Nomadland Was The Big Winner
Continuing its success throughout the 2021 awards season, Nomadland was the big winner on the night, walking away with three awards, including best picture. In a historic victory, Chloe Zhao was awarded best director for the film, becoming the first woman of colour to win the prize and only the second woman ever, after Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010. In her acceptance speech, Zhao thanked real-life nomads “for teaching us the power of resilience and hope”. Nomadland star Frances McDormand also took home the trophy for best actress. Accepting her award, McDormand spoke of her hopes for a return to normal cinemagoing in the near future, urging viewers: "One day very, very soon, take everyone you know into a theatre, shoulder to shoulder in that dark space and watch every film that's represented here tonight." Zhao’s film is a slow-burning drama which focuses on the life of ageing van-dwellers in America, and will be available to watch in the UK on Disney+ on 30th April.
The Brits Did Well
Dementia drama The Father won two awards: best actor for Sir Anthony Hopkins, and best adapted screenplay for Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller. With his win, Hopkins, 83, has become the oldest-ever male acting winner. He won the award 29 years after winning his first Oscar, for his turn as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs.
The second-highest male acting award also went to a Brit: 32-year-old Londoner Daniel Kaluuya, who won best supporting actor for his performance as Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah. It was his fourth win of the season, after winning big at the SAG Awards, Golden Globes and Baftas earlier this year.
Finally, British actress-turned-writer/director Emerald Fennell won the award for best original screenplay for rape revenge drama Promising Young Woman, which she also directed. She is the first British woman to win the award since it was established in its current form in 1958. Intrigued? Read SheerLuxe’s full review of Promising Young Woman here.
There Were Few Surprises
David Fincher’s black-and-white film Mank, which led the Oscar nominations with 10, only picked up two awards, for best cinematography and best production design. But in general, the award winners were very similar to those awarded at the Golden Globes and Baftas. Yuh-Jung Youn won best supporting actress for South Korean film Minari, Disney jazz hit Soul won best animated feature and best original score, best documentary went to My Octopus Teacher, best international feature was awarded to Danish drama Another Round, best visual effects went to Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, best film editing and best sound went to Sound of Metal, and both best costume design and best make-up and hair styling went to Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
It Was An Unusual Occasion
This year, the Oscars were delayed by two months and – as expected – were slightly different to normal. Instead of taking place in one of Hollywood’s big theatres, the awards were handed out in one of the grand halls in LA’s Union Station to allow for a Covid-safe ceremony, while many UK-based nominees were at the British Film Institute in London. Unlike other award ceremonies this year, there was no Zoom option for nominees or winners to tune into, hence why Sir Anthony – who is thought to have been in Wales last night – wasn’t on hand to accept his award.
However, the in-person ceremony meant the return of the red carpet, and it was great to see a lot of the nominees return to form on the fashion front.
Read on for SL’s pick of the best dressed…
Who: Amanda Seyfried
Why we love it: There are few colours quite as scene stealing as red and with layers of tulle and a daring plunging neckline, Amanda’s dress was a nod to classic Hollywood dressing, as was her diamond jewellery and bold lip.
Why we love it: Never one to shy away from an attention-grabbing red carpet look, Zendaya went for a bright yellow dress from Valentino’s Spring/Summer 2021 haute couture collection. Her tumbling wavy hair complemented the laidback, almost beachy feel of the dress, which also featured cool, cut out detail.
Who: Vanessa Kirby
Why we love it: Proving the most standout red carpet looks needn’t always be voluminous gowns, Vanessa gave some vampish edge to her blush pink Gucci dress with a dark lip and nails. Another dress with a cut out detail, she complemented the look with a simple diamond necklace.
Who: Carey Mulligan
Why we love it: The Oscars calls for all-out glamour, and Carey’s supersized skirt in shiny gold is the kind of thing you can only wear if you’re tipped for an award. A simple bandeau top kept the look chic and clean.
Who: Halle Berry
Wearing: LaQuan Smith
Why we love it: Halle Berry stole the show with this custom LaQuan Smith dress complete with an oversized bow and plunging bustier bodice. The juxtaposition of an ultra-feminine dress with an angular, blunt bob gave everything an edge.
Who: Margot Robbie
Why we love it: Relatively understated compared with some of our other favourites, Margot looked demure and elegant in a floral gown. We loved the addition of a Brigitte Bargot-esque fringe to match the Gallic nonchalance of her Chanel dress.