2021 Oscar Results and Reactions

I made some predictions. You can read them here! After 2 months and 30+ movies and reviews, it’s finally Oscar night! I’ll be writing this post as the awards are being presented, thus you’ll be seeing my brief reactions to each award announcement, in the order in which they were announced. Note I didn’t see any shorts, nor did I make any music category productions, so I won’t mention them here. Okay, and away we go!

Best Original Screenplay: Promising Young Woman
My pick: The Trial of the Chicago 7
Likely winner: The Trial of the Chicago 7
Rando’s Pick: Minari
Whaaaaaat?!?!?! The screenplay was TERRIBLE. I just cannot comprehend this win. And this is how we’re starting off? Ugh.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Father
My pick: The White Tiger
Likely winner: Nomadland
Rando’s Pick: The Father
“For me this is a close call between The White Tiger and The Father.” -me, yesterday. Okay, this one is totally fine.

Best International Feature: Another Round
My pick: Collective
Likely winner: Collective
Rando’s Pick: Another Round
“The only one I didn’t like was Another Round, so watch it win now.” – me, yesterday. I jinxed it! This was easily the WORST movie in this otherwise stellar category, and I was literally screaming at the TV. Between Promising Young Woman winning screenplay and this absolute garbage winning best international feature when it was up against 4 astronomically better films, I think I’m in for a long grumpy night. Grr…

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
My pick: Hillbilly Elegy
Likely winner: Hillbilly Elegy
Rando’s Pick: Emma
Oh nice! First black women to receive this award, based on the speech. And I’m a fan of the winners’ undercut haircuts. But… I’m not sure what this award was really for. Hillbilly Elegy and Pinnochio were both very obvious for why they’re nominated (prosthetics, etc). But people in Ma Rainey just kinda looked… normal? I guess it’s for making the fabulous Viola Davis bigger and more tired?

Best Costume Design: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
My pick: Emma
Likely winner: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Rando’s Pick: Mank
Oh hey, I called this one! Tough field with lots of solid competitors. Happy with anything.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah)
My pick: Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami)
Likely wick: Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah)
Rando’s Pick: Leslie Odom Jr.
Okay, my panic is subsiding. I’ve called a handful of these in a row now. Things are returning to normal…

Best Director: Choloe Hzao (Nomadland)
My pick: Chloe Hzao (Nomadland)
Likely winner: David FIncher (Mank)
Rando’s Pick: David Fincher (Mank)
Hooray!!! My pick got picked! Suck it, Fincher! And it was a very nice speech.

Best Sound: Sound of Metal
My pick: Sound of Metal
Likely winner: Sound of Metal
Rando’s Pick: Mank
YES! It couldn’t have been anything else, frankly (though I didn’t see Greyhound). I’ve never seen a film where sound played such a major role. Half the film’s success was in how they depicted the way the protagonist hears the world as he’s losing his hearing, and it’s perfectly done. Bravo.

Brief detour here foe general comments while they present a couple short film awards and I zone out… Guys, I think I’ve cried at like 2 or 3 commercials so far. Ugh. But I’m giddy for the new West Side Story movie they advertised earlier (though I do hate that Baby Driver kid playing Tony. Hmm…) Also, they did a whole humanitarian award presentation earlier for people who work in a nursing home for retired movie industry people. That was pretty sweet. This is a very different awards ceremony than usual, which is of course unsurprising. I’m totally digging it, though. It feel much more sincere and sweet. So far, they have one presenter at a time, and that presenter does like 2 or 3 awards. They’re giving a cute little bio or fun fact for each nominee. Each award winner is actually giving a long boring real speech instead of being played off after 1 minute. So yeah, kinda boring, but at least more substantive than the thing where they just list people. It looks like the only people present are nominees instead of all of hollywood, which I think is pretty cool and makes things seem more intimate. There hasn’t really been any filler yet. Questlove is DJing in the back instead of there being a full orchestra. The only thing I think I’m really missing is we haven’t gotten musical presentations of the Best Song nominees, which I’ve enjoyed in the past. Ok, back to “real” awards. Reese is on, and she’s just so dang likeable…

Best Animated Feature: Soul
My pick: Farmageddon
Likely winner: Soul
Rando’s Pick: Soul
Whoa! Hey! They’re giving away the spoiler ending for Onward in the clip! NOT COOL! Anyway, of course Soul won. Thoroughly unsurprising.

Best Documentary Feature: My Octopus Teacher
My pick: Collective
Likely winner: Collective
Rando’s Pick: Collective
“Agent and Octopus Teacher were both absolutely fantastic. Solid stuff here. The only one I didn’t like was Time, so watch it win now.” -me, yesterday. Whew! Look, Collective was EASILY the best movie of the year, and somehow managed to not win for best picture, or to win either of its categories. That is an absolute travesty. That being said… this was a VERY tough category, and My Octopus Teacher was a CRAZY GOOD MOVIE as well, and it’s very deserving of its win. It totally blew my mind as I was watching it. So I’m not upset at the choice. Mostly I was relieved Time didn’t win cuz I was worried I’d jinxed it. Also, dude finished his speech off with this touching line: “If a man can form a friendship with an octopus, it makes you wonder what else is possible.”

Best Visual Effects: Tenet
My pick: The One and Only Ivan
Likely winner: Tenet
Rando’s Pick: The One and Only Ivan
BOO!!!! FIE!!!!! I POOP ON YOUR STUPID PRETENTIOUS BLOATED CRAP MOVIE!!!! BOOOO!!!! On the other hand, I get points for calling this one, I guess. So there’s a silver lin- no wait, I meant…. BOOOOO!!! LAAAAAME!!!!

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Yuh-jung Youn (Minari)
My pick: Yuh-jung Youn (Minari)
Likely winner: Yuh-jung Youn (Minari)
Rando’s Pick: Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy)
Huzzah! Double points for me for getting both my pick, and my likely winner pics right on this one. It really could have gone to almost anyone, because this was an insanely strong category. But I’m super glad Youn won because she’s easily got the best acceptance speech so far. She is cracking me up. First she swooned over Brad Pitt, then she forgave us all for messing up her name, then she told herself to pull herself together, then she made a joke about her kids forcing her to work, etc. Then she gave a really nice speech about how they’re not really competing because how can you compete when you’re each in different roles? But she’s just luckier than them. Then the camera followed her and Brad Pitt off the screen, which was freaking adorable. I am happy crying.

Best Production Design: Mank
My pick: The Father
Likely winner: News of the World
Rando’s Pick: Tenet
Whatever, at least it wasn’t Tenet.

Best Cinematography: Mank
My pick: Nomadland
Likely winner: Nomadland
Rando’s Pick: News of the World
What? Two in a row? Ugh. I’m ok with Mank winning production design, but I think I’m missing something on cinematography. Better than Nomadland? Really? Meh. On the other hand, it did have more nominations than any other movie, so I guess of course it’ll win something. Fingers crossed that it ends here? And that I didn’t just jinx it into winning all the remaining categories… Oh no! What do I do? AAAAH!
So, this is Elga from the future… I’ve just watched the clip from the Best Film montage and I’m reminded how nice Mank actually looked. So I take back my frustration here. Award is fine.

Film Editing: Sound of Metal
My pick: Sound of Metal
Likely winner: The Father
Rando’s Pick: Nomadland
I was just sitting here thinking “I’d be happy with pretty much anything except Promising Young Woman on this one, so watch it win.” And then my actual fave wound up winning! Huzzah! Also, Harrison Ford presented this one and looks absolutely ancient but also was very funny. So if you’re looking up YouTube highlights later instead of watching the real show, then look for this one.

Another detour here: Tyler Perry just got a humanitarian award. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Tyler Perry movie, but damn this dude is a freaking amazing human being and now I have all the feels. Next detour: we’re on the music awards now. I didn’t do an official prediction here, but it would have been Soul for best score (I swear!). John Baptiste is giving a fantastic speech about how there are only 12 notes, and we’ve all been given the same 12 notes, and it’s amazing how many different interpretations and inspirations we can find in just those 12 notes. While the speech is great, it’s also really weird not hearing the scores during the presentation. We have no clue what they sounded like. The good news is, we’re on the Best Song category now, and they’re at least playing a snippet for each one now so we can hear them. I’ve gotta say, it’s super fun to see the stupid Eurovision movie nominated. Also, if I had made a prediction, it would have been Leslie Odom Jr for his song from One Night in Miami, which of course just lost. So I guess my non-predictions would have canceled out. This has been a stream-of-conciseness detour, so presumably it makes no sense.

Best Picture: Nomadland
My pick: The Trial of the Chicago 7
Likely winner: Nomadland
Rando’s Pick: The Father
Hooray! I actually rewatched The Trial of the Chicago 7 today (I would call it the most re-watchable of the nominees), and I admit that while it’s the one that personally sucked me in the most, it isn’t actually the best film. That honor truly does belong to Nomadland. Well-deserved, and up against a whole slew of seriously impressive candidates.

Sidenote: Everything is being done out of order tonight, and I’m kinda confused as to why. We thought maybe we missed something (we paused for a dogwalk and are fast-forwarding through commercials). As we hit Best Picture, I was like “huh… but we didn’t do best actor or actress, did we?” Turns out they’re about to finish with them. And the actress is presenting to actress and actor to actor (usually it’s opposite gender).

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Frances McDormand (Nomadland)
My pick: Frances McDormand (Nomadland)
Likely winner: Andra Day (United States vs Billie Holiday)
Rando’s Pick: Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)
Yeah, this was the right call. I’d selected Andra Day as likely winner because she got the Golden Globe, but McDormand was better. Another tough field, though.

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Anthony Hopkins (The Father)
My pick: Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)
Likely winner: Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)
Rando’s Pick: Steven Yeun (Minari)
Yesterday I said that it was a close competition between Hopkins and Boseman (and that Riz Ahmed would also be deserving.) I picked Boseman, but Hopkins was absolutely amazing, so props to him for a well-deserved award.


My picks: 5/18 =28%
My predictions: 7/18 = 39%
Rando picks: 3/18 = 17%

Well, the bad news is that all of my prediction and pick measures were colossal failures. The good news is, at least they lined up as expected. My predictions for who would win was the best measure. The totally randomly-generated selections were the worst. And my picks for what I wanted to win fell in the middle.

How do I feel overall? Meh, there were some hits and misses. Some no-brainers, and some what-the-fucks. I remember that last year the early categories were the ones that got me super upset (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood snagged Production Design and Best Supporting Actor at the very top of the show), and the same happened this year with Promising Young Woman snagging screenplay, and Another Round snagging best international film). After that, though, things went about as expected. I was happy to see Sound of Steel, Ma Rainey, and The Father pick up a couple statues each in appropriate categories. But I am disappointed when I look at the list of Best Picture nominees to realize that my favorite nominee in this category, The Trial of the Chicago 7, didn’t win a single thing. That is bullshit. It should have won best original screenplay for sure. And, of course, Collective should have gotten way more recognition.

Thanks to the 5 or 6 people who have been popping in from time to time to follow my Oscars journey. It’s been pretty intense this year! Maybe a little too intense? I dunno. But hopefully someone out there got some decent or amusing insight for assembling your to-watch lists. Seeya all back here next year!

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