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Best Documentary Feature
The winning film was ”My Octopus Teacher”. I have to admit, I am a little disappointed the filmmakers reigned in themselves and gave no social commentary in their speech. I would have deeply appreciated a lecture on the systemic racism and violence in our country from foreigners who made a fish movie. But applause for the restraint.
— Jessica Fyre 💫 (@TheJessieWoo) April 26, 2021
Best Animated Feature Film
Pixar’s ”Soul” takes the prize, as I get another needed win. Yes, I am making this ceremony all about me, instead of focusing on the people making it all about themselves.
Best Animated Short Film
Another acceptance speech where they mention gun violence. These short film people really hate firearms. Maybe it is because they are always working under the gun to get their movies finished…?
Best Short Film
One of the filmmakers thanks no one and does not talk about his film. He mentions police shoot 3 people every day, and we should feel his pain. Okay, sure I guess. It will give me something to do while not watching his short film, whatever it is about.
Best Achievement in Sound
They have Raz Ahmed presenting, who played a deaf guy this year. That film, ”Sound Of Metal”, goes on to win. Another Frenchman is giving a long thanking speech, and ironically I have hit the MUTE button.
Chloé Zhao wins for “Nomadland”. This is a deeply important win, because it means I finally got one of my picks correct. Okay, her being only the second female to win in this category carries a bit of significance as well.
- Director Bong Joo Ho is presenting but does not speak English. His translator actually managed to translate from Korean the word ”Cringey”.
- Welp, spoke too soon about the side ventures tonight. Brian Cranston gives a ponderous introduction about the Herschfirld Humanitarian Award going to the Motion Picture and TV Fund. They even operate a home for former performers and industry workers, so these folks had to have been all but isolated in 2020. They live in the supposed Utopia of California, which has been in banana republic lockdown conditions for the better part of a year.
Best Costume Design
”Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” took this as well. It was a well-done period piece, so I’ll give it to them. Makes me start thinking — with these films set in the past, why do they not have a Best Props Creator?! Mah, they probably have to share the Best Set Design award. Seems a bit of a short change, to be honest.
Best Makeup and Hair
Don Cheadle introduces the category, stating that you can be fully prepared to act, but if your hair looks bad all anyone will talk about is how bad your hair looks. Cheadle is mostly bald.
The winner is for ”Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, and the winner is crying as she thanks just about every possible minority demographic. I assume she was thanking all of her customers…?
Best Supporting Actor
Last year’s winner Laura Dern mentions how this year’s nominees represent movies that address equity and diversity. This makes me realize how for generations Hollywood has insisted that films are here to repair the ills of our society — and yet somehow we still have these same problems…? The irony deepens when many of these films were set in the 1960s, so they illustrate how little progress they have managed to make, according to them.
Daniel Kaluuya wins for playing a Black Panther in ”Judas and the Black Messiah”. His London accent is thick enough to almost require subtitles.
- One benefit to this truncated presentation process is we will have far less of the opulent and useless stage productions that chewed up airtime and contributed nothing. Alas, this year we will have no dance routines celebrating the overlooked union gaffers, this year.
- One of my personal awards at each ceremony is the esteemed ”Gown I Most Would Like Removing with my Teeth”. The current favorite is Andra Day.
— Film Updates (@TheFilmUpdates) April 25, 2021
Best Adapted Screenplay
Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller, for “The Father”. This has to be looked at as something of an upset. Has to be a case with the other films drawing spread out interest and diluting the votes.
The French writer is accepting via video conference and is rambling on, without a band playing him off. If ever there was a need for the orchestral interference here…
First Award – Best Original Screenplay
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”. This could be an indication the female nominees could become heavily weighted tonight. Wait…that was NOT a fat joke.
- As I mentioned today, the selections were extremely difficult this year, given that so few films were seen and so many picks were evenly spread. MSNBC’s political wonk Steve Kornacki even displays this.
— Matt Neglia (@NextBestPicture) April 25, 2021
Regina King is featured making a long walk into the hall, clutching an Oscar. This is a cold approach, as she was favored to be up for the Best Director, yet she was not even nominated.
King opens with a speech heavily laden with references to the racial strife in Minnesota. This is to be expected, as the favored political topic of the past few Oscars — immigration — cannot be mentioned tonight. Joe Biden is President now, and this crowd adores him, so he will not be dared to be insulted, even as he has managed to make immigration a bigger mess than we have seen in years.
Most of the interviews have concerned how wonderful it is that the nominees this year are so diverse. Hollywood is really proud of itself for finally getting things to line up in a fashion close to what they have been lecturing all of us to do for decades. But all is not happy.
One interview with a writer from ”The Undefeated” still managed to carp and moan, saying that while the representation is sure nice to see, there is still not enough diversity among the ”money men” in the industry. After all, if things were all approved, there would be nothing for the high-minded to puff up about and sound important.
Tonight it has snuck up on most people, but the oft-delayed 93rd Academy Awards are finally taking place. The past year’s pandemic has deeply impacted the movie industry and, by extension, it has altered the Oscars as well. Standards were shifted to allow for films from differing outlets that were not able to be featured in closed theaters. The reviled streaming services were permitted to have titles accepted, while some that went direct to video-on-demand are also considered.
The pandemic has also affected the ceremony itself. In order to adhere to safety standards, celebrities are required to wear masks…sometimes. There will be a smaller seating venue, with 2 adjoining patios for the bulk of the attendees. An allowance has been made for the safety-conscious stars to remove their masks so they can be seen by the world. But during commercials, they have to wear masks. Cameras can ward off Covid-19, because science.
And, as detailed here this morning, the city of Los Angeles — which normally caters to the whims of the homeless — this week saw fit to evict the uncharismatic vagrants from out of camera range. The entertainment industry cares deeply about the plight of the homeless, they just cannot have them sullying the biggest party of the year, you see.