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How can I win over Glenn Close?

Oscar Winners 2021

Because a photo of Amanda Seyfried on the red carpet was about the most fun you’d have from this year’s ceremony (you can also find one of her with matching mask, should you need an extra chuckle).

As for the Youn Yuh-jung acceptance speech comment, at this stage, how can anyone not win over Glenn Close?

Welcome to the Oscars, brought to you by the World Economic Forum. Set in a station (a home for the homeless) and celebrating a billionaire’s daughter – actually, Zhao claims her father is not a billionaire, which takes some steel – and her movie about how you will be happy and own nothing.

Not everything went totally to plan for this year’s wokeness unbound. Or perhaps it was simply a matter of priorities. What’s that? The voting is entirely genuine? That would be a first the world over, then. Variety headline: “The Oscars Embraced Diversity, but Not as Much as It Could Have”. And it was trying so damn hard. Still, many of those retrograde elderly votes may not be such a problem soon.

Also a first – I speak anecdotally, as I didn’t go near the suppine behemoth – Steven Soderbergh’s was officially the most boring Oscars ever. Quite the achievement. Perhaps he was simply doing his bit for the depopulation agenda. If you weren’t dead at the start of the ceremony, you’d have surely given up the will halfway through. On which subject, Harrison Ford now looks like Lloyd Bridges. While West Side Story looks exactly as visually un-lustrous as expected from a latter-day Beard joint.

Nomadland won three statuettes, while The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Mank, Soul and Sound of Metal took two each. I picked 16 out of the 23, well within my unremarkable standard range (my tally since 2013 goes: 11, 16, 16, 15, 14, 16, 15, 14).

Best Picture
Winner: Nomadland (Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey and Chloé Zhao, producers) 
I guessed: Nomadland

No surprises there. Less still Zhao’s soundbite: “I think I need less stuff to live. I can have fewer things”. You will own nothing and you can shit anywhere, with or without a bucket.

Best Director
Winner: Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)
I guessed: Chloé Zhao

I have always found goodness in the people I met.” Said Zhao. And sometimes, just sometimes, especially if they’re your father, billions of dollars too.

Best Actor
Winner: Anthony Hopkins (The Father)
I guessed: Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)

Prior to the ceremony, I commented “Hopkins really ought to get double the kudos, given his recent ‘jab’ performance. Or perhaps he really does have dementia and just didn’t realise?” Certainly, no one involved in this year’s show appeared to believe he was happening (unless that’s what they wanted you to think, to shine more of a light on him, or the empty seat he wasn’t inhabiting). Hence shuffling Best Actor to the last presented award in order to emphasise Boseman’s posthumous win.

Possibly a portion of the Academy weren’t keen to exercise quota voting in every category and rebelled. Possibly some were keen to award a really old guy (the oldest ever), because they’re really old too. Possibly those who actually watched Ma Rainey’s Fat Ass didn’t think Boseman was much cop in it. Or maybe Ant was being rewarded for leading umpteen elderly to the slaughter with that jab performance of his the other week. He feels “very privileged and honoured”. And still alive and kicking about a Welsh vista.

I note there was no posthumous honorary Oscar for DMX, who clearly didn’t provide the requisite on-point jab publicity. Making it surprising they deigned to put him on their death reel.

Best Actress
Winner: Frances McDormand (Nomadland)
I guessed: Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)

I suggested “If not for woke voting, Frances McDormand might have a shot at taking home her third (sometimes Oscar likes to keep giving)”. She’s now got four (including as producer on Nomadland). Frances said “My voice is in my sword. We know the sword is our work and I like work. Thank you for knowing that and thanks for this”. Whatever the hell that means. I like McDormand, but mostly I like that Davis didn’t win for all that frantic mugging.

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah)
I guessed: Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah)

Daniel suggested of Fred Hampton, whom he portrayed, “How blessed we are that we lived in a lifetime where he existed”. Erm… Still, credit to Kaluuya for one of the evening’s few humorous offerings: “My mom and my dad, they had sex. It’s amazing”.

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Youn Yuh-jung (Minari)
I guessed: Youn Yuh-jung (Minari)

Youn Yuh-jung said what no one else dared, crediting her win to “American hospitality for the Korean actor”. However, she did deserve it. Amanda Seyfried wins Best Consciousness-Expanding Dress Oscar. Glenn Close knows jive. Very Airplane!

Best Original Screenplay
Winner: Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell)
I’d like to win: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin)

Fennell was the favourite here, so not such a surprise. More so that she loved Saved By the Bell. Although, then again, perhaps not.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: The Father (Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller)
I guessed: Nomadland (Chloé Zhao)

This one was a surprise, though. Hampton’s second win (the first was for Dangerous Liaisons starring ever-passed-over Glenn Close).

Best Animated Feature
Winner: Soul
I guessed: Soul

Pete Doctor said “We don't get to control what happens, but like a jazz musician, we can turn what happens into something of value and beauty". Sheesh, full control over canned acceptance speeches there, though, Pete.

Best International Feature
Winner: Another Round (Denmark)
I guessed: Another Round

Thomas Vinterberg gave one of the more welcomed speeches of the evening (it involved personal tragedy, always popular) and even checked the box of white liberal guilt apologia for confessing to making “a movie about four depraved white drunk men”.

Best Documentary Feature
Winner: My Octopus Teacher (Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster)
I guessed: My Octopus Teacher

Ehrlich said “I hope that it provided a glimpse of a different kind of relationship between human beings and the natural world”. Yeah, not happening. In so much as there won’t be one at all when we’re all crammed into the smart cities.

Best Documentary Short
Winner: Colette (Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard)
I guessed: A Love Song for Latasha

Proof that, even in 2021, there’s space for concentration camp porn! Oscar will keep that flag flying, no matter how many other movements threaten to steal its thunder. It was a Grauniad film, released on the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials. Of course, it was. And besides, if all else failed, there was always a reminder of the value of fascistic protocols from Regina King at the opening of the ceremony (“…people have been vaxxed, tested, retested, socially distanced”).

Best Live Action Short
Winner: Two Distant Strangers
I guessed: Feeling Through 

Ha! I referred to Two Distant Strangers as an “on-the-nose tale of time-loop police brutality, possibly too on the nose even for Oscar, but you never know”. Nothing is ever too on-the-nose for Oscar. “Black trauma porn”? Oscars lap that shit up. The more trauma porn, the better. If Whitey usurped the lead actor and actress categories, let’s hear it for Best Live Action Short, where the real political progressivism is happening.

Best Animated Short
Winner: If Anything Happens I Love You 
I guessed: If Anything Happens I Love You

Yep, they’re coming for your guns. You won’t own any weaponry, and you’ll be happy.

Best Original Score
Winner: Soul (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste)
I guessed: Soul

Batiste waxed lyrical to “Every contribution with music that comes from the divine into the instruments into the film, into the minds, hearts and souls of every person who hears it”. And then Reznor sang “I want to fuck you like an animal”.

Best Original Song
Winner: Fight for You (H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II, Tiara Thomas Judas and the Black Messiah)
I guessed: Speak Now (Leslie Odom Jr, One Night in Miami)

I mean, yeah. It’s an alright track. Fairly forgettable. As was the on-message H.E.R. acceptance speech (“Knowledge is power, music is power and as long as I’m standing, I’m going to fight for us”). Yeah, yeah.

Best Sound
Winner: Sound of Metal (Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh)
I guessed: Sound of Metal

Least surprising win? Outside of Best Picture.

Best Production Design
Winner: Mank (Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale)
I guessed: Mank

Best Cinematography
Winner: Mank (Erik Messerschmidt)
I’d like to win: Mank

Ben Mankiewicz tweeted that Mank won more Oscars than Citizen Kane. Which, as snark goes, is quite funny. And very snarky.

Best Make Up and Hairstyling
Winner: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson)
I guessed: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Costume Design
Winner: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Ann Roth)
I’d like to win: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

These were pretty much guaranteed. But then, so was Boseman.

Best Film Editing
Winner: Sound of Metal (Mikkel EG Nielsen)
I guessed: Sound of Metal

Not as widely predicted as the Sound win, but still widely predicted.

Best Visual Effects
Winner: Tenet (Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher)
I guessed: Tenet

Yay Tenet. Yay Christopher Nolan and the future of cinema. Yay Netflix, winning the most Oscars of the evening…

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