The 93rd Annual Academy Awards in Review


Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

Filmmakers and actors behind the film “Nomadland” celebrate their Oscars victories.

Elena Rouse, Co-Culture Editor

Sunday, Apr. 26 marked the 93rd Academy Awards, as nominees flocked to the red carpet in person for the first time in over a year. 

After a troubling year with a global pandemic and racial injustices across the country, the Oscars treated the night as not only an acknowledgement of the past year, but also as a celebration for the movies that got many people through it.

The event itself looked quite different from the usual luxury of the Dolby Theatre. Producers Steven Soderbergh and Stacey Sher took things to a different level, having the event take place in a new venue and switching up the usual order of awards. Due to the pandemic, only nominees and presenters could attend the ceremony held at Union Station in Los Angeles. Many nominees live streamed into the event, and performers nominated for best song pre-taped performances. The cinematography made the event look as if it was a movie itself instead of a live show. 

Regina King, actress and comedian, opened the Oscars. She did not do an opening monologue filled with jokes as is the usual protocol. Rather, she took her time to speak on the year as a whole, including what it has been like as a black woman with the recent George Floyd verdict.

“Now, I know that a lot of you people at home want to reach for your remote when you feel like Hollywood is preaching to you,” King said. “But as the mother of a Black son, I know the fear that so many live with, and no amount of fame or fortune changes that.”

The first award of the night went to “Promising Young Woman” for Best Original Screenplay, with director Emerald Fennell being the first woman in 13 years to win. Following this was the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, going to Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton for their adaptation of “The Father.”

Throughout the night, there were some noteworthy moments that people have not been able to stop talking about. Most notably was one of the more diverse nomination pools in the ceremony’s history. With nine people of color nominated for acting and 70 women gaining attention as well, the Oscars proved to be leaning towards a more progressive future. Some historical wins were Chloé Zhao, a Chinese filmmaker, for Best Director of “Nomadland” and Yu-Jung Youn for Best Supporting Actress in “Minari.” There were also some historically older winners, with Anthony Hopkins earning Best Actor and Ann Roth winning Best Costume Design, the two being 83 and 89 years old respectively.

As for acceptance speeches, Daniel Kaluuya, Thomas Vinterberg and Yuh-Jung Youn gave the most memorable ones. Kaluuya shocked audiences when he talked about his thankfulness for his parent’s procreation that created him. It also humored audiences as the cameras cut to his mother to capture her embarrassed reaction. Vinterberg, winning for best international feature, brought everyone to tears as he himself choked up onstage, dedicating his film to his late 29-year-old daughter who died earlier this year by a texting driver. Youn had the most overall talked about speech, directly talking to Brad Pitt and speaking highly of fellow nominee Glen Close, who has been nominated for eight awards and has yet to win. She also, in a sarcastic and heartwarming tone, mentioned her two sons.

“I’d like to thank my two boys, who make me go out and work,” Youn said. “This is the result, because mommy works so hard.”

The University had a moment of its own at the Oscars as well. Anthony Giaccchino, winner of Best Documentary for “Collette,” is a 1992 Villanova graduate. He was a history and German double major.

The night ended with the upset of the whole ceremony. The last award, Best Actor, went to Anthony Hopkins. This comes after much speculation that late Chadwick Boseman would win for his role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” After Joaquin  Phoenix  announced the award, the show ended abruptly, as Hopkins was not present to accept.

The Oscars, with its completely different set up due to the pandemic and movies that many have not seen for the same reason, still had its usual memorable moments and flare that makes so many tune in to watch each year.