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oscars 2021

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”.

Golden Globes 2021: Full List of Winners

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

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The US passed a grim milestone, with more than a million cases of Covid-19 recorded.

There are now 3,098,391 confirmed cases worldwide and 216,160 deaths, Johns Hopkins University says.

The House of Representatives has abandoned plans to return to Washington next week. Several states, including Georgia and Texas, have pressed ahead with plans to reopen amid the infection rise.

President Donald Trump was speaking earlier at a White House event about supporting small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.

As he closed the event, President Trump expressed his pride at the work being done by his government and tried to compare the scale of the outbreak with the Spanish Flu pandemic.

He said: “We’re going through a period of time the likes of which we’ve never seen in this country before, certainly even if you go back into 1917 – it was the worst of all time but it was also not as bad here.

“It was very bad, it was very rough – it was a bad one. But it wasn’t quite like what we’re going through right now.”

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However, the Spanish Flu pandemic happened in 1918, not 1917. It also had a far higher death toll than the coronavirus pandemic has had so far.

According to Johns Hopkins University tracking, more than 50 million people died of Spanish Flu worldwide while the current death toll from the coronavirus is about 216,000.

Some 675,000 Americans died in the 1918 pandemic, while some 58,000 are thought to have died with Covid-19.

In other developments, the organizers of the Academy Awards have announced that they will bend their own rules to let films only released on streaming platforms be eligible for nomination.

Under current rules, films have to be screened in a cinema in Los Angeles for at least seven days to qualify for awards.

On April 28, Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement that their commitment to theatre releases was “unchanged and unwavering” but said the pandemic has made the rule change necessary.

The Academy’s new policy is only temporary while most cinemas are closed because of coronavirus.

Many scheduled movie releases have been completely delayed by the pandemic.