Best Picture

Best Directing
Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Original Screenplay
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Best Adapted Screenplay
Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller, The Father

Best Cinematography
Erik Messerschmidt, Mank

Best Film Editing
Mikkel E. G. Nielsen, Sound of Metal

Best Animated Feature Film

Best Animated Short Film
If Anything Happens I Love You

Best Live-Action Short Film
Two Distant Strangers

Best International Feature Film
Another Round

Best Documentary Feature
My Octopus Teacher

Best Documentary Short Subject

Best Original Score
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste, Soul

Best Original Song
“Fight For You,” Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Sound
Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh, Sound of Metal

Best Costume Design
Ann Roth, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Production Design
Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale, Mank

Best Visual Effects
Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher, Tenet

This year’s Oscars will certainly be remembered for a variety of reasons. Fits right in line with the year that was 2020. The ceremony itself was a different kind of broadcast. For the third year in a row, the show was without a host, which continues to be a misstep as we need that singular voice or voices to take us through the show. The ceremony was held at the Union Station Los Angeles in order to comply to COVID social distancing regulations. The producing team cut out a majority of the “entertainment” of the ceremony. I would assume this is because they couldn’t do a big opening number, the Oscar nominated song performances aired before the awards as a pre-recorded segments, and the producers cut out a variety of the montages, film clips, and standard comedy bits. There was one comedy bit with Lil Rel Howry going around asking if iconic film songs won the Oscar. Clearly, the producers were milking for time and needed to fill it but then it felt really random given that wasn’t the tone of the night. This also provided a chance for Glenn Close to dance to “Da Butt” from Spike Lee’s School Daze. I had no problems with a variety of these measures to trim the fat and keep the overall runtime down. There was something refreshing about the show for the most part as it felt more intimate, down to Earth, and I felt a strong sense of a community of artists coming together than I usually feel at the Oscars.

The producing team then gambled with taking the order of the awards in a different direction. It was strange to see the Directing Oscar handed out so early, but the biggest miscalculation was not ending on Best Picture. The biggest awarded of the night was third to last. While it was no surprise that Nomadland won both Picture and Director, it then led to one of the most anticlimactic endings of the Oscars to date. It was clear that the producers banked on ending the night on Best Actor being awarded to Chadwick Boseman. His widow was there and it would have been a touching way to end the night celebrating Boseman’s legacy to film. Last year’s Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix read Anthony Hopkins’ name instead of Boseman as the big winner. While some pundits thought Hopkins had some late-season momentum, it was still believed Boseman was set to take home the award. Hopkins stayed back home in Wales and wasn’t present to accept the award, so the ceremony ended without a big celebration or speech. It was a reminder that Best Picture definitely needs to be saved for the end.

Hopkins’ win wasn’t the only surprise of the night as Best Actress was awarded to Frances McDormand for her performance as Fern in Nomadland. While she won the BAFTA, many thought this would go to SAG winner Viola Davis or Critics Choice winner Carey Mulligan. It’s certainly the most subtle and nuanced role of the five nominees, and had McDormand take home her third acting Oscar on top of winning one as a producer for Nomadland. The Oscars have diversity issues that they continually work on, but if Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman had won, all four acting winners would have been people of color with Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah) and Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari) winning Supporting Actor and Actress.

Another big surprise of the night came with Best Original Score. Many people saw this as a race between twelve-time nominee Diane Warren and Leslie Odom Jr. I had predicted Odom to have the edge, but neither of the won losing to H.E.R’s “Fight For You” from Judas and the Black Messiah.

Here’s hoping the Academy took note of what worked, what didn’t work, and how the voting and winners can evolve for next year’s ceremony.

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Hey, I’m Paul, thank you for checking out my site and following me in my love for all things film and entertainment .


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