You can always count on the Academy Awards for some good TV.
Although many categories were seemingly sewn up going into Sunday’s show, the Oscars are famous for their surprising wins (“Moonlight” over “La La Land” for best picture) and shocking moments (Eminem popping in to perform “Lose Yourself” last year, much to Idina Menzel’s bewilderment).
This year was no different, with the reimagined Oscars ceremony held at Los Angeles’ iconic Union Station for the first time ever. The host-less, mask-less event featured nominees in person in L.A., as well as remotely from “hubs” such as London and Paris, for those unable to travel because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Here are the wild, wonderful and just plain weird moments you should know from this year’s Oscars, where “Nomadland” scored three big wins (for best picture, actress and director).
Anthony Hopkins stuns with best actor win over Chadwick Boseman
Talk about a jaw-dropping finale: Breaking from tradition, the Oscars gave the best actor award at the very end of the show, presumably to leave the audience with a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman. (The “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” star, who died from colon cancer last August at age 43, has swept awards season.)
But in a surprise twist, Anthony Hopkins won best actor for his gut-wrenching turn as a man with dementia in “The Father.” The British acting legend wasn’t in attendance and the show awkwardly ended with presenter Joaquin Phoenix standing alone on stage.
He deserved more:Why Chadwick Boseman’s posthumous Oscar loss stings so much
Here’s why Frances McDormand howled like a wolf when ‘Nomadland’ won
McDormand became the sixth actor in history to win three acting Oscars with “Nomadland,” in which she plays a widow who hits the road and lives in her van after losing her job. She also won a fourth Oscar as a producer of “Nomadland,” which took best picture.
“One day very, very soon, take everyone you know into a theater, shoulder to shoulder in that dark space and watch every film that’s represented here tonight,” McDormand said, joining director Chloé Zhao during the best-picture acceptance speech. “We give this one to our Wolf.”
She then let out a howl in tribute to Michael Wolf Snyder, a sound mixer on the film who died at age 35 earlier this year.
Glenn Close twerks to ‘Da Butt,’ becomes a meme
Close launched a thousand memes with her encyclopedic knowledge during a trivia segment with Questlove, in which he tested stars including Andra Day and Daniel Kaluuya on their Oscar music knowledge. The “Hillbilly Elegy” actress was seemingly stumped when he asked her about 1988 song “Da Butt,” until she realized, “Wait a second – that’s ‘Da Butt.’ ”
The eight-time Oscar nominee (who lost best supporting actress to “Minari” star Yuh-jung Youn) then shaded the Academy for snubbing the song, which was featured in Spike Lee’s “School Daze.” She ended by getting up and twerking for a few seconds, in one of show’s few lighthearted and totally unexpected moments.
Regina King talks Chauvin verdict, maskless celebs in opening
King memorably kicked off the ceremony strutting into Los Angeles’ Union Station, where she presented the screenplay awards. The “One Night in Miami” director took a moment to discuss last week’s guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis cop found guilty of murdering unarmed Black man George Floyd.
“I know many of you want to reach for your remote when you feel Hollywood is preaching to you, but as the mother of a Black son who fears for his safety, no fame or fortune changes that,” King said.
She also addressed the question on all of our minds: How are all these A-listers mingling with no masks?
“People have been vaxxed, tested, re-tested, socially distanced, and we are following all of the rigorous protocols that got us back to work safely,” King said. “So just like on a movie set, when we are rolling, masks off.”
Regina King stuns in Oscars opening:‘I may have traded in my heels for marching boots’
Daniel Kaluuya baffles mom, sister with ‘sex’ comment
Kaluuya may have won best supporting actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” but it was his mom, Damalie, who stole the show. The British actor started his speech by thanking his mom, saying, “You gave me everything. You gave me your factory settings. So I could stand at my fullest height.”
But the inspiring speech took a turn when he started talking about being grateful to be alive.
“We’re breathing, walking, it’s incredible. It’s incredible,” Kaluuya said. “My mum, my dad, they had sex. It’s amazing! I’m here.”
Cue the hysterical cutaway to his shocked mom, wincing as she appeared to mouth, “What is he talking about?” as Kaluuya’s sister buried her face in her hands.
Oscars speeches weren’t played off this year.It meant Daniel Kaluuya got to shock his mom.
‘Another Round’ director delivers a heartbreaking tribute to his late daughter
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when Danish director Thomas Vinterberg accepted the award for best international film for “Another Round,” about four high-school teachers (one played by Mads Mikkelsen) who experiment with being drunk all the time. The film was intended as a celebration of life, Vinterberg said, and became an emotional tribute to the filmmaker’s 19-year-old daughter after she was killed in a car accident just four days into shooting.
“Two months before she died, she was in Africa and she sent me a letter,” a tearful Vinterberg said. “She had just read the script and she was glowing with excitement, she loved this and she felt seen by this. … We ended up making this movie for her as her monument. So Ida, this is a miracle that just happened and you’re a part of this miracle. Maybe you’ve been pulling some strings somewhere, I don’t know, but this one is for you.”
The 11 best-dressed Oscars stars:Regina King and Zendaya, we’d like our breath back, please
Yuh-jung Youn flirts with Brad Pitt, salutes Glenn Close
Youn gave the most delightful speech of the night accepting best supporting actress for “Minari.” She was presented the award by last year’s supporting actor Oscar winner (and “Minari” producer) Brad Pitt, and the Korean icon proceeded to flirt with the Hollywood star as she took the stage.
“Oh, Mr. Brad Pitt, finally! It’s so nice to meet you,” Youn said. “Where were you while we were filming in Tulsa?”
Youn is the first Korean acting winner in Oscar history, but graciously chalked up her victory to luck.
“I don’t believe in competition, how can I win over Glenn Close?” Youn said. “Tonight, I have just a little bit luck, I think, maybe. I’m luckier than you. And also maybe it’s American hospitality for the Korean actor. I’m not sure. But anyway, thank you so much.”