Oscars 2021 recap: 'Nomadland' wins best picture on night of historic firsts

EMILY SHAPIRO and TOMMY BROOKSBANK
·5 min read
Oscars 2021 recap: 'Nomadland' wins best picture on night of historic firsts

Hollywood's biggest night -- the Academy Awards -- has come to a close.

"Nomadland" took home the coveted best picture award while Anthony Hopkins and Frances McDormand won best actor and actress in a leading role.

Hopkins' victory was an upset over Chadwick Boseman, who died in August after a private four-year battle with colon cancer. Boseman was nominated for best actor for his role in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."

MORE: Oscars 2021: Complete winners list

This year brought barrier-breaking wins, including the first woman of color to win best director and the first Black women to win best makeup and hairstyling.

MORE: 2021 Oscar nominations: See the full list

The nominees for best picture included: "Judas and the Black Messiah," "Mank," "Minari," "Nomadland," "Promising Young Woman," "Sound of Metal," "The Father" and "The Trial of the Chicago 7."

MORE: Tyler Perry to be honored with humanitarian award at Oscars 2021 ceremony

Anthony Hopkins wins best actor

Anthony Hopkins won the best actor award for his performance in Florian Zeller's “The Father."

Many expected late actor Chadwick Boseman to win a posthumous best actor Oscar for his performance in “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." He had racked up multiple awards for his performance prior to the Oscars.

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Frances McDormand wins best actress

Frances McDormand won the best actress Academy Award at the 2021 Oscars Sunday night.

The actress was nominated for her performance in Chloé Zhao’s "Nomadland."

She competed in the category alongside Viola Davis ("Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"), Vanessa Kirby ("Pieces of a Woman"), Andra Day (“The United States Vs. Billie Holiday") and Carey Mulligan ("Promising Young Woman").

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This was McDormand’s third Oscar win: she previously won the best actress award for "Fargo" in 1997 and the best actress award for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" in 2018.

‘Nomadland’ wins best picture

"Nomadland" claimed the Oscar for best picture. "Nomadland" director Chloé Zhao also took home the best directing statue.

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"Nomadland," based on a 2017 book, follows a woman named Fern (Frances McDormand), who leaves her home after her husband dies to live out of her van, traveling the U.S. and taking on odd jobs. The movie features real-life nomads in the supporting cast. McDormand won best actress for the role.

Tyler Perry accepts humanitarian award

The Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was presented Sunday to Tyler Perry in recognition of his charity efforts.

As Perry stood on stage, he recalled a story of when he offered money to a homeless woman. She, however, asked for a pair of shoes.

The woman, staring down, said, "Thank you, Jesus, my feet are off the ground," Perry recalled.

The woman said to Perry that she thought he’d hate her. Perry said he responded: "How can I hate you when I used to be you?"

PHOTO: Tyler Perry attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station, April 25, 2021, Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Tyler Perry attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station, April 25, 2021, Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)

Perry said he dedicates his award "to anyone who wants to stand in the middle no matter what’s around the walls" because "that’s where healing happens" and where "change happens."

"So anyone who wants to meet me in the middle to refuse hate … to help lift someone’s feet off the ground, this one is for you, too," he said.

Chloé Zhao becomes 1st woman of color to win best director

Chloé Zhao won best director for "Nomadland," becoming the first Asian woman -- and woman of color -- to win the award.

Zhao also is only the second woman ever to win best director.

PHOTO: Chloe Zhao arrives at the 93rd Academy Awards in Los Angeles, April 25, 2021.  (Pool/Reuters)
PHOTO: Chloe Zhao arrives at the 93rd Academy Awards in Los Angeles, April 25, 2021. (Pool/Reuters)

Makeup, hairstyling winners break 'glass ceiling'

As Mia Neal, one of the makeup and hairstyling winners for "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," accepted her Oscar, she used her moment to share the spotlight with other minority women.

MORE: 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' makeup and hair team make Oscars history

Neal and Jamika Wilson, who won alongside Sergio Lopez-Rivera, were the first Black women nominated in the category.

"As Jamika and I break this glass ceiling," she said, she was filled with "so much excitement for the future."

PHOTO: Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson and Sergio Lopez-Rivera, winners of the award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling for 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' pose in the press room at the Oscars, in Los Angeles, April 25, 2021.  (Pool/Reuters)
PHOTO: Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson and Sergio Lopez-Rivera, winners of the award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling for 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' pose in the press room at the Oscars, in Los Angeles, April 25, 2021. (Pool/Reuters)

"I can picture Black trans women standing up here, and Asian sisters. And our Latina sisters, and indigenous women. And I know that one day it won't be unusual or groundbreaking -- it will just be normal," she said.

Daniel Kaluuya thanks late Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in acceptance speech

Daniel Kaluuya, who won the best supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of Fred Hampton in "Judas and the Black Messiah," thanked the slain Black Panther leader in his speech.

PHOTO: Daniel Kaluuya arrives to the 93rd Academy Awards, at Union Station, in Los Angeles, April 25, 2021. (Pool/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Daniel Kaluuya arrives to the 93rd Academy Awards, at Union Station, in Los Angeles, April 25, 2021. (Pool/Getty Images)

"What a man. What a man. How blessed we are that we lived in a lifetime where he existed," Kaluuya said.

PHOTO: Daniel Kaluuya accepts the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role during the 93rd Oscars in Los Angeles, April 25, 2021. (ABC )
PHOTO: Daniel Kaluuya accepts the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role during the 93rd Oscars in Los Angeles, April 25, 2021. (ABC )

"Thank you for your light," he said, noting that Hampton was alive for just 21 years. "He found a way to feed kids breakfast, educate kids, give free medical care -- against all the odds," Kaluuya said.

"There’s so much work to do, guys -- and that’s on everyone in this room," Kaluuya said.

Regina King opens show by mentioning the Derek Chauvin verdict

Regina King, director of "One Night in Miami," opened the show by touching on the Derek Chauvin verdict.

PHOTO: Regina King arrives at the Oscars, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzell/Pool via AP)
PHOTO: Regina King arrives at the Oscars, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzell/Pool via AP)

"If things had gone differently this past week in Minneapolis," King said, she would’ve "traded in her heals for marching boots."

"As a mother of a Black son I know the fear that so many live with -- and no amount of fame or fortune chases that," King said.

PHOTO: Regina King at the 93rd Oscars at Union Station Los Angeles, April 25, 2021. (Ampas/ABC)
PHOTO: Regina King at the 93rd Oscars at Union Station Los Angeles, April 25, 2021. (Ampas/ABC)

Chauvin was convicted Tuesday on all three counts in the death of George Floyd: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Oscars 2021 recap: 'Nomadland' wins best picture on night of historic firsts originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com