On April 25, movie lovers rushed into their living rooms. They sat on their couch with buttery fingers from reaching their hands into a bowl of movie butter popcorn. They were eager to watch the 2021 Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars.
Regina King hosted the 93rd Oscar awards, “I might have traded my heels for marching boots,” opening the awards after the Derek Chauvin Verdict.
Five days earlier on April 20, “The former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter charges in the death of George Floyd, a Black man whose killing sparked nationwide protests,” reported The New York Times.
The Los Angeles Times stated in a letter sent to this year’s nominees, the Oscar producers promised to adhere to the strictest safety standards, writing, “We are treating the event as an active movie set, with specially designed testing cadences to ensure up-to-the-minute results, including an on-site COVID safety team with PCR testing capability.”
“Pandemic or no pandemic, the show must go on — and when it comes to Hollywood’s biggest night, zoom just won’t cut it,” said King.
History was made when Chloé Zhao won the Academy Award for best director and best picture for her film “Nomadland.” Zhao is now the second woman ever and the first Asian woman to receive the award for best director.
The Washington Post says her win was censored in China, the country of her birth. Not only did the Chinese government ban the Oscars broadcast, thanks to the nomination of a short documentary highlighting the brutal repression of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, censors also scrubbed news of Zhao’s win from Chinese websites and social media platforms.
“Chloé Zhao is not only a beautiful filmmaker, she is an inspiration to everyone. Seeing her win the Oscar for best director made my week,” said senior film student Renee Viviano.
Next, the best original screenplay award went to “Promising Young Woman” written by Emerald Fennell. Fennell also directed this film.
“In an emotional speech, Fennell apologized to Oscar’s producer Steven Soderbergh for not having written a speech, saying the only one she had written was when she was 10 and much of it was no longer relevant,” according to The Guardian.
The Guardian reported how Fennell also thanked leading actress Carey Mulligan, calling her “not only the most talented person in the world but also the kindest and funniest.” Fennell also thanked her family and her young son, who arrived “two weeks after shooting, thank God. I was crossing my legs.”
“I love any film Carey Mulligan is in, my love started when she starred in ‘The Great Gatsby,’ said senior communications major Katie Howerter.
Best actor went to Anthony Hopkins for his role in “The Father.” Then, best actress went to Frances McDormand in her role in “Nomadland.”
The film world was excited to be able to honor these amazing filmmakers, actors, screenplay writers, makeup artists and everyone that goes into making these Oscar winning films. Although the numbers of viewers were exceptionally low for the Oscars.
“I saw that they only got 9.3 million viewers, that is the amount of view a YouTube video could have,” said senior film major Kathleen McNamara.