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Academy round-up: The 2021 Oscars was a weird one


By Lauren Heskin
26th Apr 2021

Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

Academy round-up: The 2021 Oscars was a weird one

Oscar® nominee Carey Mulligan arrives on the red carpet of The 93rd Oscars® at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

The biggest, funniest, strangest and most unexpected moments from last night's 2021 Oscars.

We always knew it was going to be an odd one, considering most of us haven’t seen or even heard of many of the 2021 Oscar contenders, thanks to cinema shutdowns and delayed releases.

Between that, the tight restrictions and limited numbers in attendance – just presenters, nominees and a few special guests – it was not the all-out glamour parade we have grown accustomed to.

However, there were still some big wins, plot twists and oddball moments that can only come in a live telecast of Hollywood’ elite. Here’s our round-up of the best and worst of the 2021 Oscars.

It had a surprise ending

Let’s dive straight in with the biggest and most surprising win of the night – Best Actor. The award was the last of the night, replacing the customary Best Picture award, which went to Nomadland. The move was presumably made by producers in the expectation that Chadwick Boseman would posthumously win from his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, considering his sweep of all the other major awards. The plan was to give the show an emotional sign-off and undoubtedly a magnificent speech from Chadwick’s widow, Simone Ledward Boseman.

The tiered seating system took away the smack of enforced social distancing and made everyone seem like they were relaxing on their own balconies, a musical version of a Parisian street.

It was diverse… ish

Chloé Zhao became just the second woman and first woman of colour to win Best Director, for Nomadland, which swept the top categories, also winning Best Picture and Best Actress for lead Frances McDormand, her third Oscar.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/COHihndjuR3/

However, in a year that could have seen all the top acting award go to people of colour, the supporting acting winners were where the main diversity was found. Youn Yuh-jung won the Best Supporting Actress award for her portrayal as the grandmother in Minari and Daniel Kaluuya took home the Best Supporting Actor trophy for his work in Jesus and his Black Messiah.

Youn Yuh-jung is all of us meeting Brad Pitt

Speaking of the Best Supporting roles, they also gave two of the best speeches in a night of long-winded thank-yous – Oscars producers opted not to play off the winners this year with music. Big mistake, huge.

Youn Yuh-jung really stole everyone’s heart with her win, presented by Brad Pitt, whose production company had produced Minari but she had clearly never met. Flustered and blushing by the time she reached the podium and Pitt had moved off stage, she turned to him for her first words. “Mr. Pitt, finally…nice to meet you! Where were you while we were filming? It’s a great honour to meet you.”

“Let’s celebrate life, man. We’re breathing. We’re walking. It’s incredible. Life’s incredible! My mom met my dad. They had sex. It’s amazing!”. The feed then cut to Kayuula’s mom and sister watching in London and based on their reaction I’d expect Kayuula got a good tongue-lashing before a word of congratulations.

You can catch the full show tonight on RTÉ Two from 9.35pm.