The Academy Awards are still full of surprises. Remember how the controversial “Green Book” won Best Picture in 2019 over the heavily favored “Roma”?
Or how about when, in 2017, “La La Land” was incorrectly called to the stage instead of the real winner “Moonlight”?
Or when lil’ “Shakespeare in Love” demolished big honkin’ “Saving Private Ryan” in 1997? That’s usually just part of the entertainment.
However, the big upset on Sunday night struck an especially emotional chord with casual moviegoers: the late Chadwick Boseman lost the Best Actor award to Anthony Hopkins.
For the strange occasion, the evening’s final prize, which had previously been Best Picture, was changed to Best Actor.
As a result, viewers thought that the change was made to honor Boseman, who died of colon cancer in August at the age of 43.
However, he did not receive an award for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Hopkins won an Emmy for his performance in “The Father,” in which he played a man suffering from dementia.
Perhaps more disappointing, the 83-year-old — the oldest Best Actor nominee in history — was unable to attend because he was in Wales. The fizzle was seen all over the world.
Some voters were taken aback.
A voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences told The Washington Post, “My jaw dropped.”
“Wait, what was that? I was completely unaware that Anthony Hopkins was being courted by the Academy. I voted for Chadwick, despite the fact that I considered the film to be a little too theatrical for me to be particularly enthusiastic about. I thought most people were doing the same thing, and if there were any whispers about voting for anyone else, it was for Riz Ahmed.”
However, just as when a silent majority chose Olivia Colman over Glenn Close or Lady Gaga in 2019, the majority of people checked Hopkins’ box this year.
The victory, according to Joyce Eng, senior editor of the award season punditry website GoldDerby, was due in part to good old-fashioned Hollywood strategy, which Netflix has yet to master.
“On paper, Chadwick Boseman seemed to be the favorite since he won the majority of the precursor awards, while Anthony Hopkins only had the BAFTA,” Eng told The Washington Post, adding that the “Ma Rainey’s” actor also won the SAG Award and the Golden Globe.
“However, I believe there was something at work that the general public was unaware of, and that was the fact that ‘The Father’ was peaking at precisely the right time [for the Oscars].” Sony Pictures Classics waited until the very last minute to release the film in theatres. It debuted on February 26.”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” on the other hand, premiered on Netflix in November, in the midst of a difficult year filled with many distractions.
Sony, Eng said, “just understood what they were doing.”
Let’s be specific about something else: Hopkins, like Chadwick Boseman in “Ma Rainey’s,” gives a victorious and well-deserved performance in “The Father.”
He’s not like Meryl Streep or, more recently, Frances McDormand, who hog the Oscars. He had only ever won once before, nearly 30 years ago for “The Silence of the Lambs.”
The Welshman paid tribute to Boseman the next day on Instagram with a kind voice.
He said, “At 83 years old, I did not expect to receive this award.” “I honestly didn’t. Thank you, and I am thankful to the academy.
He said, “And I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us way too soon.”
Even, it was a bad production decision to put a category right at the end of the night because there was a good chance the winner or even a proxy wouldn’t be in attendance.
It certainly proved one thing: the ballot count, which is kept secret by an accountant, is still secret. They wouldn’t have adjusted the freakin’ order of the awards if they didn’t have to. In the end, it left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth.
The Oscar voter said, “I love Anthony Hopkins and his results.” “However, the evening came to a very disappointing conclusion.”
- Anthony Hopkins, Chadwick Boseman: Anthony Hopkins Instagram, David Lee/ Netflix