Every Can't-Miss Moment and Major Surprise From the 2021 Oscars
From Daniel Kaluuya's R-rated shoutout to Chloé Zhao's history-making win, these are the moments from the 2021 Oscars that everyone will be talking about
Regina King’s Dazzling Debut
King kicked off the 93rd Academy Awards on an ultra-glam note, with a classic Hollywood cinematic intro as she strutted past paparazzi into the Dolby Theatre with an Oscar statuette in hand.
“Oh Jesus, I made it,” she said, before tripping beside the podium and remarking about the travails of being on live TV. King’s directorial debut One Night in Miami... was up for three nominations.
Daniel Kaluuya’s Shocking Shoutout
The British actor took home his first-ever Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his turn in Judas and the Black Messiah — and gave a hilariously non-traditional shoutout to his family during his acceptance speech, much to his mother’s dismay.
"Like, my mom, my dad, they had sex — it's amazing! I'm here. I'm so happy to be alive," he said, leading to his mom's incredible reaction shot.
Bong Joon Ho’s Best Director Interviews
The Parasite director, who swept last year’s Oscars with three history-making awards, presented this year’s award for Best Director virtually from Seoul. Alongside his interpreter, Sharon Choi, who is a director herself, Bong shared the five nominees’ responses to the question "What does directing mean to you?", reading their responses in Korean.
Chloé Zhao’s History-Making Win
Zhao, 38, became the first Asian woman (and only the second woman ever) to win Best Director, for Nomadland. In her acceptance speech, the director, screenwriter and producer spoke about poems she memorized with her father while growing up in China, and how they keep her moving forwards when life is hard. One that has stuck with her, she said, translates to “People at birth are entirely good."
She continued, "This is for anyone who has the faith and courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves and in each other. This is for you; you inspire me to keep going.”
Marlee Matlin Presenting in Sign Language
The Children of a Lesser God actress, who famously became the first — and only — deaf performer to take home an Academy Award in 1987 for her role in the film, presented two awards in sign language during the ceremony.
Youn Yuh-jung’s Charming Encounter with Brad Pitt
The Minari star won for Best Supporting Actress, making history as the first South Korean actress to take home the award. Kicking off her touching acceptance speech, Youn playfully thanked Brad Pitt, a producer on the movie, for presenting her with the award. “Mr. Brad Pitt, finally, nice to meet you. Where were you when we were filming in Tulsa?” she joked.
Harrison Ford’s Ode to the Nuances of Editing
While presenting the award for Film Editing, the Indiana Jones star praised the importance of the editing process, sharing a selection of critical notes he received on early drafts of a film that one reviewer said got “worse every screening.”
“That movie was Blade Runner,” he said of the monster hit film, prompting a round of laughter and applause.
Glenn Close Showing Off Her Dance Moves
The Best Supporting Actress nominee, who earned a nod for her role in Hillbilly Elegy, shocked and delighted the crowd when she got up to dance to E.U.’s “Da Butt” during a round of trivia about past Oscar-nominated songs.
“It wasn’t nominated so it couldn't have won, which I think is a f— tragedy,” she said of the track.
Questlove’s Directorial Debut Sneak Peek
The Oscars’ musical director revealed a preview of his upcoming directorial debut, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) which took home the documentary grand jury prize at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The movie looks at the famous 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, and will premiere in theaters and on Hulu on July 2.
Frances McDormand’s Celebratory Howl
At the end of Nomadland director Chloé Zhao’s acceptance speech for Best Picture, she passed the mic to the film’s star, who paid tribute to Michael Wolf Snyder, the film’s production sound mixer who died by suicide in March. “We give this one to our Wolf,” she said, before howling.