Oscars 2021: Nomadland wins big as Chloe Zhao makes history!

Los Angeles, California - Nomadland swept up at the 93rd Academy Awards, making Chinese filmmaker Chloé Zhao only the second woman to win the coveted Oscar for directing!

Chloe Zhao (39), director, with the Oscar for best picture for Nomadland in the press room at the Oscars in Union Station.
Chloe Zhao (39), director, with the Oscar for best picture for Nomadland in the press room at the Oscars in Union Station.  © IMAGO / Cinema Publishers Collection

The drama took the Oscars by storm last night, winning three major categories.

Aside from Chinese-born filmmaker Chloé Zhao's historic win, which also made her the first woman of color to be named Best Director, the movie also took home Best Picture, while Frances McDormand won Best Actress in a Leading Role

Nomadland tells the story of a woman who has lost everything during the Great Recession and reinvents herself as a modern nomad, traveling the country in her van. It's McDormand's third Oscar for best actress, having previously won for Fargo (1997) and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2018).

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Despite rumors that Chadwick Boseman would be awarded Best Actor in a Leading Role posthumously for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, it was Anthony Hopkins (83) who won, with his role as a man suffering from dementia in The Father.

The 83-year-old Brit, however, was unable to accept the second Oscar of his career in person.

Yuh-Jung Youn and Daniel Kaluuya win for supporting roles

Yuh-Jung Youn (73) accepting her win for Best Supporting Actress in Minari
Yuh-Jung Youn (73) accepting her win for Best Supporting Actress in Minari  © IMAGO / Cinema Publishers Collection

Yuh-Jung Youn won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Minari, in which she plays the grandmother of a Korean family in the US.

Youn joked about meeting actor Brad Pitt in person, as he announced her win.

Taking to the stage, she said: "Where were you while we were filming in person?"

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Khloé Kardashian Khloé Kardashian sparks romance rumors with spicy backstage snaps

She also paid tribute to the other nominees in the category saying she "doesn't believe in competition," while questioning how she could win over fellow nominee Glenn Close.

Referring to all the other nominees, she added that she had perhaps won because "I'm luckier than you... also maybe American hospitality for Korean actor, I'm not sure but thank you so much."

Best Actor in a Supporting Role was won by Daniel Kaluuya for his performance in Judas and the Black Messiah. The poignant film features Kaluuya as civil rights activist Fred Hampton during the rise of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s.

In his acceptance speech, Kaluuya told of his admiration for Hampton, who was assassinated by police in Chicago in 1969 when he was 21, the result of a covert FBI operation.

He praised Hampton's work in the Black community and took aim at the state forces that worked to bring him down.

"When they played divide and conquer, we say unite and ascend," Kaluuya said.

Addressing the star-studded audience, the Brit said: "There's so much work to do guys and that's on everyone in this room. This ain't no single man job."

Judas and the Black Messiah also won the Oscar for Best Song: Fight For You by H.E.R., Dernst Emile II, and Tiara Thomas.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom won for Makeup and Hairstyling, as well as Costume Design.

International Feature Film Oscar for Dane Thomas Vinterberg

Thomas Vinterberg (51), Danish film director, stands with the Oscar for Best International Feature Film for Another Round at Union Station.
Thomas Vinterberg (51), Danish film director, stands with the Oscar for Best International Feature Film for Another Round at Union Station.  © IMAGO / Cinema Publishers Collection

The foreign Oscar went to the Danish social satire Another Round by director Thomas Vinterberg (51).

In it, Mads Mikkelsen (55) plays one of four teachers who start a drinking experiment that soon gets out of control.

The Dane dedicated the award to his daughter Ida, who died in a traffic accident shortly after filming began.

"We miss her and I love her," he said through tears. "If anyone dares to believe she's here with us now, you'd be able to see her clapping and cheering with us."

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 93rd Academy Awards had a much smaller and more intimate setting than Hollywood is used to, with the historic Union Station building in Los Angeles serving as the main venue for the Oscar show, rather than the grand Dolby Theatre.

Other notable wins

Regina King presents the award for best Original Screenplay to Emerald Fennell (l.).
Regina King presents the award for best Original Screenplay to Emerald Fennell (l.).  © IMAGO / Cinema Publishers Collection

British filmmaker Emerald Fennell won best Original Screenplay for her directorial debut Promising Young Woman and fought back tears as she delivered her improvised acceptance speech.

Looking at her statuette, she said: "He's so heavy and he's so cold."

She paid tribute to the cast and crew, who made the film over a 23-day shoot.

Fennell, who was pregnant during the shoot, joked she was crossing her legs during production.

Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller won the prize for best adapted screenplay for their work on the agonizing drama The Father.

The prizes were mainly handed out at Union Station in Los Angeles, where producers had said they wanted the broadcast to resemble a film.

Attendees were not required to wear masks on camera but were asked to cover their faces when not on screen. Only 170 people were present at any given moment, with audience members rotated in and out during the ceremony.

International nominees who did not travel to the US accepted their prizes from remote hubs, with many of the British nominees gathering at the British Film Institute in London's Southbank.

The ceremony finally took place after a two-month delay and a bruising year for the film industry, with cinemas around the world closed for months on end and productions disrupted.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Cinema Publishers Collection

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