US road movie ‘Nomadland’ emerged as the big winner at the 93rd Academy Awards on Monday with three major prizes, including a history-making award for director Chloe Zhao, as Hollywood celebrated its most glamorous night with a unique pandemic-era gala, reports AFP.
Zhao’s drama about marginalised Americans roaming the West in vans was honored for best picture, director and actress for Frances McDormand.No-show Anthony Hopkins pulled an upset to win best actor in the final award of the night, besting sentimental favourite Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer last year.
The unorthodox Oscars ceremony was moved from a Hollywood theater to a glammed-up downtown train station to abide by strict Covid-19 protocols, and reunited Tinseltown A-listers for the first time in more than a year.
Zhao, who is the first woman of colour ever honoured as best director, thanked “all the people we met on the road... for teaching us the power of resilience and hope, and for reminding us what true kindness looks like.”
Hopkins’ win at 83 for his shattering portrayal of a dementia sufferer in ‘The Father’ makes him the oldest actor to win a competitive Oscar in history.
The film, adapted by French playwright Florian Zeller from his own stage production, also won best adapted screenplay.
Best supporting actress went to Youn Yuh-jung for the Korean immigrant drama ‘Minari.’Daniel Kaluuya won best supporting actor for his portrayal of slain 1960s Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton in ‘Judas and the Black Messiah,’ which also won best song for multiple Grammy winner H.E.R.
‘Promising Young Woman’ won best original screenplay. Emerald Fennell, who was seven months pregnant when she shot the #MeToo revenge thriller, thanked her son who "did not arrive until a couple of weeks after shooting, thank God, because I was crossing my legs."
Netflix's ‘Mank’ began the night with the most nominations -- 10 -- but ended up with two wins in technical categories, as did ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and Amazon’s ‘Sound of Metal.’
‘Soul’ became Pixar's latest Oscar winner for best animated feature, and also picked up best score, while South African aquatic wildlife feature ‘My Octopus Teacher’ won best documentary.
The 93rd Oscars began with a movie-style opening credits sequence, as King strode into the venue clutching a gold statuette.
This year’s Oscars arrived at their Union Station venue two months late due to the pandemic -- organisers have said it would have been ‘impossible’ without the delay.
An honorary award for the Motion Picture and Television Fund, which has supported struggling actors and crew particularly during the pandemic, was awarded at the Oscars' traditional Hollywood theater base. Black entertainment mogul Tyler Perry was also honored.
But the bulk of the awards were handed out at the 1930s-built Union Station, chosen for its grand scale and outdoor courtyards, where white tents sheltering everything from Covid testing booths to catering were installed.
Oscars winners at a glance
Best picture: Nomadland.
Best actress: Frances McDormand, (Nomadland).
Best actor: Anthony Hopkins (The Father).
Original screenplay: Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman).
Adapted screenplay: Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton (The Father)
International film: Another Round (Denmark).
Best supporting actor: Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah)
Best supporting actress: Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari).
Best director: Chloé Zhao (Nomadland).
Sound: Sound of Metal.
Makeup and hairstyling: ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’.
Costume design: Ann Roth, ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’.
Live action short film: ‘Two Distant Strangers’.
Animated short film: ‘If Anything Happens I Love You’.
Animated feature: ‘Soul’.
Documentary short subject: ‘Colette’.
Documentary feature: ‘My Octopus Teacher’.
Visual effects: ‘Tenet’.
Production design: ‘Mank’.
Film editing: ‘Sound of Metal’.