NOMADLAND Big Winner At 2021 Academy Awards


A tale of migrant American workers, Nomadland, was the big winner at tonight’s 93rd annual Academy Awards. The film took home three Oscar statues out of the six categories it was nominated in, winning Best Actress for Frances McDormand, Best Director for Chloe Zhao and Best Picture. Zhao has earned herself a place in Academy Awards history by becoming the first Asian woman and only the second woman ever to win the Best Director Oscar.

But the biggest upset of the evening happened in the Best Actor category with Anthony Hopkins winning for his work in The Father rather than the Oscar going to Chadwick Boseman. After sweeping through the awards season winning at the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice and the Screen Actors Guild, most observers concluded that the late actor was a lock for winning for his final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

The upset was amplified by the fact that for the first time in Oscar history, the Best Picture was not the last award handed out. Instead it was the Best Actor category, as if the producers of the show were hedging on Boseman winning and thus ending the show on an emotional high note. No matter what the reason, it was a bad decision, amplified by the Hopkins win over Boseman.

A number of films nominated all managed to win two categories a piece – Judas And The Black Messiah (Daniel Kaluuya for Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Song), Sound Of Metal (Best Sound and Film Editing) and Pixar’s Soul (Best Animated Feature and Original Score).

Minari‘s Best Supporting Actress winner Yuh-Jung Youn expressed a sweet astonishment over her win. “How can I win over Glenn Close?” she said in her acceptance speech. “We can not compete against each other. I’m just lucky tonight.”

If the Oscars had any great upset this year, it was for the film that started off the awards season with most Academy Award nominations – Mank. Out of the ten categories that the film was nominated in, it only took home two awards, in the Production Design and Cinematography categories. Still, that is twice as many Oscars than won by Citizen Kane, the film written by Mank‘s subject Howard Mankowicz.

This year’s Academy Awards were definitely one for the history books. The landscape of potential nominees was vastly different than in years past. Due to theater closures stemming from the coronavirus, many bigger budgeted films that could have been contenders in the awards season had they been released. Many of these films, such as the adaption of the Broadway hit In The Heights and Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, have been held back for release later this year, making next year’s Oscars race something to watch.

Here is the complete list of winners –

Best Picture

Best Director
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Anthony Hopkins – The Father

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Frances McDormand – Nomadland

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

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

Best Original Screenplay
Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Father – Christopher Hampton & Florian Zeller

Best International Feature Film
Denmark – Another Round

Best Documentary Feature
My Octopus Teacher

Best Animated Feature Film

Best Animated Short Film
If Anything Happens I Love You

Best Cinematography

Best Costume Design
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Documentary Short Subject

Best Film Editing
Sound of Metal

Best Live-Action Short Film
Two Distant Strangers

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Original Score

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

Best Production Design

Best Sound
Sound of Metal

Best Visual Effects

Avatar für Rich Drees
About Rich Drees 7034 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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