The Oscars have finally set an impressive bar, with a show that included diversity, awarding thought provoking and emotive performances the win.
Chloé Zhao’s took home the Oscar for Nomadland. Her nuanced meditation on grief and the damaged American dream, won Academy Awards for best picture, director and actress at Sunday night’s ceremony. Anthony Hopkin was the Best Actor winner, upsetting the industry favorite the late Chadwick Boseman industry pool for the win. Anthony Hopkins has been lauded for months by critics for his performance in The Father, while it is no surprise it was sad that it was the brilliant Chadwick’s final chance at the academy’s greatest honor. Despite not winning, Chadwick is the winner of our hearts as his roles filled an incredible portrayal of the human condition during his short time on Earth with us. Frances McDorman took home Best Actress for Nomadland, the third time she has won the award. Nomadland‘s win gives Searchlight Pictures its fourth best-picture prize in eight years, an astounding winning streak unrivaled by any other specialty film company. Yuh-Jung Youn took home best supporting actress for Minari. She was the first Korean performer to win an acting Oscar, and only the second Asian woman; the first was Miyoshi Umeki, a Japanese-born American actress who was recognized in 1958 for playing a bride who encounters racism in Sayonara.
In other Industry firsts Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first Black women to win the makeup and hairstyling Oscar, a prize they shared with Sergio Lopez-Rivera for their work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Chole Zhao, who is Chinese, became the second woman, but first woman of color, to win the award for best director. (Kathryn Bigelow was celebrated in 2010 for directing The Hurt Locker.) Soul, the Disney-Pixar film about a Black musician stuck between Earth and the afterlife, added to the celebration of diversity, winning best animated film and score. Emerald Fennell took home Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman (our personal favorite of 2021’s award season).
Netflix received its first Oscar nomination in 2014 for “The Square,” a feature documentary about the Egyptian revolution. Since then (in large part because of copious amounts of money they’ve spent on award campaigns) the streaming giant has come to dominate the nominations. Netflix had 36 this year, more than any other company, with Mank receiving 10, more than any other film. Netflix took home seven statuettes.
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