‘Nomadland’the Disney film, has been the big winner at the Oscars of the pandemic with three statuettes: best film, direction and leading actress for Frances McDormand. Hollywood has decided to reward a small film in the year in which theaters closed, which talks about job insecurity in America After the 2008 crisis, new forms of exploitation and workers who, at retirement age, are forced to travel around the country and live in vans because they cannot pay rent. Your director, Chloe Zhaodedicated the award “to those who live on the road and teach us the power of resilience and hope.” McDormand, for his part, advised watching ‘Nomadland’ “on the biggest screen you can find, sitting side by side in the dark.”
Bong Joon-ho, last year’s unexpected winner with ‘Parasites’, entered from a Seoul cinema to present the award for best director in Korean. And in this new international drift of the awards, Chloé Zhao, the author of ‘Nomadland’, She became the second woman with the statuette after Kathryn Bigelow. The director, born in Beijing 39 years ago and settled in the United States, recalled that as a child she was told that she had to trust in the kindness of others and confessed that this is what she continues to do. «People on earth are inherently good. I have always found goodness in the people I met, and “This award is for all who are able to see and hold on to that goodness.” she expressed calmly zen, with her long pigtails and white sneakers. The film, already released in theaters, will be available on Disney+ starting this Friday.
The Oscar for best screenplay for ‘A Promising Young Woman’where the actress Emerald Fennell, Camilla from ‘The Crown’, serves as director of black humor to address such gruesome issues as rape culture and revenge stories of abused women, also worth reviewing in a night with women and of the black community. If Frances McDormand wins her third Oscar after ‘Fargo’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside’, Anthony Hopkins gets second after ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ and becomes the oldest actor to win it at 83 years old. The Welshman did not pick it up and his award closed a ceremony that, for the first time, He saved the two acting Oscars for last after revealing the best picture.
The musical performances with the nominated songs were reserved for the red carpet, before the gala, and were broadcast on tape. The main setting was not the Kodak Theater, but Union Station, the central station of Los Angeles, where films such as ‘Blade Runner’ and Christopher Nolan’s ‘Batman’ have been filmed. The usual stalls were replaced by a few tables with guests arranged at different levels, similar to the Golden Globes. The small groups were separated from each other. Everything was like on a reduced scale, it didn’t look like the Oscars. The table lamps with the silhouette of the statuettes, the screens like paintings with changing photos of actors collecting their awards, the glass windows through which the light and the flowers entered gave an air between a convention and a luxury restaurant. The railings were reminiscent of an ocean liner and there was even a DJ overhead. No one was eating or drinking, the guests were stiff at their tables. No masks were seen, except for those of Zendaya and Frances McDormand in their seats.
As it was sung, Daniel Kaluuya was the best supporting actor for ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’, where he plays Fred Hampton, the murdered leader of the Black Panthers. The British actor of Ugandan parents, who was already nominated in 2018 for ‘Let Me Out’, promised to celebrate that night even though due to the length of his role he would have received the leading Oscar. The 73-year-old Korean actress Yuh-Jung Youn won in the same category for ‘Minari. Family history’in which she plays a slightly scrupulous grandmother who comes to the United States to remind her family of their roots. Glenn Close looked sad for the eighth time and He also had to go out twerking during the only moment of relaxation of the night. The Danish ‘Another round’ received the award for best foreign film and its director, Thomas Vinterbergrecalled the irony of awarding the story of four drunk teachers, while flooding his speech with emotion when dedicating the award to his 19-year-old daughter Ida, who died in a car accident on the fourth day of filming.
The Spaniard Sergio López-Rivera arrived in Los Angeles at the age of 19 where he did everything: he worked in an ice cream parlor, in a dry cleaner, he was a driver… When he lived in Santander he played makeup for his mother and his sisters. Now he has received an Oscar for doing it to actress Viola Davis, who in ‘The Mother of the Blues’ plays Ma Rainey, one of the first black artists to record her music accompanied by an orchestra. López-Rivera is Davis’ regular makeup artist and, although he did not speak on stage despite being the head of the team, in interviews these days he has told how the actress did not hesitate to demand that he show her fatter and uglier, like from the real Ma Rainey. To create the look, the fifteenth Spaniard with an Oscar looked at Bette Davis from ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’. Before him, two other Spaniards, David Martí and Montse Ribó, won the makeup Oscar in 2006 for ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’.
The actor Bryan Cranston Touring the empty Dolby theater, the usual venue for the gala, caused chills and brought us back to these times of pandemic. The producer of the party, Steven Soderbergh had promised a cinematic spectacle, but, minus the start with Regina King and her reminder of Black Power, (“as a mother of a black son, I know the fear that many live with and no amount of fame or fortune changes that,” she said), everything passed without spark, a mere succession of deliveries and very long thanks without interruptions Break up the routine with clips from movies or musical performances. If it was a tribute to the first radio galas, it was tedious. The denunciation of police violence in the United States and those killed by weapons were heard in some of the speeches, which insisted on the need to recover cinema in theaters. The number of black guests and presenters stood out.
‘Soul’the latest Pixar-Disney wonder, It was the best animated feature film and Oscar for the soundtrack, as was predictable. «This film began as a love letter to jazz. But we had no idea how much jazz was going to teach us about life,” said its director. Pete Docter. Spanish-Chilean co-production ‘The Mole Agent’ lost the documentary Oscar to ‘What the Octopus Taught Me’, a beautiful Netflix nature film in which an uninspired director and diver finds an unexpected creative accomplice in a cephalopod at the bottom of the sea. An award discussed given the power and seriousness of documentaries such as the Romanian ‘Collective’, which denounces corruption and the state of healthcare in Romania.
‘Mank’, David Fincher’s film that aspired to ten Oscars, had to settle for two: to its wonderful black and white photography and the production design that recreates the Hollywood of the 40s that saw the birth of ‘Citizen Kane’. After ‘Roma’ and ‘The Irishman’, Netflix, which had 36 nominations, still has not achieved the award it so craves to obtain definitive respectability and become just another studio. ‘Sound of Metal’, Amazon’s production about a hard rock drummer who goes deaf, won awards for best sound and editing. The best song was ‘Fight for You’, by HER, who became the first singer and songwriter to win the Grammy and the Oscar for this song from ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’. They were Oscars committed to feminism and Black Lives Matter, international with connections all over the world and tedious because of the long speeches and lack of spectacle. Perhaps Antonio Banderas, responsible for the latest Goya, could stop by the Hollywood Academy and advise them on how to organize the Oscars in the middle of a pandemic.