COVID Oscars: The good, the bad, and DA BUTT!

Regina King

What an anti-climactic evening.  I had some high hopes for the Oscars when it began.  Watching Regina King cinematically carry an Oscar through the ticket lobby of Los Angeles’s Union Station made me excited for what was to come.  This felt different.  It felt like something’s coming…(shout out to the new West Side Story). The set inside of Union Station as well as the outdoor area were beautiful and perfectly intimate.  King ascended the smaller stage and explained to all of us at home how they were able to do a ceremony without masks.  Then the show started to fizzle. 

Instead of showing clips of the nominees, the presenters had overly long pieces of information to tell about the nominees.  The only time clips were shown was during the In Memorium section, where the photos went by so fast you couldn’t read the names of the deceased and their contribution to films. Then, when the winner was announced, most of them gave overly long speeches that included a laundry list of thank yous.  Show producer Steven Soderbergh told the nominees that no one would be played off, as has normally happened in years past, and also asked that they should not read a list of names.  Clearly, they didn’t listen and then just took advantage.  Daniel Kaluuya started the trend during his acceptance of the Best Supporting Actor award, and then, almost because he thought he should say something else, thanked his mother and father for having sex to bring him into the world.  His mom did not look pleased.

They weren’t all bad.  Yuh-Jung Youn gave a perfectly fun speech, being overly excited to meet Brad Pitt, whose production company produced Minari. This speech is maybe the only thing that could console me after Glenn Close lost AGAIN! Speaking of Glenn Close, she saved the evening.  Questlove and Lil Rel Howery played a game with some of the nominees asking them if a song, which Questlove then played, won an Oscar, was nominated for an Oscar, or was not nominated.  The bit was falling pretty flat.  Then, Howery decided to ask Madame Close to participate.  It felt like such a joke that Questlove would then play “Da Butt” by E.U. Howery said that playing that song wasn’t fair; Close would not be able to answer.  Au contraire.  She knew the song, the artist, the artist’s hometown, the film it was in, the director of the film, and that it wasn’t nominated.  Howery then asked Close if she knew the dance move.  Not only did she know the move, but she got up and did it.  At that point the night could have ended for me.  Actually, it probably should have. 

Frances McDormand

Weirdly, the show runners decided to have Best Picture announced before Best Actor and Best Actress were announced.  This just felt off.  Best Picture is the natural ending of the show.  Anyway, as predicted, Nomadland won Best Picture.  But that was about the only thing that went as predicted towards the end of the show.  Viola Davis was favored to win Best Actress but lost out to Nomadland’s Frances McDormand.  After winning this award, this makes her the living actress with the most Oscars*.

Then, the final award of the night.  We all pulled out tissue boxes as we prepared to cry over Chadwick Boseman’s wife accepting his award.  And the Oscar goes to…Anthony Hopkins?!?!?!  And he isn’t there?!!?!?!?  We accept this award on his behalf?!?!!?!?  END OF SHOW?!!!?!??!!?!?!?  SERIOUSLY??????????? This is why you don’t guess that someone is going to win an Oscar and pin all of your hopes on a sappy ending.  The awards aren’t scripted.  If they were, someone would have given Glenn Close an Oscar for Da Butt.  

Until next year, my lovely award season junkies! 

*She has four: Best Actress for Fargo, Best Actress in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Best Actress for Nomadland, and, since she was a producer of Nomadland, an Oscar for Best Picture.

-Ariadne Ansbro

A complete list of winners is below:

Best Picture

  • “Nomadland” — Winner
  • “The Father”
  • “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • “Mank”
  • “Minari”
  • “Promising Young Woman”
  • “Sound of Metal”
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Director

  • Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” — Winner
  • Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”
  • David Fincher, “Mank”
  • Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
  • Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Frances McDormand, “Nomadland” — Winner
  • Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
  • Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
  • Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Anthony Hopkins, “The Father” — Winner
  • Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
  • Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • Gary Oldman, “Mank”
  • Steven Yeun, “Minari”
Yuh-Jung Youn

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari” — Winner
  • Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
  • Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
  • Olivia Colman, “The Father”
  • Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
Daniel Kaluuya

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah” — Winner
  • Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
  • Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami…”
  • Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
  • LaKeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Original Song

  • “Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah” — Winner
  • “Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
  • “Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”
  • “lo Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)”
  • “Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami…”

Animated Feature Film

  • “Soul” — Winner
  • “Onward”
  • “Over the Moon”
  • “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”
  • “Wolfwalkers”

Makeup and Hairstyling

  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” — Winner
  • “Emma.”
  • “Hillbilly Elegy”
  • “Mank”
  • “Pinocchio”

Visual Effects

  • “Tenet” — Winner
  • “Love and Monsters”
  • “The Midnight Sky”
  • “Mulan”
  • “The One and Only Ivan”


  • “Mank” — Winner
  • “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • “News of the World”
  • “Nomadland”
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Film Editing

  • “Sound of Metal” — Winner
  • “The Father”
  • “Nomadland”
  • “Promising Young Woman”
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Production Design

  • “Mank” — Winner
  • “The Father”
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • “News of the World”
  • “Tenet”


  • “Sound of Metal” — Winner
  • “Greyhound”
  • “Mank”
  • “News of the World”
  • “Soul”

International Feature Film

  • Denmark, “Another Round” — Winner
  • Hong Kong, “Better Days” 
  • Romania, “Collective”
  • Tunisia, “The Man Who Sold His Skin”
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Quo Vadis, Aida?”

Documentary Short Subject

  • “Colette” — Winner
  • “A Concerto Is a Conversation”
  • “Do Not Split”
  • “Hunger Ward”
  • “A Love Song for Latasha”

Documentary Feature

  • “My Octopus Teacher” — Winner
  • “Collective”
  • “Crip Camp”
  • “The Mole Agent”
  • “Time”

Live Action Short Film

  • “Two Distant Strangers” — Winner
  • “Feeling Through”
  • “The Letter Room”
  • “The Present”
  • “White Eye”

Animated Short Film

  • “If Anything Happens I Love You” — Winner
  • “Burrow”
  • “Genius Loci”
  • “Opera”
  • “Yes-People”

Original Screenplay

  • Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman” — Winner
  • Screenplay by Will Berson and Shaka King; story by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas and Keith Lucas, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
  • Screenplay by Darius Marder and Abraham Marder; story by Darius Marder and Derek Cianfrance, “Sound of Metal”
  • Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Adapted Screenplay

  • Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller, “The Father” — Winner
  • Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman and Lee Kern; story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer and Nina Pedrad, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
  • Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
  • Kemp Powers, “One Night in Miami…”
  • Ramin Bahrani, “The White Tiger”

Original Score

  • “Soul” — Winner
  • “Da 5 Bloods”
  • “Mank”
  • “Minari”
  • “News of the World”

Costume Design

  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” — Winner
  • “Emma.”
  • “Mank”
  • “Mulan”
  • “Pinocchio”

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