a little less glam with a sprinkle of glum

And that’s a wrap for the 93rd Academy Awards – Oscars 2021.

What promised to be a glitzy, star-studded event where “sunglasses may be required” was a little underwhelming in the end.

“In keeping with our awards-show-as-a-movie approach, we’ve assembled a truly stellar cast of stars,” show producers, Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh said in a statement released leading into the awards.

“There’s [going to be] so much wattage here, sunglasses may be required.”

Honestly, after that statement I expected a little more but was left feeling a little, ‘meh!’.

While they did the best they could given the circumstances (looking at you, Rona!), it certainly wasn’t the Oscars show we’re typically accustomed to.

A very limited red carpet, no live performances, a limited and socially distanced audience, no host, an In Memoriam segment that seemed a little rushed – it wasn’t quite the extravaganza of years gone by.

But totally understandable given Covid-19.

Stand out moments

For me, a few stand out moments at the 93rd Oscars were:

  • Daniel Kaluuya, who won Best Supporting Actor for his role in ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’, mentioning his parents having sex in his acceptance speech: “My mum and dad had sex and here I am” (I paraphrase). Classic.
  • Frances McDormand, who won Best Actress for her role in ‘Nomadland’ is officially my hero. Clearly as someone who is more about her work and less about the awards and the red carpet glam, on winning the Oscar she proceeded to give the shortest acceptance speech in Oscar history (don’t quote me on that). It was something about karaoke, a sword (her sword being her work), and her love for what she does. A three-second speech and then she leaves. No time for BS. BRAVO! Speech of the night!
  • The animated feature, ‘Soul’ won Best Original Score. I love Jon Batiste, so this makes me happy. In fact, I’m listening to his latest album on Spotify as we speak. In his acceptance speech he pointed out the fact that music is made up of a total of 12 notes and yet there is so much great music out there (again, I paraphrase). And yes, while there is more to music than that – he wasn’t giving a full dissertation on music 😉 – I found that to be a pretty cool little fact.
  • The awards were briefly interrupted with a music trivia segment featuring actor Lil Rey Howery and Questlove, and a twerk from Glenn Close. Howery quizzed the audience on a bit of movie trivia and while initially it was a little bit, CRINGE, the moment of the night came from Close who not only correctly identified the 1988 single, ‘Da Butt’, but also demonstrated the booty dance. Hilarious. Glenn Close – you are also my hero.
  • South Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘Minari’ and I swear she was more excited about meeting Brad Pitt than winning the Oscar. “Finally, nice to meet you, where were you when we were filming?” she quipped.

As predicted (from all the talk and the awards leading in, to the Oscars), Emerald Fennell won Best Original Screenplay for her movie, ‘the rape-revenge satire’, ‘Promising Young Woman’, which she also directed.

What I didn’t know is that ‘Promising Young Woman’ was filmed in just 23 days. And Fennell was seven months pregnant during filming. Say, what?

‘Nomadland’ took out Best Picture and the film’s director, Chloe Zhao took home the Best Director gong.

This makes Zhao the second woman ever to win an Oscar in this category. She is also the first woman of colour and the first woman of Asian descent to win the Oscar for Best Director.  

“I have always found goodness in the people I met, everywhere I went in the world. So, this is for anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves and to hold on to the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult it’s [sic] to do that,” Zhao said in her acceptance speech.

Source: Rolling Stone, YouTube, 26 April 2021.

Surprisingly (well, surprising to me), while I thought Chadwick Boseman would win a posthumous Oscar for his performance in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’, it was the legendary Sir Anthony Hopkins who took home the award for his role in ‘The Father’.

Aside from Covid-19 forcing the awards to be a little less glam and a little more glum than normal, the other change was not leaving Best Picture to last.

When the Best Picture award was announced I was like: ‘Hang on, did I miss the Best Actor and Best Actress awards?’

But I had not.

For whatever reason the show’s producers decided to mix things up.

Well, according to ‘Pedestrian‘ “the broadcast had seemingly positioned itself to end on an all-time emotional moment with the late, great Chadwick Boseman winning Best Actor“, but he did not win. Awkward.

After that it was a case of blink and you’ll miss it.

With McDormand’s three-second speech and with Hopkins not in attendance to accept his award (he wasn’t even on a video link to accept his award), the show was wrapped-up for another year at blazing pace.

It was almost as if they were running out of time on their free 40-minute Zoom call. ‘Quick … we need to wrap things up!’ Weird.

Talk about a slightly bizarre, anti-climactic ending.

For the full list of winners, click here.

x G.

P.S Leaving you with a bit of footage of the glamour of the red carpet. You are welcome. As for me, I’m hanging for the Oscar fashion wrap up by the most hilarious red carpet critic, Fashion Critical 🙂

Source: news.com.au, YouTube, 26 April 2021.

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