Film News: It’s a ‘Nomadland’ Night at 93rd Academy Awards

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CHICAGO – In a low key and later-in-the-awards season ceremony due to the pandemic, the 93rd Academy Awards took place on Sunday, April 25th, 2021. ‘Nomadland,’ the story of on-the-road drifters in the U.S., scored Best Picture, Best Director (for Chloé Zhao) and Best Actress (Frances McDormand).

The Oscar ceremony seemed to reflect the overall downturn due to the 2020 pandemic year – most movie theaters were closed – and the film industry did major adjustments in screening availabilities for their nominated movies. Netflix, for example, won seven overall Oscars as a result. The evening was also a win for women in film, as Zhao became the second female Best Director in Oscar history, and the first woman of color to score the prize.

CZ
Chloé Zhao of ‘Nomadland’ Accepts Best Director Oscar
Photo credit: ABC-TV

The major acting Oscars yielded many surprises. Although earlier award season pointed toward ‘Nomadland’ and Chloé Zhao for their honors, the acting awards were upended by the selection of Frances McDormand for Best Actress, besting early favorite Andra Day for “The United States vs. Billie Holliday,” and Anthony Hopkins for Best Actor (more on that below). Daniel Kaluuya, the odds-on favorite, won the Best Supporting Actor trophy for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” And veteran South Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung was honored as Best Supporting Actress for “Minari,” and was the first Korean actor to win in Oscar history.

The show itself was presented without a host or orchestra, with a pace-killing emphasis on acceptance speeches. Regina King – the director of 2020’s “One Night in Miami” – kicked off the night with an intriguing walk through the Union (train) Station of Los Angeles, and nominees were socially distanced in the art deco station made to look like a supper club. Other nominees were seated at the nearby Dolby Theatre, the usual location of the Oscars.

The order in the big awards at the end of the evening (Best Actor, Actress and Picture) were reversed, with Best Picture preceding Best Actress and Best Actor, due to the anticipated emotional punch of the late Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) winning Best Actor. However, the Oscar went to no-show Anthony Hopkins for “The Father,” and the ceremony curtain came down abruptly and symbolically appropriate for the 2020 film year.

The full list of winners for the 93rd Academy Awards are as follows ...

BEST PICTURE
“Nomadland”

BEST ACTOR
Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”

BEST ACTRESS
Francis McDormand, “Nomadland”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Youn Yuh-jung, “Minari”

DIRECTING
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
“Soul”

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“The Father”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“Promising Young Woman"

“Noma"
2021 Oscar Winner for Best Picture, ‘Nomadland’
Photo credit: Searchlight Pictures & HULU

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“My Octopus Teacher”

INTERNATIONAL FILM
“Another Round”

ORIGINAL SONG
FIGHT FOR YOU from “Judas and the Black Messiah”

ORIGINAL SCORE
“Soul”

ANIMATED SHORT
“If Anything Happens, I Love You”

LIVE ACTION SHORT
“Two Distant Strangers”

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
“Collette”

FILM EDITING
“Sound of Metal”

SOUND
“Sound of Metal”

PRODUCTION DESIGN
“Mank”

VISUAL EFFECTS
“Tenet”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
“Mank”

MAKEUP AND HAIR STYLING
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

COSTUME DESIGN
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Editor, Film Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2021 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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