A historic night for Chloe Zhao and seven highlights from Oscars 2021

Chloé Zhao, director of Nomadland, made history as the first woman of color to win Best Director at the Academy Awards, and we’re bringing other top seven highlights from the recently concluded Oscars 2021.

From the onset, the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony fondly called the Oscars promised to be an unusual one. It was the first to be held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic and also considered films spanning nearly two years — 2020 and early 2021 as opposed to the traditional one-year consideration period. Additionally, the ceremony took place in two Los Angeles locations simultaneously; the Union Station and the Dolby Theatre on 25 April 2021.

Anthony Hopkins becomes oldest Best Actor winner

Anthony Hopkins features in Sidomex Oscars 2021 highlights

Born in 1937 and turning 84 in December 2021, Hopkins won his second Oscars for Best Actor for his role in the 2020 drama film “The Father”, based on director Florian Zeller’s 2012 play “Le Père”.

He beat Chadwick Boseman who was nominated posthumously, Riz Ahmed, Steve Yeun, and 2018 winner Gary Oldman to the award.

Anthony Hopkins’ first Best Actor win came in 1991 for his portrayal of an imprisoned Dr Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs”.

See also: Netflix spotlights Ikorodu Bois ahead of Oscars night, Zack Snyder approves of their Army of Dead trailer remake

Chloé Zhao historic win

The Oscars 2021 Best Director award went to Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland”, a film that she wrote, edited, produced, and directed. As already noted, the win made her the first woman of color to do so. Additionally, it was the second time that a woman would win the award after Kathryn Bigelow did so for her 2010 war thriller film “The Hurt Locker”.

Also vying for the award were Thomas Vinterberg, David Fincher, Lee Isaac Chung, and Emerald Fennell.

Chloé Zhao

Zhao’s introduction to the Oscars also came with her film winning Best Picture, an honor she shared with co-producers Frances McDormand and Peter Spears. With two wins, her night at the Oscars could have been better had the film also won Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing, for which the Chinese film director was also nominated. With two wins and four nominations, it was an especially good night for Zhao.

Mank gets the most nominations

With 10 nominations at the Oscars 2021, “Mank” was expected to cart away the most awards. However, it got only two wins falling short of “Nomadland” 3/6 outing at the award ceremony.

“Mank” had its hand in so many jars including Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling among others. Its cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt ended up winning the Best Cinematography award while Donald Graham Burt and Jan Pascale won Best Production Design for their contributions to the film.

Daniel Kaluuya’s Oscars acceptance speech

It will not be the Oscars if a spinoff drama did not accompany the handing out of the award statuettes. The night’s highlight came after Daniel Kaluuya gave his speech a shocking and seemingly incoherent conclusion

“We’re breathing, we’re walking, it’s incredible. My mum, my dad, they had sex, it’s amazing, you know what I mean? And I’m here! I’m so happy to be alive!” the actor said.

It appears that he had not practiced the speech with his family before he delivered it to the whole film world because his mother’s reaction was:

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Stylists from “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” set represent

Sergio López-Rivera, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson were recognized for their amazing styling work on the stars who played the different characters in the 2020 film, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”. Neal and Wilson both became the first Black women to win the Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

Lopez-Rivera is well known for his work in the “How to Get Away with Murder” TV series as well.

Sergio López-Rivera, Mia Neal, and Jamika Wilson

In addition to winning the styling award, the film’s costume designer Ann Roth also went home with the Best Costume Design award.

Other notable firsts from Oscars 2021 highlights

Yuh-Jung Youn, who played Soon-ja in the drama film “Minari”, became the first Korean and only the second Asian woman to win Best Supporting Actress. Meanwhile, Steven Yeun, from “Minari” too, was the first Asian American to be nominated for Best Actor and Riz Ahmed of “Sound of Metal” is the first Muslim to be nominated for Best Actor as well.

Diana Rigg, Jerry Stiller, DMX, Sean Connery and Chadwick Boseman, Cicely Tyson remembered

American actress Angela Bassett presented the Oscars 2021 “In Memoriam” segment in honor of film stars who passed away in 2020. In place of a live performance, the organizers played a montage with a version of Stevie Wonder’s “As” in the background.

Sean Connery features in In Memoriam highlights at the Oscars 2021

Here is a complete list of all the celebrities that got memorial honors:

  1. Cicely Tyson – actress
  2. Ian Holm – actor
  3. Max von Sydow – actor
  4. Cloris Leachman – actress
  5. Yaphet Kotto – actor
  6. Joel Schumacher – director
  7. Bertrand Tavernier – director
  8. Jean-Claude Carrière – writer, director
  9. Olivia de Havilland – actress
  10. Irrfan Khan – actor
  11. Michael Apted – director, producer
  12. Paula Kelly – actress
  13. Christopher Plummer – actor
  14. Allen Daviau – cinematographer
  15. George Segal – actor
  16. Wilford Brimley – actor
  17. Thomas Jefferson Byrd – actor
  18. Marge Champion – actress, dancer, choreographer
  19. Ron Cobb – production designer, concept artist
  20. Shirley Knight – actress
  21. José Luis Diaz – sound editor
  22. Kelly Preston – actress
  23. Rhonda Fleming – actress
  24. Kelly Asbury – director, writer, animator
  25. Fred Willard – actor
  26. Hal Holbrook – actor
  27. Kurt Luedtke – writer
  28. Linda Manz – actress
  29. Michael Chapman – cinematographer, director
  30. Martin Cohen – producer
  31. Kim Ki-duk – director, writer
  32. Helen McCrory – actress
  33. Ennio Morricone – composer
  34. Thomas Pollock – executive
  35. Carl Reiner – actor, writer, director, producer
  36. Larry McMurtry – writer
  37. Lynn Shelton – director
  38. Earl Cameron – actor
  39. Alan Parker – director, writer
  40. Mike Fenton – casting director
  41. Edward S. Feldman – producer
  42. Lynn Stalmaster – casting director
  43. Nanci Ryder – publicist
  44. Sumner Redstone – executive
  45. Remy Julienne – stunt performer
  46. Stuart Cornfeld – producer
  47. Ronald L. Schwary – producer
  48. Jonathan Oppenheim – film editor
  49. Al Kasha – composer
  50. Charles Gordon – producer
  51. Brian Dennehy – actor
  52. Charles Gregory Ross – hairstylist
  53. Alberto Grimaldi – producer
  54. Johnny Mandel – composer
  55. Brenda Banks – animator
  56. George Gibbs – special effects
  57. Haim Shtrum – studio musician
  58. Lennie Niehaus – composer
  59. Leslie Pope – set decorator
  60. Joan Micklin Silver – director, writer
  61. Roberta Hodes – script supervisor, writer
  62. Ken Muggleston – set decorator
  63. Diana Rigg – actress
  64. Leon Gast – documentarian
  65. Anthony Powell – costume designer
  66. Chuck Bail – stunt performer
  67. Bhanu Athaiya – costume designer
  68. Colleen Callaghan – hairstylist
  69. Peter Lamont – production designer
  70. David Giler – writer, producer
  71. Norman Newberry – art director
  72. Zhang Zhao – executive, producer
  73. Conchata Ferrell – actress
  74. Alan Robert Murray – sound editor
  75. Andrew Jack – dialect coach
  76. Jonas Gwangwa – composer
  77. Marvin Westmore – makeup artist
  78. Pembroke Herring – film editor
  79. Linda Gurasich – hairstylist
  80. Michel Piccoli – actor
  81. William Bernstein – executive
  82. Cis Corman – casting director, producer
  83. Michael Wolf Snyder – production sound mixer
  84. Ja’Net DuBois – actress
  85. Les Fresholtz – re-recording mixer
  86. Jerry Stiller – actor
  87. DMX – songwriter, actor, producer
  88. Giuseppe Rotunno – cinematographer
  89. Else Blangsted – music editor
  90. Ronald Harwood – writer
  91. Masato Hara – producer
  92. Robert C. Jones – film editor, writer
  93. Walter Bernstein – writer, producer
  94. Sean Connery – actor
  95. Chadwick Boseman – actor

The Oscars 2021 ceremony was produced as a film, complete with an ensemble cast that includes 15 presenters. Its acting awards were announced last, an unusual occurrence which led to the award night ending abruptly after Hopkins was announced as the winner, and his award picked up on his behalf as he was not in attendance.

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About The Author


Obinna is a fiction writer from Lagos, Nigeria, and grew up loving comic book characters and superheroes. He watches lots of action films and writes entertainment and technology articles. He is also interested in science and how things work.

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