“Nomadland,” the story of van dwellers in America, won the best picture Oscar and two other Academy Awards on a triumphant night for women that also saw a return to Hollywood glamour after a long pandemic shutdown.
In a major upset, Britain’s Anthony Hopkins won the best actor trophy for his role as a man battling dementia in “The Father.” The Oscar had been widely expected to go to the late Chadwick Boseman for his final film, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Chinese-born director Chloe Zhao was named the best director for “Nomadland”, making her the first Asian woman and only the second woman ever to take home the trophy. Kathryn Bigelow was the first in 2010.
Zhao thanked the nomadic community for “teaching us the power of resilience and hope and reminding us what true kindness looks like.”
Frances McDormand, one of the few professionals in the film in which several people played versions of themselves, won her third Oscar.
In addition, 15 other women won a record 17 Oscars, the Film Academy said, including for sound (“Sound of Metal”), production design (“Mank”), original screenplay (“Promising Young Woman”) and documentary feature (“My Octopus Teacher.”)
After strict COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols, nominees and their guests walked the red carpet, mostly maskless. They sat in a cabaret-style room inside the Mission Revival-style rail station or chatted in an outdoor courtyard.
The ceremony for the highest honors in the movie business took place after a turbulent year for the industry that shuttered production and movie theaters for months and saw studios delay the release of some blockbusters by more than a year.
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