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93rd Oscars Recap

After being delayed by almost two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the Oscars finally came to fruition, and let me tell you, it was full of surprises, all right!


First of all, the ceremony was not "live" like many of the Oscar ceremonies before it. Instead, it was shot in a more cinematic fashion, and the end result looked more like it could have been a fictionalized portrait of the Oscars that you'd see in theaters instead. Live? I don't think so!


On top of that, what I didn't realize until this morning was that the location of the Oscar ceremony was the historic Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. I don't know if that particular location had any connection to the Oscars, but it was a neat change of location for this year.


With regards to how people attended the ceremony during the time of the COVID-influenced shutdowns, this one was an appropriately arranged mixed bag. What I mean is, there was a sizable enough crowd in the ceremony itself, while there's also a decent amount of people present through video attendances recorded from other parts of the world. That felt like the right attendance size to go with.


And, most shockingly, the awards didn't even end with the Oscar for Best Picture! Instead, it ended with that award, then Best Actress, and finally, Best Actor. It was an unusual lineup to pose as the ultimate bowtie for the Oscars, to say the least. And it was even more shocking when the Best Actor award was presented, and the victor ended up becoming Anthony Hopkins for The Father instead of Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, like many people predicted. My hope is that no one would automatically jump to conclusions and accusations over what the Oscars may or may not have been, and all just because of that award either going to someone they didn't expect or not going to the person they wanted to win, dead or not.


But enough about the ceremony itself. What are my thoughts on the actual results?


Well, while I still think Anthony Hopkins winning was a surprise for sure, there were plenty that I was pleased with.


To start things off, I want to congratulate the creative and musical teams of Soul. I knew that one was going to win big time. That movie was was so transcendent, so mesmerizing, and its music so fantastic, that the Oscars they picked up for Best Animated Feature and for Best Original Score felt earned. Way to go!


Tenet, the movie by Christopher Nolan, while not perfect, still left quite an impression on me thanks to its spellbinding imagery, with all the situations and movements occurring in a forward-moving momentum before also occurring in a backwards-moving momentum. So, in retrospect, the Oscar they won for Best Visual Effects felt like a no-brainer.


And I'll admit, I saw Mank on Netflix, and I was impressed with how the movie looked and sounded like it could easily have been made at the same time Citizen Kane was made. It just felt so authentic, down to the production aesthetic of the movie, the acting, and even the editing. So, while I'm scratching my head a bit over its win of the Oscar for Best Cinematography, its Oscar for Best Production Design sure had Mank's name written all over it.


And, of all the movies that won Oscars in a year like 2020, the one movie I was the happiest to see reign supreme was Nomadland. In a year where so many people felt trapped in their own homes during the pandemic, especially due to all the restrictions that went down, Nomadland felt like the perfect shoulder to cry on with its focus on the low-laying American citizens who had to settle in RVs and mobile homes because the Great Recession in the late 2000s, early 2010s. With its low key atmosphere, its tender yet robust acting, and overview of how people made the most out of so little in such an uncertain time, Nomadland felt like the perfect movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture of 2020.


I should also tip my hat to Chloe Zhao for winning the Oscar for Best Director for this movie, and especially to Frances McDowmand for winning Best Actress. It seems like whenever she starred in a major role, she can do no wrong in the eyes of the Oscars. Think about it: she won Best Actress for Fargo, she won Best Actress for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and now here she is, winning the Oscar for Best Actress for Nomadland. Good for her!


No doubt about it, this Oscar ceremony was almost like no other, for better or worse. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners who made it to the top in a year like 2020, and here's hoping for far greater things to come once the COVID-19 pandemic is as good as behind us!

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