If anyone feared that this year’s delayed Oscars ceremony might be short on drama and excitement, they proved to be well wide of the mark.
The awards, which took place in LA last night, were packed with great moments, memorable speeches and one or two surprise wins, resulting in a thoroughly entertaining evening all round.
Of course, given the time difference, it’s likely that many UK film fans won’t have stayed up to watch the ceremony unfold as it happened, so to help you relive the night we’ve picked out some of the highlights below.
Read on for our list of Oscar highlights and check out the round-up of Oscars 2021 winners for the complete list.
Daniel Kaluuya’s winning speech
British star Daniel Kaluuya had long been tipped to win the Best Supporting Actor prize for his role as Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah, and so when his name was announced it didn’t come as too much of a shock. What was slightly more surprising, though, was something the Get Out star said at the end of his winner’s speech.
“We got to celebrate life, man,” he said. “We’re breathing, we’re walking, it’s incredible, like it’s incredible. My mum, my dad, they had sex – it’s amazing!”
Cue a cut to Kaluuya’s mother and sister watching on – clearly a little embarrassed by his comment!
Molly Sandén’s performance of Húsavik
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga might not have been the most Oscar-friendly release of the last year, but the Netflix film did score one nomination, in the Best Original Song category.
And while Húsavík came up short in the end – losing to Fight For You from Judas and the Black Messiah – fans were treated to an excellent rendition of the song during the pre-show.
Swedish singer Molly Sandén performed the hit live from the actual town of Húsavík in Iceland, along with an adorable children’s choir and some impressive firework displays.
Glenn Close trivia game
Poor Glenn Close. The veteran actor is now zero for eight at the Oscars, once again losing out on a golden statuette, this time to Youn Yuh-jung in the Best Supporting Actress category.
That didn’t stop Close from being involved in one of the highlights of the night, though, when she took part in a surprise music trivia quiz hosted by Questlove, who was the evening’s resident DJ, and emcee Lil Rel Howery.
Having already explained to Daniel Kaluuya that he was too young to know the songs of Donna Summer, Close’s real time to shine came when she correctly identified and enthusiastically danced along to 1988 hit Da Butt.
Youn Yuh-jung’s acceptance speech
Youn Yuh-jung had already developed a reputation for some brilliant speeches during this awards season, including the memorable moment during the BAFTAs when she proclaimed the win meant so much to her because she considered British audiences to be “very snobbish”.
And after becoming the first Korean actor to win an Oscar for her supporting turn in Minari, the veteran star once again gave an excellent speech, which included reference to the repeated mispronunciation of her name (including from Brad Pitt, who presented the award).
“Tonight you are all forgiven!” she said.
Anthony Hopkins’ Best Actor win
Anthony Hopkins’ win for Best Actor was perhaps the biggest shock of the night, with many pundits having expected the award to go to the late Chadwick Boseman for his turn in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
And while a posthumous award for Boseman would have been a fitting result, nothing should be taken away from Hopkins, who was also a thoroughly deserving winner for his incredible lead performance in The Father.
It was Hopkins’ second golden statuette, almost 30 years after his first and at 83 the veteran actor became the oldest person, male or female, to win an acting award in Oscar history.