The 93rd edition of the Oscars have drawn to a close and it revealed some notable surprises. Looking at the 2021 Academy Awards winners list, streaming titles walked away with several statuettes.
With the pandemic changing the content consumption, it is not surprising to see the Academy acknowledge this paradigm shift. Due to Covid-19, the organisation had changed the eligibility criteria to allow films that made their debut on streaming services instead of theatres.
This year’s selection of nominees are hailed as the most diverse ever with multiple nominations to civil rights films, persons of colour, and women. A record 70 women were nominated in 76 categories this year.
The Big Winners
Nomadland emerged as the biggest winner at the 93rd Academy Award ceremony held in person on April 25, 2021, at the historic Union Station in Los Angeles and simultaneously at the traditional Dolby Theatre home in Hollywood. The film bagged three of the big five awards including Best Film. It was nominated in six categories.
Chloé Zhao, who went home with the Best Director award for Nomadland, became the first woman of colour and first Asian woman to win in this category. She won the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Directors Guild of America honours in the same category as well.
Zhao is only the second woman ever to win the award for direction. Her win comes 11 years after Katheryn Bigelow was honoured for Hurt Locker. Besides Zhao, Emerald Fennell was nominated for Best Director for Promising Young Woman making it the first time that two women were nominated in this category the same year.
It was also a fabulous night for Netflix. The streaming platform won in seven of its total 36 nominations, including for films Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Mank.
Acting Talents Honoured
The Academy also paid tribute to the artists, including Sean Connery, Kim Ki-Duk, Irrfan Khan, Kelly Preston and Chadwick Boseman among others, the world lost in the past year.
In other honours, Tyler Perry won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his “generosity toward those often overlooked and his steadfast commitment to social justice.”
In the acting categories, Frances McDormand won the award for Best Actress for Nomadland. This is her third Oscar win in the category, only behind Katharine Hepburn’s record of four.
British acting great Anthony Hopkins won Best Actor for The Father. The 83-year-old is the oldest ever winner of an Academy Award in acting beating the record set by Christopher Plummer, who won for Beginners in 2011 at the age of 82. This is Hopkins’ second acting Oscar; he previously won for his unforgettable role of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs in 1992.
This year, the Best Actor category had for the first time two actors of Asian descent — Pakistani-origin Riz Ahmed, also the first Muslim to earn the nod, for his performance in Sound of Metal and Korean American Steven Yeun for Minari.
South Korean actress Yuh-Jung Youn won the Best Supporting Actress award for Minari. She is the second Asian woman to win this acting honour after Japanese actress Miyoshi Umeki, who won in the same category in 1958 for her role in Sayonara.
For his outstanding performance in Judas and the Black Messiah, Daniel Kaluuya earned the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
Check out the complete 2021 Academy Awards winners below:
Best Picture: Nomadland
Best Director: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Best Supporting Actress: Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari
Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas And The Black Messiah
Best Original Screenplay: Promising Young Woman; Emerald Fennell
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Father; Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller
Best International Feature: Another Round (Denmark)
Best Animated Feature: Soul
Best Original Score: Soul; Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste
Best Original Song: ‘Fight For You’, Judas and the Black Messiah
Best Documentary Feature: My Octopus Teacher
Best Documentary Short: Colette
Best Live Action Short: Two Distant Strangers
Best Animated Short: If Anything Happens I Love You
Best Sound: Sound of Metal; Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh
Best Cinematography: Mank; Erik Messerschmidt
Best Costume Design: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Ann Roth
Best Film Editing: Sound of Metal; Mikkel E.G. Nielsen
Best Visual Effects: Tenet; Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson
Best Production Design: Mank; Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale