The 93rd Academy Awards: Best, Worst and Strangest Moments
Like most ceremonies of the past year that were upended by the pandemic, the 93rd Academy Awards were a big question mark for the longest time. We all had questions - Was the event going to happen, and if so, would it be virtual?
Despite the commotion surrounding the much-hyped event, stars gathered together at Union Station in Los Angeles, with some parts also taking place at the Dolby Theatre to celebrate Hollywood’s magnificent movie-making of the past year at the 2021 Oscars on 25th April.
The event organizers ensured all COVID-19 safety protocols like vaccinations, testing, distancing, and masks when the cameras were abided even though the event was mask-less. The night was filled with strange moments but wasn’t entirely without its highlights.
Here are the best, worst, and the strangest moments from the 93rd Academy Awards.
The Best Moments
Union Station’s Incredible Transformation
When news broke out that the 93rd Academy Awards were going to be held in Los Angeles’ Union Station and not in its longtime home at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, it caused quite the buzz.
However, on 25th April, when we saw the space turn into a chic and classy palace with Art Deco-inspired set, beautiful outdoor terraces and fountains, and the opening walk through the beautiful ticket hall, we knew Hollywood could never disappoint its viewers.
Regina King’s Outstanding Opening
For the third consecutive year, the Oscars had no formal host.
Nevertheless, the night got off to a strong start with Regina King confidently striding through Union Station in downtown Los Angeles in a knockout baby blue butterfly gown. The actress got on stage and delivered a monologue that was equally heartfelt and celebratory.
Celebration of Women
This year’s Oscar was all about girl power. Yuh-Jung Youn took home the Best Supporting Actress award for Minari, becoming the first Korean actor to win an Oscar. Chloé Zhao became the first woman of color (and second woman ever) to win Best Director. Emerald Fennell became the first woman to win Best Original Screenplay since Diablo Cody won for Juno 13 years ago for Promising Young Women.
Meanwhile, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson made history as the first Black women to win the Oscar for Best Makeup & Hairstyling. The two gave a powerful speech about how Black women are under-represented in this category and brought home a crucial point about how these wins should be regular and not historic.
The Worst Moments
The previous years’ Oscars have proved to viewers that they definitely know how to put on a great show, but this year’s opening was lackluster and missing the pizazz. The award show lacked deftly edited montage, entertaining monologues, and musicals performed by talented musicians.
Never-Ending Acceptance Speeches
This year Oscar producers took a different route by allowing winners to go all out with their speeches instead of corralling them like previous years. Unfortunately, this counterintuitive tactic backfired with winners rapidly blurting a laundry list of names instead of striving for a more powerful message. The speeches ended up becoming notoriously long-winded and dull.
Overall, a Snooze Fest
That's the worst TV ending since "Game of Thrones" — Matt Brennan (@thefilmgoer) April 26, 2021
The ceremony this year tried to reinvent the tired awards show formulas and create a more intimate ambiance, but without the witty quips, savage social commentary, and musical numbers, the entire show felt stiff and dull with fans and critics alike claiming it was the “most boring Oscars” ever.
The Strangest Moment
The Anticlimactic Ending
It was apparent from the very beginning that the 2021 Oscars would be an unusual ceremony—but no one anticipated the most anti-climatic end of the night on the Best Actor award.
The Best Picture is usually reserved as the last award of the night, but when Rita Moreno took the dais and announced Best Picture, many were confused.
Many suspected that the switch-up was because the producers were saving the best for last—with late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman honored with the Best Actor award for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
However, the night ended most bizarrely when a visibly uninterested Joaquin Phoenix announced that the Oscar went to Anthony Hopkins for his role in The Father. Hopkins was nowhere to be seen, and the camera then cut Questlove, manning his DJ booth, who gave a short speech, and then it was over.
Truly the most spectacular anti-climax to an awards show of all time. Joaquin Phoenix doesn't want to be there giving an award to someone who isn't there. Like the ending of a New Hollywood movie from 1973. Perfect. — Ashley Clark (@_Ash_Clark) April 26, 2021
The ending was perhaps far worse than 2017’s envelope switcheroo debacle.