Oscars 2021: It’s a Wrap


Written by: Nikoleta Morales


This year’s 93rd Academy Awards promised and delivered an unforgettable show despite the pandemic and Covid restrictions. The theme of the film-like award show was “Bring Your Movie Love” and the main stars of the film were the award presenters Regina King, Brad Pitt, Laura Dern, Zendaya, among others. The viewers felt as if watching a film because for the first time the nominees and guests had no masks on while cameras were rolling contributing to that effect. The ceremony has reportedly been seen by a little over 10 million viewers that night.




The Oscars took place at the historic Union Station in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 25th, 2021. Union Station was beautifully and elegantly decorated to fit the theme and mood of the award show. This is the first year that the Oscars were held at Union Station. The set was designed by award-winning set-designer David Rockwell. It featured Oscar themed shaded lamps, an outside lawn area with beautiful flowers and flower decor hanging from the ceiling, a miniature amphitheater in the station, and lots of stars.



Cultured Focus at The Oscars 2021
Nikoleta Morales for Cultured Focus Magazine at The Oscars 2021


There is a lot to say about what happened during the ceremony, such as Regina King’s strong entrance into Union Station and her powerful words piercing through about the hardships of 2020. Later that night, history was made when Chloe Zhao won for Best Director and Nomadland for Best Picture. Zhao is only the second woman in Oscar’s history to take home the gold in that category and only the first woman in color. The surprise of the night was when the award show ended with the Best Actor nomination and the Oscar going to Anthony Hopkins instead of the anticipated win for late Chadwick Boseman. The order in which the awards were presented this year was different, which anticipated an ending that for some didn’t deliver.


Other memorable moments of the night included Emerald Funnell taking home the win for Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman, making her the first woman to win this category in 13 years. The Oscar for Best Supporting Actress went to Yuh-Jung Youn who gave a beautiful speech upon acceptance emphasising the importance of hard work and giving praises to the other nominees, especially Glenn Close. Yuh-Jung was also happy to finally meet Brad Pitt in person and didn’t hide her enthusiasm from the audience.


The award for Best Supporting Actor went to Daniel Kaluuya who gave the funniest acceptance speech of the night “thanking his parents for having sex.” Adding to a humorous night, Glenn Close wowed the viewers with her “butt move.”


One of the most memorable speeches of the night was Tyler Perry’s who spoke about equality, acceptance and helping each other. The other emotional and deeply moving yet sad speech was given by Thomas Vinterberg (International Feature director Another Round) who teared up talking about his daughter’s death and what impact she has had on his film.


Meanwhile, there were 400 journalists in the Virtual Press Room waiting for the winners. While the Oscars ceremony and show was telecast live, journalists were waiting to ask a question via a Zoom link. Unfortunately, many of the same journalists from few major US outlets were picked to ask the questions, leaving smaller and more diverse media outlets out, unlike previous years. One journalist asked the strangest and most shocking question of the night to Yuh-Jung Youn about what Brad Pitt smelt like to which she answered shocked: “I didn't smell him. I'm not a dog.”


This is what some of the winners had to say in the Press Room while holding their Oscars:


Daniel Kaluuya in reference to his “sex speech”: “Is that going to live on? I think that's pretty obvious that my parents had sex. I know my mom's probably going to text me some sex, but here we are.”


Chloe Zhao on winning Best Director as a woman: “Has the definition of being a woman changed? Probably not. But it's pretty fabulous to be a woman in 2021...You know, I'm extremely lucky to be able to do what I love for a living. And if this win means more people get to live their dreams, I'm extremely grateful.”


Tyler Perry in regards to his speech: “Just where we are in the country and the world, and everybody is grabbing a corner and a color, and they are all ‑‑ nobody wants to come to the middle to have a conversation. Everybody is polarized, and it's in the middle where things change. So I'm hoping that that inspires people to meet us in the middle so that we can get back to some semblance of normal. As this pandemic is over, we can get to a place where we are showing love and kindness to each other again.”


Mia Neal on diversity and a historic win for MakeUp and Hairstyling: “Yeah, I think that everybody benefits from diversity, you know, everyone does...I think everybody wants it to be honest. I feel like that has been the thing, and I think that time has kind of sped up in a way in terms of technology and just people being more connected, also people not being afraid to speak up. And so and then ‑‑ and then a lot of people who maybe didn't realize, hey, maybe, diversity isn't in this ‑‑ you know, because things were just the norm. So I think that things are happening, and I think it's being well received.”


Emerald Fennell on writing her script: “I think I always hoped to make something that would, yeah, that people would want to go and see that even if it's about something difficult and troubling, that, yeah, that it would still be a movie that you would go and watch with your friends, with your boyfriend, and you would talk about it afterwards. And so part of it was that it felt kind of glossy and feminine and poppy and that, yeah, but it was disgusting, some very difficult and dark subject matter.”


Yuh-Jung Youn on diversity: “I think if we put our colors together, make it more prettier, even rainbow has seven colors. So colour doesn't matter. Gender doesn't matter. Or the what? What is, men and women, I don't know how to divide like, you know, like this, man, woman, or black and white, yellow, brown, or the gender, you know, gay or straight or something like that. I don't want that kind of thing. So just we are equal human beings. We have the same warm heart. So did I answer right? Or I'm not sure. It's an opportunity for us to share in the story together.”


This year’s Oscar winners are more diverse than any other time in Oscar’s history, making a step in the right direction towards inclusivity and diversity.


In addition to the winning, there was lots of glamour and style on the red carpet from both male and female nominees. During the pre-awards show, “Oscars: Into the Spotlight,” audiences got a chance to see some of the stars shine in variety of colors and styles: H.E.R wore a blue Dundas; Maria Bakalova wore a white Louis Vuitton; Zendaya was dressed in a yellow Valentino; Margot Robbie appeared in a silver Channel; Leslie Odom Jr. was dressed in a golden Cartier; Regina King came in a blue Louis Vuitton; Amanda Seyfried stud in a red Armani; Carey Mulligan wore a golden Valentino; among other great looks.


This year’s pre-show featured the five nominated Oscar songs in emotional performances from both LA and Iceland. “Húsavík” was performed by Molly Sandén and was taped in Húsavík in the background of the beautiful Northern Lights, accompanied by a children’s choir. The other four songs, “Io Sì (Seen)”, “Hear My Voice,” “Speak Now,” and “Fight For You” were performed at the Dolby Family Terrace of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures with stunning night views of the city. All of the five songs were performed beautifully, emotionally and elegantly, giving a great start for the Oscar star-filled night ahead.


This year’s Oscars ceremony proved to be both memorable and a step in the right direction towards inclusivity and diversity. Unlike other awards shows this season, the Oscar show was LIVE and with a real LIVE red carpet, with most nominees present in person and a maskless audience. The show was televised in over 225 countries via satellite worldwide.


Full list of the winners:


Best Actor - Anthony Hopkins

Best Actress - Frances McDormand

Best Original Song - “Fight For You”

Best Supporting Actor - Daniel Kaluuya

Best Supporting Actress - Yuh-Jung Youn

Best International Feature Film - Another Round

Best Director - Chloe Zhao

Best Film - Nomadland

Best Animated Feature - Soul

Best Documentary feature - My Octopus Teacher

Best Original Score - Soul

Best Original Screenplay - Promising Young Woman

Best Adapted Screenplay - The Father

Best Visual Effects - Tenet

Live Action Short Film - Two Distant Strangers

Best Cinematography - Mank

Best Costume Design - Ma’Reiny’s Black Bottom

Best Film Editing - Sound of Metal

Best Production Design - Mank

Best Short Animated Film - If Anything Happens I love You

Best Short Documentary - Colette

Best Sound - Sound of Metal

Best Makeup and Hairstyling - Ma’Reiny’s Black Bottom

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award - Tyler Perry and Motion Picture & Television Fund


For more information on the Academy Awards, visit: www.oscars.org. Photo credit: A.M.P.A.S.