The 93rd Oscars Award Ceremony showcased a night full of glitz, glamour, fashion and, of course, A-list celebrities. Among this year’s main highlights was the show's sense of normalcy, as stars returned to the red carpet, but with major COVID-19 restrictions in place.
Actress-director Regina King opened this year's show with a monologue that reflected current times, bringing awareness to the ongoing issue of police brutality in the United States. As well as alluding to the recent verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial, which was an important event for many advocates of social justice.
“It has been quite a year,” King said. “We are mourning the loss of so many and I have to be honest, if things had gone differently this past week in Minneapolis, I may have traded in my heels for marching boots.”
She finished her monologue by crediting movies and films for helping everyone through a tough year. “This was indeed a hard year for everyone, but our love of movies helped to get us through,” King said.
The night presented by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not include a solo host. Instead a bevy of star studded individuals presented and spoke throughout the night. Presenters included Zendaya, Reese Witherspoon, Brad Pitt and Halle Berry.
The event took place at Los Angeles Union Station and the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the only people in attendance were nominees, their guests and presenters.
One monumental moment was Chloe Zhao winning the award for Best Director for her film “Nomadland.” Zhao made Oscars history by not only as the second female to ever win the award, but also as its first Asian recipient. She is also the first female to receive four nominees in one year in the following categories: Film Editing, Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Directing.
“This is for anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves, and to hold on to the goodness in each other no matter how difficult it is to do that,” Zhao said during her acceptance speech.
“Nomadland” also picked up wins for Best Picture and Best Actress in a Leading Role, going to Frances McDormand for her role as Fern.
The Best Actor category brought a shocking twist, where Anthony Hopkins won for his role in “The Father.” The late Chadwick Boseman was also nominated in this category for his role in his final film, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Hopkins was not in attendance, but later posted an acceptance speech on his Instagram account, where he paid tribute to Boseman.
“I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early,” Hopkins said. “I really did not expect this so I’m very privileged and honored.”
Other big winners of the night included Yuh-Jung Youn, who won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “Minari” and Daniel Kaluuya, who won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” The Disney and Pixar animated movie, “Soul,” won two awards for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score.
In addition to the awards, the Oscars was a night full of fashion and extraordinary gowns that could not go unrecognized. King stunned in a light blue, fitted gown customly designed by Louis Vuitton and Nicolas Ghesquière.The gown included embroidered crystals and sequins, as well as large statement sleeves.
All eyes were on Berry as she debuted a new short haircut while in a gorgeous purple gown by Dolce and Gabbana. The strapless gown had a plunging neckline, as well as a large bow around the waist.
Colman Domingo made a statement, arriving in a hot pink embellished suit custom made by Versace. The outfit included 4,500 Swarovski Crystals that took 150 hours to embellish onto the suit.
Another fashion favorite of the night was Amanda Seyfried, she wore a stunning red floor length gown by Armani Prive. The gown was fitted at the waist and flared out at the bottom for a glamorous mermaid look. The look included layers of red tulle and a deep V-neck line.
Despite the awards ceremony being able to bring back some of its traditions, this year’s Oscars were not followed by the annual Vanity Fair after party due to COVID-19 protocols.