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New Format, Best Speeches,”Da Butt” & More – /Film


2021 Oscars Highlights

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, take a look at 2021 Oscars highlights from the 93rd Academy Awards that aired last night on ABC. See how the format was initially shaken up by Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins, and see some of the best speeches of the night from the winners. Plus, check out a viral moment featuring Glenn Close, and be puzzled by the unnecessarily speedy In Memoriam segment honoring the Hollywood greats that we lost over the past year.

The 93rd Academy Awards kicked off with a lot of style that felt right out of one of Steven Soderbergh’s movies. Regina King walked through Union Station in Los Angeles and right onto the stage where the Oscars were being held. It felt more intimate, and it somehow had a little more passion behind the proceedings. The lack of the same format from previous years mostly worked in its favor throughout the night, especially when it came to handing out the awards themselves.

Another Round director Thomas Vinterberg accepted the award for Best International Feature, and he gave quite an emotional speech reflecting on how the movie came together. Making the film was bittersweet, because at the start of production, the director’s daughter was killed in a traffic collision. Listen to his moving speech in full above.

Daniel Kaluuya took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Judas and the Black Messiah. Not only was he shocked to win, flying by the seat of his pants as he spoke, but he ended the speech on a pretty amusing note, much to the horror of his family in the audience.

In one of the more creative approaches to presenting the nominees for the 2021 Oscars, Parasite director Bong Joon-ho asked this year’s directing nominees to answer the question, “What is directing?” They only had 20 seconds to answer, and they’re all fascinating and worth listening to.

In one of the most entertaining and adorable speeches of the night, Minari co-star Yuh-Jung Youn accepted the award for Best Supporting Actress by calling out presenter Brad Pitt. Not only was she excited to finally meet him (his Plan B production banner produced Minari), but like anyone, she was probably just happy to meet Brad Pitt. On top of that, she’s just a hilarious woman.

Composers Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross and jazz musician Jon Batiste won the award for Best Score for Pixar’s Soul, but the latter did all the talking in the most lovely way possible. He marveled at the deceptive simplicity of music and how the same 12 notes are used by every musician, and they all somehow seem to come up with something different from each other.

In a strange turn of events, with just three awards left to be handed out, comedian and Get Out co-star Lil Rel Howery came into the ceremony to play some music trivia with the audience, complete with tracks provided by the show’s music director, Questlove. We’re not sure why this bit went on for so long, but it ended up being worth it, because Glenn Close not only surprised everyone by being able to identify the song “Da Butt” by E.U. (Experience Unlimited) from Spike Lee’s School Daze, but she did the dance too. It was certainly something to behold.

What made the preceding stalling of time so strange is that it was followed by a seemingly rushed In Memoriam segment. Each of the late Hollywood talents were barely given a second of screentime to be honored, which almost wasn’t enough to even recognize who some of them were. Was this because there were so many people who died this year? Or did the ceremony’s director realize that they stalled too long and sped up the montage? We’re not sure, but it felt disrespectful either way.

In a strange turn of events, Best Picture wasn’t the last award handed out for this ceremony. So Nomadland won the big award of the night, and there were two awards left to be handed out for Best Actress and Best Actor. It wouldn’t have been so bad, except everyone was anticipating that Chadwick Boseman would win Best Actor, and that would close out the ceremony in a big way. But, oh boy, was everyone wrong.

Instead, the 2021 Oscars ended with Anthony Hopkins being named Best Actor for The Father. Since he wasn’t in attendance, the award was accepted on his behalf, and the show came to an end like car crash test. For all the cool things that the 2021 Oscars pulled off, they certainly screwed up the entire backend of the ceremony.

Finally, the Best Original Song performances weren’t part of the normal show, but they were part of the pre-show, and this incredible performance of “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga was one worth seeking out. Enjoy!

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