Like the whole year of 2020, this year’s Oscars were a mix of “new normal”, solemness, a modest amount of funny moments and surprises (just ask Daniel Kaluuya’s mom). To put it simply, it was different. Like many other award shows, the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony was moved to a later date and a different location. This time, the ceremony was held in Los Angeles’s Union Station where, because of the COVID restrictions, only nominees and guests were present.

The one thing that didn’t change was that the Oscars were yet again hostless. This concept was quite enjoyable last year, but this year it felt a bit weird, especially because there was no traditional opening monologue. However, the opening tracking shot sequence with Regina King was so good and it gave a movie-like feel that the producers envisioned for the whole ceremony. Unfortunately, that was the only part of the show that felt like that. 

The focus was on acceptance speeches

Many consider acceptance speeches to be one of the cringiest parts of the ceremony. In the previous years, the orchestra would start playing music after 45 seconds, which signalled the winners to wrap it up. This year, there was no orchestra, and winners once again had all the time in the world for their speeches. 

Listening to someone listing and thanking every single person they’ve ever met in their life is not a great TV for sure, but you don’t win Oscars every day. So why not let them have their moment? This was actually a highlight of the ceremony because the focus was on winners and each had their opportunity to tell their stories without being pressured to hurry up.

An ultimate pro when it comes to acceptance speeches is Frances McDormand. To be fair, this is her 3rd Oscar for Best Actress so it’s not surprising. Here’s her short speech with a quote from Macbeth:

“I have no words. My voice is in my sword. We know the sword is our work. And I like work. Thank you for knowing that and thanks for this.”

The award for the funniest acceptance speech this year goes to Daniel Kaluuya. In his speech for Best Supporting Actor, among other things, he said:

“My mom met my dad; they had sex — it’s amazing! I’m here!”

His mom’s and sister’s reactions were priceless!

Another year, another controversy

The biggest controversy this year was the fact that the award for Best Actor was given last which is not usually the case. That made everyone speculate that the award will go to the late Chadwick Boseman for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. 

The Oscar eventually went to Anthony Hopkins for his performance in The Father. Hopkins wasn’t there to accept the award, so the ceremony ended quite abruptly.

He later posted a video where he said that he was in Wales and was in fact sleeping when he got the Oscar. He also paid tribute to Boseman without hiding his obvious surprise that he won.

Many were criticizing the move from the Academy to leave the Best Actor award for the end. It looked like they were building up excitement for Bosemans’ victory which would’ve been a celebration and acknowledgement of his life and work. After that didn’t happen, Twitter erupted with accusations that the Academy exploited his death for ratings.

Glenn Close didn’t win the Oscar, but she won the show

Glenn Close has been nominated 8 times and still hasn’t won the Oscar. But that didn’t stop her from having fun and showing off her twerking skills.

This was one of the rare light and entertaining moments of the whole ceremony that immediately started trending on Twitter.

It was later revealed that the whole bit was scripted, which kinda ruined the fun. 

Online favourites

Each year we do a little social media analysis of the Oscars with Mediatoolkit, and this year was no different. We analyzed mentions of the keyword “the oscars” and mentions of Best Picture nominees along with the keyword “the oscars”. 

The Oscars were predominantly mentioned on Twitter, and even though the all-time low number of viewers watched the broadcast, the number of impressions of posts mentioning the Oscars went over whooping 5 billion

As for Best Picture nominees, the most talked-about movies online were Minari and Nomadland, while the least talked about the movie was The Father. 

Share of voice

Nomadland was an absolute winner this year with wins in Best Picture, Best Leading Actress and Best Director categories. 

Minari was nominated in 6 categories, and the only Oscar win went to Yuh-Jung Youn for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Yuh-Jung Youn won the audience with her vibrant speech, in which she flirted with Brad Pitt at one point. 

When it comes to online analysis, there weren’t any surprising revelations or interesting trends regarding Oscars this year. This leads us to the general conclusion of the 93rd Academy Awards…

In Conclusion

Overall, the only thing that comes to mind to describe this year’s ceremony is “meh”. It had a promising start, but as the evening progressed it just fell flat. The tweet below is a pretty good description of the situation.

The whole ceremony was quite serious with occasional humorous bits and no music performances (they were moved to the pre-show). One of the reasons the ratings were so low might be that the audience wants to watch something that will not constantly remind them of all the bad stuff going on. Not to say that we should put our heads in the sand and pretend that everything’s fine, but the energy of the show definitely could’ve been a little more upbeat than it was.

Especially because of the visible progress that was made this year regarding diversity. Oscars weren’t “so white” anymore and a step forward has been made in nominating movies with all kinds of diverse and important stories, as well as acknowledging diverse artists and their contributions whether it’s through acting, music, directing, you name it.

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