win Best Director. Her movie, Nomadland, was also the big winner of the night with three Oscars, the most of any movie of the night. Nomadland won Best Picture while Frances McDormand won her 4th (yes 4th) Oscar, with her win as Best Actress. H.E.R also won Best Original Song which makes her just one of a handful of Filipinos who won an Oscar.
Despite being nominated for six Oscars, The Trial of the Chicago 7 won nothing and was the only movie nominated for Best Picture in the 2021 Oscars that won no awards. The award that it had the strongest chance of getting, Best Original Screenplay, went to Promising Young Woman.
Best Documentary Feature went to Netflix’s My Octopus Teacher, which was considered an upset since most experts predicted that Collective had the win in the bag. Yuh-Jung Youn prevailed over a tight race with Maria Bakalova to win Best Supporting Actress, which in turn made her the first Asian woman to win that award in decades. And in a final shocker of the night, Anthony Hopkins won Best Lead Actor. Prior to the show, experts predicted that it was a close race between Chadwick Boseman and Anthony Hopkins with Boseman having a slight upper hand. But it was Anthony Hopkins who prevailed in the end.
Special awards and a fun game
It wasn’t all just the regular awards though as some special awards were given out and they even had time to play a game. The Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTVF) and Tyler Perry were the recipients of the Humanitarian Award, the former receiving it in the Dolby Theatre and being the first organization in the Academy’s history to receive the award.
There was also a game near the end of the show where someone would approach the Oscar nominees and ask them if the song played was an Oscar-winning song, Oscar nominee, or none of the above which proved to be a fun distraction especially when Glenn Close showed off her rap skills and dance moves.
Aside from these though, there weren’t any other surprises or special productions for the 2021 Oscars.
Bring home the movies
Overall, the 2021 Oscars proved to be an interesting event. The movie format made the show look unique but by the latter half of the show, the producers weren’t adding much to reinforce the movie feeling aside from the two black bars on the screen. The new setting in Union Station gave off a more intimate vibe and away from the grand affair in past years. It was nice to get to know more about the nominees while some of the wins truly left us off-guard. A lot more could have definitely done to the narrative to make the 2021 Oscars feel more like a movie because, at times, it just felt like a normal awards show. Congratulations to the winners though and we highly recommend that you check out the movies that won today.