The ceremony, which was originally planned to take place in February, honored the best movies of 2020 and early 2021. Eligibility for the Oscars was extended due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the entertainment industry. Nominees were officially announced in March with David Fincher’s Mank raking in the most nods (10 in total, including Best Picture).
“Working with David Fincher on Mank has been the highlight of my career, and being recognized by the Academy for an experience that brought me this much joy and fulfillment feels surreal,” Amanda Seyfried said in a statement to Us Weekly after scoring a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. “I won’t be able to thank David enough for trusting me with this role and for the honor of reintroducing the world to the Marion Davies that I’ve come to know. To get to study this brilliant, humble woman and help restore her legacy has been a true privilege.”
This year’s impressive group of nominees is one of the most diverse yet — and several of those up for trophies are making history in the process. Minari’s Steven Yeun and Sound of Metal’s Riz Ahmed are both in the running for Best Actor, marking the first time an Asian American actor and a member of the Muslim community have appeared in the category.
“I’m honored to be nominated by my fellow actors alongside such inspiring performances and [I] am grateful to the Academy for their support and encouragement,” the Night Of alum, 38, told Us of the historic honor. “These nominations represent the time, generosity and talents of so many — all of our incredible cast, crew, producers, and in particular, I’d like to thank my mentors in the drumming, addiction recovery, and D/deaf communities.”
Ahmed added, “Sound of Metal is about how a health crisis can cut you off from your life and loved ones, and force you to grow in unexpected ways. In a challenging year for so many, I hope this story can inspire us to forge new and deeper connections with ourselves and others.”
While several other awards ceremonies this year have attempted to bring their audiences together virtually amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Oscars were held in person with as much precaution as necessary. The show was held in two separate locations, with live portions being filmed at the traditional Dolby Theatre setting and guests attending at Union Station in L.A.
“We are going to great lengths to provide a safe and ENJOYABLE evening for all of you in person, as well as for all the millions of film fans around the world, and we feel the virtual thing will diminish those efforts,” producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins declared in a letter one month before the big night.
Sunday’s show did not have a host, but a star-studded list of presenters — including Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Laura Dern, Joaquin Phoenix and Zendaya — took the stage to ensure the ceremony ran smoothly.
Keep scrolling for the full list of 2021 Oscar nominees and look for the bolded names to find out who won big!