This year’s Oscar’s awards will almost certainly be remembered for excellence in films, a long overdue recognition of nominees of color, and countless awkward moments in lieu of technical hiccups and uncomfortable pauses.
First, the lovely Regina King opened this year’s Oscar awards with a very personal acknowledgment of the verdict of the Chauvin trial. “As a mother of a Black son, I know the fear that so many live and no amount of fame or fortune changes that,” said the Oscar-winning actress and “One Night in Miami” director.
Then, Chloe Zhao makes history as the second woman, and the first woman of color, to win best director. Zhao’s film “Nomadland”, a heartfelt indie commentary on a woman holding it together during hopeless moments, encapsulated the pain that the world is still feeling from the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic. Zhao herself, a China-born woman, also faced backlash from her home country where national television censored her film, her nomination, and awards, due to an anti-nationalist sentiment interpreted in her films.
Many were shocked at the announcement of Anthony Hopkins winning Best Actor. Hopkins’ award for his performance in ‘The Father’, though worthy, was unexpected. The run of the show changed for the first time in Oscar award history, putting the Best Actor award after the traditional Best Picture award. Producers expected the late Chadwick Boseman’s final film, ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’, would earn the title, ending the Oscars on an emotional and powerful note. However, the unexpected results led to an awkward ending with actor Joaquin Phoenix accepting the award on Hopkins’ behalf due to his absence.