Features

The Oscars 2021 – Live Blog!

04:23 – Well, there you have it, folks. Thanks for staying up with us and watching a group of Hollywood A-listers wax lyrical about movies in a train station.

For a moment it looked like it was all set up for a big celebratory Chadwick Boseman finale. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. But Boseman is an actor whose impact and legacy is such that an award seems rather immaterial. His memory will live on forever.

Perhaps a rather rudimentary conclusion then to an otherwise highly unconventional Oscars night. We had twerking, pub quiz-style music rounds, wolf howling, a change up in the order of the awards and Daniel Kaluuya talking about his parents having sex with his mum sat with an audience in London.

Didn’t we say it was going to be a ceremony quite unlike any we’ve seen before?

Goodnight!


04:22- Here’s a list of the winners in full:

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”)

Best Picture

“Nomadland” (Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey and Chloé Zhao, producers)

Best Original Song

“Fight for You,” (“Judas and the Black Messiah”). Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas

Best Original Score

“Soul,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste

Best Film Editing

“Sound of Metal,” Mikkel E.G. Nielsen

Best Cinematography

“Mank,” Erik Messerschmidt

Best Production Design

“Mank.” Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”)

Best Visual Effects

“Tenet,” Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher

Best Documentary Feature

“My Octopus Teacher,” Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster

Best Documentary Short Subject

“Colette,” Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard

Best Animated Feature Film

“Soul” (Pixar)

Best Animated Short Film

“If Anything Happens I Love You” (Netflix)

Best Live-Action Short Film

“Two Distant Strangers”

Best Sound

“Sound of Metal,” Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh

Best Director

Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)

Best Costume Design

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Ann Roth

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)

Best International Feature Film

“Another Round” (Denmark)

Best Adapted Screenplay

“The Father,” Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller

Best Original Screenplay

“Promising Young Woman,” Emerald Fennell


04:20 – So that’s, sort of, it. Done. Finished. Finito. See ya later. Goodnight.

It was all kind of abrupt. Kind of weird. Kind of efficient. Kind of notably lacking in typical Oscar flamboyance.

But it worked. Kind of.


04:15 – BEST ACTOR, presented by Joaquin Phoenix, is Sir Anthony Hopkins for The Father. Who is probably off painting somewhere or doing a weird video for Twitter. Truly a legend.

And now the oldest ever winner of the award.


04:13 – Or it could just be short and sweet. No wolf howls this time.


04:12 – BEST ACTRESS goes to…

…Frances McDormand. Now tied with Meryl Streep for three Actress/Supporting Actress wins. Both are second only to Katherine Hepburn.

Only two living actors have won Oscars for lead acting: Daniel Day-Lewis and now McDormand.

In a category that included Viola Davis and Carey Mulligan, McDormand, who last won in 2017, her victory tonight may have turned a few heads. The speech is sure to be something, though.


04:11 – It’s the BEST ACTOR and ACTRESS awards to end the night.


04:08 – Nomadland wins. Frances McDormand howls like a wolf during the speech. Standard.


04:06 – It’s the bookies fave: Nomadland takes the big one. The BEST PICTURE gong goes to Zhao and co.


04:00 – But before we find out, a rare chance to see actual clips from the films in contention…


03:59 – Right then, BEST PICTURE let’s be ‘aving you!


03:58 – Deviating from the norm, it’s BEST PICTURE next. It’s usually the last award of the night. Not this year. Bit of an odd choice, really.


03:53 – The IN MEMORIAM segment now. The words ‘For The Legends We’ve Lost’ appear on screen.


03:45 – Glenn Close knowing ‘Da Butt’ from School Daze is cool. Glenn Close twerking is an Oscar all-timer.

Did she win tonight, after all?


03:44 – He’s now chatting to his Get Out co-star, and now Oscar winner, Daniel Kaluuya.

The Academy Awards has turned into a pub quiz in a train station. Sensational stuff.


03:41 – Lil Rel Howery leading a strange little musical pub quiz round with the audience.

‘Purple Rain’ by Prince plays.

Andra Day asked if the song was nominated for an Oscar, won, or neither of the above.

“It probably wasn’t and that’s some bullshit.”

The song itself didn’t win in 1984 but Prince picked up the award for Best Original Song Score that year.


03:39 – ‘Fight For You’ from Judas and the Black Messiah is victorious!


03:36 – Here we go then. BEST ORIGINAL SONG time.


03:34 – “I’m just so thankful for God for those 12 notes. That’s so dope.” Safe to say the Soul guys are enjoying this.

“I love ya even if I don’t know ya!”


03:32 – The Oscar for BEST SCORE, presented by Zendaya.

And Soul takes it.


03:30 – The music awards are being cued. Will it be a Eurovision victory party?


03:24 – Endorsements don’t get much bigger than Whoopi Goldberg. She speaks of his generosity in a short video, which he then reiterates with a touching story about a homeless woman he once gave a pair of shoes to. Congratulations Tyler Perry. Incredible work.


03:21 – Here comes Viola Davis who, like Bryan Cranston, is here to talk humanitarianism. Namely, the humanitarian work of Tyler Perry.


03:17 – And Sound of Metal wins it!


03:15 – Holy smoke, Harrison Ford takes the stage. He’s talking all things Blade Runner and it’s great.

Hands in pockets, he’s brought it back to the task he’s been brought in to do. No, not to retire some replicants, but present the award for BEST EDITING.


03:13 – BEST EDITING on the way.


03:07 – Mank Cinematographer, Erik Messerschmidt, with the kind of lockdown hair most of us can only dream of.


03:07 – It’s Mank again. From a total of ten nominations, that’s two wins so far.


03:06 – CINEMATOGRAPHY up next…


03:04 – Mank wins it! The first for David Fincher’s film this evening.


03:02 – PRODUCTION DESIGN now. And some serious stares down the camera by the Tenet team.


03:00 – You gotta feel for Glenn Close, though. Eight nominations now. Her time will surely come soon. Surely.


02:54 – It’s Yuh-Jung Youn for her role in Minari.

She has quite possibly just stolen the entire show. Flirting with Pitt. Thanking her sons for apparently forcing her to work. And the line: “How can I possibly win over Glenn Close?”

What a wonderfully crazy speech. Outstanding.


02:53 – Brad Pitt is in the building (well, the train station). Here he is to present the Oscar for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS.


02:51 – And the Oscar goes to Tenet. Announced after BEST ACTOR nominee Steven Yeun tells a delightful anecdote about his mum taking him, as a 7-year old, to see some wholesome, family content in the form of Terminator 2 in 1991.


02:50 – But first, it’s the VISUAL EFFECTS award.


02:45 – BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS coming up. Talk about a tough category to call.


02:43 – A real opportunity here for some Octopus-themed puns. What can I say? I’m a sucker for them…


02:40 – It’s those Octopus folk who take it. The underdog triumphs. My Octopus Teacher takes away BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE.


02:38 – DOCUMENTARY FEATURE looks to be a fight between an 83-year-old spy, an inspiring group of disability activists and an Octopus.

This is a very strong line-up. And an equally tough one to call.


02:33 – DOCUMENTARY SHORT now.

And the winner is Colette (released by the Guardian newspaper, no less). It’s definitely worth seeking out. The film that is. The newspaper: well, you can find that down your local Co-Op. Or Tesco. Or Spa.


02:31 – The BEST DOCUMENTARY awards incoming. All you Mollusc lovers standby…


02:28 – A kids film (that’s actually not a kids film at all, really) about music, culture and existentialism. Gorgeous, moving, and layered. An inevitable but no-less deserving winner.


02:25 – Soul wins it. Jazzy…


02:23 – BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM. Or in other words, the Pixar award.


02:20 – BEST ANIMATED SHORT goes to If Anything Happens I Love You.


02:19 – Reese Witherspoon is up to present the award, talking us through the nominees.


02:18 – BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM and BEST ANIMATED SHORT is next on the agenda.


02:14 – An emotional, sincere speech that doesn’t beat around the bush in its comment about the police in America.

And also a very audible thank you going to a guy named ‘Joey Badass’. No idea who that is, but he sounds like one hell of a bloke.


02:13 – Two Distant Strangers, a timely time-loop story about police brutality, wins the Oscar for BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT.


02:11 – Back to Ahmed for the BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT award.


02:08 – Sound of Metal takes the Oscar home. Not a huge surprise. Clue’s in the title, right?


02:06 – Riz Ahmed, nominated for BEST ACTOR tonight, takes to the stage (or is it platform 3?) to present the award for BEST SOUND.


02:03 – So, it’s been a largely jarring ceremony so far. They’re ploughing through the awards, but it’s still proving difficult to shake the overriding powerpoint-presentaton-in-a-local-village-hall feel.

Still, wins for Daniel Kaluuya and Chloé Zhao have done much to lift the spirits.


01:59 – It turns out, the answer to both questions is a resounding yes.

Chloé Zhao becomes only the second woman and the first woman of colour to win the Oscar for BEST DIRECTOR. A landmark moment!

The first award of the night for Nomadland, many people’s odds-on favourite for the BEST PICTURE crown.


01:55 – The Bonghive has arrived. The main man himself, Bong Joon-ho is here to present the award for BEST DIRECTOR from a hub in Korea.

Will we finally get a second, long overdue female winner? Will history be made?


01:53 – He’s talking about humanitarianism. Important, yes. But very, very Oscar-y…


01:49 – The dulcet tones of Bryan Cranston’s voice massage our ears. Here he is, from the empty Dolby Theater. Has he turned up there by mistake? Or has he, in fact, been stuck there throughout lockdown for the last 12 months?


01:45 – It’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the double. The film also picks up the award for BEST COSTUME.


01:45 – These international hubs bring a very Eurovision feeling to tonight’s proceedings. Perhaps it’s a sign for the BEST SONG category later on?


01:42 – Some loud shrieking erupts from the Union Station contingent as Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom wins the Oscar for HAIR & MAKEUP.


01:40 – And here to present the awards is the suitably dapper Don Cheadle.


01:38 – HAIR & MAKEUP and BEST COSTUME coming up next…


01:34 – AND a reference to his parents conceiving him. His sister laughs. His mum just looks on in bewilderment…

That speech will take some beating tonight.


01:32 – It’s a typically passionate, utterly charming acceptance speech. Did we really expect anything less?

Among others, he gives thanks to Fred Hampton, the man he so compelling portrayed in Judas and the Black Messiah.


01:31 – Daniel Kaluuya takes it! The boy from Skins is now an Oscar winner.


01:28 – Dern now going though the nominees for BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR.


01:24 – Director Thomas Vinterberg speaks candidly about the death of his daughter during the early stages of filming. It’s tonight’s first truly touching moment and a very powerful tribute from the Danish filmmaker.


01:21 – It’s Another Round for BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM.

It’s a film about four middle-aged teachers who just keep on drinking as part of an experiment. Surely it’s only fitting that the cast and crew get absolutely bladdered after this, right?

Zoom Jagerbombs, anyone?


01:19 – Last year’s BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS winner Laura Dern is here to present the award for BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM.


01:16 – The first of the acting awards, BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, is coming right up.

Many fancy Daniel Kaluuya for this one. Would be hard to disagree: as Fred Hampton, the British actor delivers an impassioned, riveting portrayal.

But not before the Oscar for BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM.


01:11 – BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY up next.

And it goes to The Father, a poignant, powerful film about the devastating impact of dementia, based on director Florian Zeller’s own 2012 stage play. He appears remotely from one of a number of hubs around the world.


01:09 And she gives a typically hectic, endearing British speech, even name dropping Saved By the Bell. Excellent.


01:07 – And it’s Emerald Fennell who wins BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY for Promising Young Woman!


01:02 – The indelible Regina King takes to the stage to get things going/plug her directorial debut One Night in Miami, which is up for three awards tonight. Also laying down the rules for tonight.


01:01 – The writing awards (Original and Adapted screenplay) to kick things off.


01:00 – Here we go then.

The coffees are in. The snacks have already been snaffled. The IKEA dining room table has been haphazardly rearranged into a makeshift desk, ready to watch an awards ceremony taking place in a train station.

Good luck to all on this strange, but no less exciting, Oscar night.


Welcome to what is, in more ways than one, a historic night for cinema’s biggest and most lavish awards ceremony. It is, for starters, the first to be taking place in a train station.

Global pandemic aside, the 2021 Oscars marks a watershed moment in the Academy Awards 93-year history. After a consorted effort to diversify its membership to include more women, people of colour and younger filmmakers, the nominations this year appear to reflect the push for greater representation.

For the first time ever, two women – Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) and Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) – are nominated in the Best Director category in the same year. Fennell is the first British woman to be nominated in the category while Zhao is the first woman of colour to be nominated. Should either of them win, they would become only the second woman in Oscar history to do so, after Kathryn Bigelow in 2009 for The Hurt Locker.

Of the 20 acting nominations, nearly half (nine) are from ethnic minority backgrounds – an all time high. Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) becomes the first ever Muslim contender in the Best Actor category and Steven Yeun (Minari) becomes the first Asian-American. Viola Davis, with her fourth Oscar nomination for her role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, becomes the most nominated black actress in history, while Sir Anthony Hopkins becomes the oldest nominee in the Best Actor category for his performance as an elderly man suffering from dementia in The Father. Leslie Odom Jr., meanwhile, is the first male to be nominated in both acting and songwriting categories in the same year for his work in Regina King’s One Night in Miami.

The Brits are well represented this year, with eight acting nominations in total. Alongside Hopkins in the Best Actor category is Gary Oldman (Mank), who won in 2017 playing Sir Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. In the Best Supporting Actor category, Daniel Kaluuya earns his second Oscar nomination for his portrayal of civil rights activist Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah. He is joined by Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7) whose mockumentary Borat Subsequent Moviefilm marks only the second time that a movie and its sequel have both been nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. The other was The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.

The films themselves also appear to reflect the progressive steps being made. From Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 to Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari, Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah to Zhao’s Nomadland, many of the Best Picture nominations this year touch on vital social issues, and tell the stories of those that in previous years might have struggled to gain mainstream recognition of this kind.

Whatever happens tonight, it promises to be an Academy Awards event quite unlike any we’ve seen before. As Oscar producers brace themselves for, we are told, all-time low TV ratings, it’s worth taking a moment to remember that, in a year that has seen the film industry affected by the pandemic in so many ways, we are not short of powerful, diverse, impressive filmmaking. Long should we celebrate it.

So grab the snacks, get guzzling the caffeine: we’re bringing you all the highlights and talking points from the 93rd Oscars. All aboard…

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