Recapping the Academy Awards


By: Hopster & Isaac P. Ale

April 26, 2021

Oscars winners Frances McDormand and Chloé Zhao Via Vanity Fair

Quick Recap of the Noteworthy Categories

  • Best Picture: Nomadland | Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears and Chloé Zhao
  • Best Director: Chloé Zhao | Nomadland
  • Best Actress: Frances McDormand | Nomadland as Fern
  • Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins | The Father as Anthony
  • Best Supporting Actress: Youn Yuh-jung | Minari as Soonja
  • Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya | Judas and the Black Messiah as Fred Hampton
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: The Father | Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller, based on the play by Zeller
  • Best Original Screenplay: Promising Young Woman | Emerald Fennell

Some other highlights: Mank, Sound of Metal, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, all won two technical awards a piece; Soul each won both Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score, and Thomas Vinterberg won Best International Feature Film for Another Round; Judas and the Black Messiah also won Best Original Song for H.E.R.'s "Fight for You."

What the Hell Happened in the Last 20 Minutes?

Why did the producers decide to announce Best Picture before Best Actress and Best Actor? That question may linger, and sting, for quite awhile for many who watched the entire broadcast. By the way, it was the first time Best Picture wasn't the last award presented at the ceremony since 1972. We can only surmise that the showrunners assumed the former two awards would be more unexpected (in the case of Best Actress) and provide an earnest opportunity to toast the achievements and legacy of a lost hero deserving of a heartfelt final ovation (in the case of Best Actor). What happened instead is one of the most confounding endings in recent memory at the Academy Awards.

  • First off, the Frances McDormand victory was a somewhat deflated, anticlimactic moment because only minutes prior, she won Best Picture as a producer for Nomadland. Her almost immediate return to the stage felt clunky and rushed, and the gravitas of that moment got lost in the shuffle.
  • Second, the no "Zoom call rule" disproportionately affected the elderly nominees, where Anthony Hopkins (age 83) and the Ma Rainey's Black Bottom costume designer, Ann Roth (age 89), had no option to call in for the speech. And let's not forget we're still in the middle of a global pandemic and forcing these two nominees to travel to a "Hub" if they want to be present to accept an Academy Award is some First World, ageist bullshit.
  • And then of course, will all due respect to Hopkins (who does deliver a great performance in The Father), Chadwick Boseman's highly anticipated coronation at the show's close was a moment squandered entirely. And because Hopkins was not on camera anywhere, the show just kind of ended, awkwardly and abrubtly.

So, Best Picture was announced early to prop up the last two acting categories, but what ensued was chaotic. Best Picture lost some shine and pedigree, back-to-back victories for McDormand and Nomadland felt slightly repetitive, and the Hopkins win played spoiler for those waiting for Boseman's moment. Regardless of what end-result you as a viewer might have been hoping for, it's doubtful that the choppy ending left you feeling totally satisfied. Unless of course you're an agent of chaos or an incessant troll lord.

With all that in mind, no one should blame Hopkins in the slightest (he didn't ask for this to happen, the performance is deserving of accolades, and I'm sure he doesn't want to be the person who 'stole' Boseman's Oscar), though the outcome did leave some sort of sour taste in everyone's mouth. Nominating, awarding, and celebrating Boseman at this ceremony was a layup, a sure-fire way to recognize the man's accomplishments, as well as mourn the loss of what would have likely been a long, marvelous, future career. When we were speculating about whether a Glenn Close victory would be the wtf moment of the night, we should have been worrying about the Oscars whiffing on the one moment they couldn't possibly screw up. And yet still did.

It is also worth noting that Hopkins put out a thank you video this morning from his home in Wales, and he was nothing short of gracious. He paid tribute to the late Boseman and was humbled by the Academy's recognition. Needless to say, he's a class act with a kind heart. Check out his Instagram (@anthonyhopkins), and you'll see an old man with a young soul dancing around in a Hawaiian shirt, playing the piano with a mask on, and pictures of his cat, Niblo. Cheers to you, Sir Anthony.

Some Other Quick Observations

  • Every damn year one or more categories go completely sideways. Unfortunately, the ending to this year's show might turn away members of the viewing audience for the forseeable future. "It's the same shit, different year" problem that keeps the Academy from being the progressive institution it claims to be. In this case, those discouraged are in their right to be frustrated. The Oscars are notorious for glad-handing themselves in one sentence, turning around, and then sticking their whole damn foot in their mouth. You can't claim to be progressive and then continue to do the same shit over and over again. Here's the bottom line: speaking strictly about the movies, this year's slate of nominees demonstrates the continued and growing audience appetite for diversity in mainstream filmmaking. If the Academy doesn't keep up and evolve, their cultural relevancy will only diminish more with every passing year.
  • After watching Glenn Close single-handedly liven up the ceremony for all of four minutes, we couldn't help but feel bad about some of the negative things we said around her possibly winning last night. And for that, we want to publicly apologize. It's not her fault that Hillbilly Elegy is utterly unwatchable (that's mostly on Ron Howard tbh), and we need to celebrate her and get her into the Oscar win column ASAP for the love of all things sacred. If that doesn't happen, then shut it all down.
  • Mank did not get blanked! And don't even think about not thanking David Fincher first if you're accepting an award for a movie he directed. Skip your parents, significant others, and co-workers if you have to.
  • We're never not charmed and completely won over by Riz Ahmed, Regina King, LaKeith Stanfield, Angela Bassett, Steven Yeun, Olivia Colman, and of course, Bong Joon-ho. Also, Yuh-jung Youn and Brad Pitt reaffirmed the power of platonic admiration, and it was a truly beautiful thing.
  • Oh, and we too are very glad that Daniel Kaluuya's parents had sex so we can watch him act in movies.

Predictions Tally

Hopster: ~14/23

Isaac: ~13/23

Some of our predictions weren't really "predictions"... we just kind of rambled, but if we are in fact keeping score then the nailbiting win goes to Hopster!!

Isaac: Beers on me :)

Froth

We wouldn't dare neglect to mention the wonderful beverages we had to help us through such a long and drawn out ceremony, only to be let down by the finale. Luckily these did not disappoint!

While the Smile More West Coast IPA was brewed at the Stoup Brewery it is a collaboration beer across multiple Ballard (Seattle) breweries, namely the Ballard Brewed Coalition. More specifically this beer was brewed by the women of the aforementioned coalition in support of the Pink Boots Society which works to introduce and enable more women in the brewing profession. Not only are we behind this initiative but the beer itself is delicious! A hoppy and malty celebration with a great smooth taste, which we thoroughly enjoyed!

(You Should) Smile More
West Coast IPA - American | 6%
Stoup Brewing
@stoupbrewing

No better way to start writing some Oscars recap article than with the flow of The Creative Process from Fast Fashion to help us out. This is a phenomenal beer that is as hoppy as fruity and is brewed with mosaic, Idaho 7 and citra lupomax hops which boost its flavor to the next level. It has a great bright color and a smooth and juicy taste, another great one to have on deck!

The Creative Process
IPA - American | 7.4%
Fast Fashion
@fastfashionbeer

Lastly, as the ceremony leaned into its 3rd hour we had to follow suit with our 3rd beer. With the Can-O-Bliss Hazy IPA from Oskar Blues Brewing we wrapped the night up in an ideal fashion. As opposed to what we were watching on the TV this was a welcome and perfectly executed end of the night! Another bright beer with a great hazy coloring as well, packed a great fruit, melon and peach flavor along with the smoothness a hazy IPA can offer!

Can-O-Bliss Hazy
IPA - American | 7.2%
Oskar Blues Brewery
@oskarblues