Nomadland has scooped three Oscars including best picture, while Anthony Hopkins and Daniel Kaluuya have won acting awards.
Nomadland’s Chloe Zhao made history as the first woman of color and second woman to win best director.
Anthony Hopkins, 83, is the oldest winner of best actor, while Daniel Kaluuya is the first black British actor to win an Oscar – for the best supporting award.
British actress-turned-writer/director Emerald Fennell won a screenplay award.
She won best original screenplay for Promising Young Woman, which she also directed.
Frances McDormand won best actress for her role in Nomadland, while veteran South Korean actress Yuh-Jung Youn won best supporting actress for Minari.
The awards were handed out in one of the grand halls at Los Angeles’s stylish Union Station to allow for a Covid-safe ceremony, while many UK-based nominees were at a venue in London – although Anthony Hopkins was at neither.
Anthony Hopkins won best actor for his masterful performance as a man suffering with dementia in The Father, 29 years after he won his first Oscar for The Silence of the Lambs.
The actor’s victory was the biggest surprise of the night. The award had been tipped to go to the late Chadwick Boseman, who died at the age of 43 last August, for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
It was perhaps a surprise to Sir Anthony himself, who was neither in LA nor at the British Film Institute in London, the ceremony’s UK venue.
Anthony Hopkins was thought to be in his native Wales, and there was not an option to appear via Zoom, meaning he did not appear on screen or in person.
The Father also won best adapted screenplay for Sir Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller, who called Sir Anthony “the greatest living actor”.
Nomadland, the slow-burning drama about a woman living in her van in the American West after the financial crash, won the top prize for best film, plus best director and best actress.
Frances McDormand, who now has three best actress Oscars, is one of the only professional performers in the film. Most of the rest of the cast is made up of real people playing fictionalized versions of themselves.
In her acceptance speech, Chloe Zhao thanked the real-life nomads “for teaching us the power of resilience and hope”.
Before Chloe Zhao, the only woman to have won the directing prize in the Oscars’ 92-year history was Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010.
Meanwhile, black-and-white film Mank, which led the nominations with 10, picked up two awards, as did Sound of Metal, Judas and the Black Messiah, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Soul.
Oscars 2021 big winners:
- Nomadland – 3
- The Father – 2
- Judas and the Black Messiah – 2
- Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – 2
- Mank – 2
- Soul – 2
- Sound of Metal – 2