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Here are all the winners from the 2021 Oscars, and an overview of a very odd night

From the oversized opening to its abrupt ending, this year’s Academy Awards ceremony was strange

Yuh-Jung Youn, Daniel Kaluuya, and Frances McDormand laugh together after their 2021 Oscar wins Photo: Chris Pizzello-Pool / Getty Images
Tasha Robinson leads Polygon’s movie coverage. She’s covered film, TV, books, and more for 20 years, including at The A.V. Club, The Dissolve, and The Verge.

The 93rd annual Academy Awards ceremony began and ended on a couple of strange notes, for very different reasons. In the opening sequence, kickoff presenter and One Night In Miami director Regina King strode through Los Angeles’ Union Station as a series of stylish, movie-style opening credits passed by, as a way of pretending the entire Oscars ceremony was one big film with a thoroughly amazing cast. For just a moment, the ceremony felt bold and showy, like the kind of ambitious, heads-high project we haven’t seen much of in a year of Zoom-based awards ceremonies and postponed or cancelled events.

And then King walked onto the Oscar awards set, with its small stage and sparsely populated room, its socially distanced audience tables and bare-minimum human presence, and the bubble popped. Suddenly, we were right back to the same kind of nervous, let’s-put-a-brave-face-on-this smile that’s dominated live public events for the past year.

Like every commercial gathering during COVID-19, the 2021 Oscars ceremony faced a significant challenge. It’s coming after a year of pandemic where large assemblies were frequently banned or given significant negative press. Other awards ceremonies found various solutions that never had the glamour or intimacy the Oscars aspire to — for instance, the Golden Globes ceremony put the hosts on opposite coasts and made a joke out of their social distance and the small audience they played to.

Academy Awards producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher, and Steven Soderbergh tried to go in a different direction with the “This is all a star-studded film” motif, which King carried out by declaring that the evening would be “an Oscars movie with a cast of over 200 nominees.” But she also reassured the audience that while presenters and recipients were maskless, they were “following all of the rigorous protocols that got us back to work,” with masks replaced behind the scenes, and social distancing respected. With many of the recipients giving their speeches from remote locations, and the audience split between Union Station and a sparsely populated Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, the ceremony felt small — exactly the opposite of what the Academy normally wants.

There were a handful of highlights, including Daniel Kaluuya, in his acceptance speech for the Best Supporting Actor award, proudly explaining how he came to be on that stage: “My mom met my dad, they had sex, I’m here. It’s amazing. I’m so happy to be alive,” he exulted. It was one of the biggest laughs of the night — not just for the comment itself, but for the footage of his mother and sister’s live incredulity.

Another minor highlight: Harrison Ford, presenting the award for Best Film Editing, dryly reading a handful of studio editing notes from his 1982 film Blade Runner, including “Why do we need the third cut to the eggs?” and “Up to Zora’s death, the movie is deadly dull. This movie gets worse every screening.”

But for the most part, the 93rd Academy Awards were low-key, with relatively few speeches veering into political territory or producing memorable moments. Social-media reactions seemed more muted than usual during the ceremony, apart from a wave of disbelief during the traditional “In Memorium” segment, which sped through its list of the year’s departed Hollywood elite with a briskness that felt downright disrespectful.

But two moments particularly stand out from the evening, for completely opposite reasons. Glenn Close stole the show during the ceremony’s one unquestionable bit of padding, an Oscars-music trivia game that saw Questlove, as DJ, playing clips of songs, while pre-show host Lil Rel Howery confronted audience members, asking if those songs were nominees, winners, or neither. Asked about Experience Unlimited’s song “Da Butt,” Close not only said she knew the song, she got up and did the dance.

And then there was the ceremony’s strange final moment. Contrary to tradition, the producers scheduled the Best Picture award — which as expected, went to Nomadland — ahead of the Best Actress and Best Actor categories, almost certainly assuming the late Chadwick Boseman would win Best Actor posthumously, and the ceremony could go out on an emotional note. Instead, the trophy went to Anthony Hopkins for The Father — and Hopkins wasn’t available for a speech, so presenter Joaquin Phoenix just said the Academy would accept it on his behalf, and the night thudded to a flat, unsatisfying end. It’s been a strange year for movies, without theatrical blockbusters and with only muted hype for most of the films that debuted on streaming services instead. But this felt like the most 2021 ending possible: a clear setup, an odd whiff, and a sense of a diminished, subdued crowd rapidly deserting their near-empty viewing venues.

Here are all of the winners from the 93rd annual Academy Awards:

Best Original Screenplay

Winner: Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
Other nominees: Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Sound of Metal, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Adapted Screenplay

Winner: Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller, The Father
Other nominees: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Nomadland, One Night in Miami, The White Tiger

Best International Feature

Winner: Another Round
Other nominees: Better Days; Collective; The Man Who Sold His Skin; Quo Vadis, Aidia?

Emerald Fennell backstage with her Best Original Screenplay Oscar at the 93rd Academy Awards
Emerald Fennell with her Best Original Screenplay Oscar
Photo: Todd Wawrychuk/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Other nominees: 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

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Winner: Jamika Wilson, Mia Neal, Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Other nominees: Emma., Hillbilly Elegy, Mank, Pinocchio

Best Costume Design

Winner: Anne Roth, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Other nominees: Emma., Mank, Mulan, Pinocchio

Best Director

Winner: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Other nominees: Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round, David Fincher, Mank, Lee Isaac Chung, Minari, Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Best Sound

Winner: Jaime Baksht, Nicolas Becker, Philip Bladh, Carlos Cortés and Michelle Couttolenc, Sound of Metal
Other nominees: Greyhound, Mank, News of the World, Soul

Best Live Action Short Film

Winner: Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe, Two Distant Strangers
Other nominees: The Letter Room, The Present, Feeling Through, White Eye

Best Animated Short Film

Winner: Michael Govier and Will McCormack, If Anything Happens I Love You
Other nominees: Genius Loci, Opera, Yes - People

Best Animated Feature Film

Winner: Soul
Other nominees: Onward, Over the Moon, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Wolfwalkers

Best Documentary Short Subject

Winner: Colette
Other nominees: A Concerto Is a Conversation, Do Not Split, Hunger Ward, A Love Song for Latasha

Daniel Kaluuya with his Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for Judas and the Black Messiah
Daniel Kaluuya with his Academy Award for Judas and the Black Messiah
Photo: Todd Wawrychuk / A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

Best Documentary Feature

Winner: My Octopus Teacher
Other nominees: Collective, Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, The Mole Agent, Time

Best Visual Effects

Winner: Tenet
Other nominees: Love and Monsters, The Midnight Sky, Mulan, The One and Only Ivan

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Youn Yuh-jung, Minari
Other nominees: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm; Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy; Olivia Colman, The Father; Amanda Seyfried, Mank

Best Production Design

Winner: Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale, Mank
Other nominees: The Father, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, News of the World, Tenet

Best Cinematography

Winner: Erik Messerschmidt, Mank
Other nominees: Judas and the Black Messiah, News of the World, Nomadland, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Film Editing

Winner: Mikkel E.G. Nielsen, Sound of Metal
Other nominees: The Father, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Original Score

Winner: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste, Soul
Other nominees: Da 5 Bloods, Mank, Minari, News of the World

Best Original Song

Winner: “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah
Other nominees: Hear My Voice from The Trial of the Chicago 7, “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest, “Io Si (Seen)” from The Life Ahead, “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami

Best Picture

Winner: Nomadland
Other nominees: The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, Minari, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Actress

Winner: Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Other nominees: 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

Best Actor

Winner: Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Other nominees: Riz Ahmed, The Sound of Metal; Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Gary Oldman, Mank; Steven Yeun, Minari

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

Winner: Tyler Perry, for philanthropic work and addressing economic insecurity and homelessness

Winner: The Motion Picture & Television Fund, for providing support services to film-industry employees during the COVID-19 pandemic