The 93rd Oscars would be “shot like a three-hour film,” Steven Soderbergh of the ceremony’s producers had. And it started out that way, with Regina King kicking off the hostless show (again, for the third consecutive year) by coolly strutting through Union Station in Los Angeles in the one-take opening credits, set against a groovy soundtrack.
For a while, it felt you were watching a heist flick, another Ocean’s Eleven instalment. Soderbergh and Co. may be onto something here. The Union Station turned out to be a terrific choice: the set designers did a marvelous job of converting a transport hub into an intimate venue.
But things got serious (levity was on low supply; most of the acceptance speeches centred around racism and brutality) and more troubling, sluggish (it could do without the music trivial segment), and then surprising (Best Actor as the last award to be given out?). The show was unpredictable alright, but not in an exciting way. Where's the host when you need one?
Still, there’s much to be celebrated: Chloe Zhao made history as the first woman of colour and the second female to win Best Director for Nomadland, the recession drama went on to claim Best Picture and Best Actress for Frances McDormand, while Minari’s Youn Yuh-Jung became the first Korean to receive Best Supporting Actress.
Here, we single out a few of the show's more memorable moments.