Nothing has been the same since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, and that goes for the world of Hollywood as well. Television and movie production came to a near-complete shutdown for months, celebrities locked themselves inside to quarantine, and award shows (most recently, the Oscars 2021) had to make some major changes to keep COVID-safe.
The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony was held this past Monday April 26th, but it was not like anything like it had been over the past 92 years of its existence. The Oscars 2021 was adapted to the current pandemic situation and, although Hollywood tried its best to carry on the ceremony as usual, the awkwardness of the whole affair was not lost on guests and viewers, alike.
So what stuck out about this weird Oscars 2021 award show? Here are some of the most awkward things that stuck out at the Academy Awards this year.
The Oscars 2021 Was Held In An Active Train Station (Among Other Places)
Instead of being hosted at the famous Dolby Theater in Hollywood, the event was moved to the more spacious, tiered Union Station. This huge space allowed for very wide tables with only four vaccinated attendees seated at each one.
Due to limited space, however, celebrity guests were shuffled in and out of the station in groups, according to who needed to participate in each section of the show. Not only were the guests coming in and out, but the station remained active throughout the entire show (obviously, the section where the ceremony was being held was restricted to the public). But this made things even more complicated for the event producers to keep things organized.
Aside from the few guests who were physically present at Union Station Los Angeles, many other elements of the show were actually being run virtually from the Dolby Theater. Also, for guests located outside of the USA who were unable to travel due to border restrictions, there were 20 virtual satellites running from different locations, as well as another physical hub in the UK.
Aside From The Nominations And Winners, There Was Almost No Entertainment At The Oscars 2021
People love the Academy Awards because the whole thing is a giant show full of extravagant performances like musical numbers and comedy skits. This year, however, this was almost non existent. Even the Red Carpet was downsized significantly. Because they had to limit the number of people physically present at the venue, a few performances were pre-recorded and streamed live before the event in a pre-show.
Because they removed all of the “in-between” elements of the show, the allotted time was filled with other, less entertaining features. The acceptance speeches that are supposed to be restricted to around 45 seconds, turned into long, drawn-out stories. Let’s just say that some were more entertaining than others. And the tiny crowd made it feel like the storyteller wasn’t talking to anyone.
Not to mention there was no live orchestra to play people off, so when they finally did end their speeches, they just walked off in awkward silence to a very feeble round of applause.
There Were More Than A Few Awkward Celebrity Moments At The Academy Awards 2021
At almost every award show there’s alway a point where a celebrity trips or says something a little strange that gets an uncomfortable response. But it’s usually laughed off within seconds by the enormous crowd and the busy schedule of the show. This year, however, there were points where the awkward tension could be cut with a knife.
For instance, deaf-actress Marlee Matlin had the honor of presenting one of the awards in American Sign Language (ASL) with an interpreter speaking as she signed. But halfway through presenting, the camera cut away from her to show a graphic, without keeping a visual of the actress signing on screen.
Another cringe-worthy moment was when Brad Pitt was introducing the nominees for Best Supporting Actress category. Unfortunately, when he called Maria Bakalova’s name, he fully butchered the pronunciation.
The ending of the show was probably the most awkward event of the night. The last award of the Oscars 2021 was for Best Actor, which was predicted to be won, posthumously, by the late actor Chadwick Boseman. However, when they finally announced the award winner, it went to Anthony Hopkins instead. This wasn’t supposed to happen, and Anthony Hopkins wasn’t even there to accept it. With this award being the last one in the show, it was simply announced that he’d won, and then the show was over. Without even an orchestra to play them offstage.