Director Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, a movie about nomads in Africa, won the Best Picture award at the 93rd Academy Awards show. Films that premiered on streaming platforms ruled the ceremony that happened on April 25, 2021.
Out of the 23 awards, 16 went to projects released simultaneously in theatres and on streaming services. Nomadland, which Hulu had acquired, represents the first best picture winner from the relatively new medium. Five of the eight movies contending for the Best Picture award premiered exclusively or simultaneously on streaming platforms. Netflix, which amassed a total of 35 nominations, won a total of seven trophies.
Anthony Hopkins, who last won an Oscar almost 30 years ago for The Silence of the Lambs, became the oldest Oscar winner, at the age of 83, by winning the Best Actor award for The Father. Daniel Kaluuya won his first Academy Award for Judas and the Black Messiah, which was released simultaneously in theatres and on HBO Max. Mank won the awards for production design and cinematography and Sound of Metal for sound and editing.
The nominations and awards both broke history on many fronts. The producers decided to break with tradition by announcing the best director early. Chinese-born Chloé Zhao became the second woman after Kathryn Bigelow to claim the Best Director award. Additionally, Minari co-star Yuh-Jung Youn became the first Korean actress to win an Academy Award.
The makeup/hairstyling team of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom became the first Black winners in that category. The Netflix film also received an Oscar for costume design. This year’s Oscars ceremony was also unique because the awards were spread among multiple movies instead of one movie dominating them all. Nomadland won three awards, while five other films won a pair.