I get what they were going for last night by moving the Best Actor category to the end of the show. It was a little dismissive of the Best Picture category, in a year in which the Best Picture nominees (and the eventual winner) were as diverse as they’ve ever been, but I ain’t mad at any attempt — failed or not — to celebrate the life and work of Chadwick Boseman.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work out because Anthony Hopkins gave a hell of a performance in The Father, and the Academy voters decided to award him appropriately. No shade from me, but also, even Anthony Hopkins — in his delayed acceptance speech on Instagram this morning — felt it was appropriate to single out Chadwick Boseman.
I will say this, however: Anthony Hopkins didn’t do anything wrong, and just because the expected winner did not win doesn’t mean that the actual winner should not be given the opportunity to speak — or at least have someone from the same film speak on his behalf.
There was apparently an opportunity for that. However, Joaquin Phoenix — last year’s Best Actor winner for The Joker — seemed to bungle the whole mess.
Joaquin Phoenix announcing the final award like pic.twitter.com/G8ucWbnrI5— Joshua Chenault (@joshuachenault1) April 26, 2021
It was a very listless, anti-climactic affair, although it didn’t have to be, because there was someone prepared to give a speech on Hopkins’ behalf, namely Olivia Colman — brilliant Oscar speech giver, and Golden Globes speech giver — who played the daughter of Hopkins’ character in The Father. From The Guardian:
This time it was understood that in the event of Hopkins winning, Olivia Colman, who played his daughter, would accept his award.
Instead Joaquin Phoenix announced Hopkins name, accepted on his behalf, and the show ended. The abruptness of it all sparked comparisons to to the ending of The Sopranos, which finished with Tony eating onion rings before the screen went black.
Well, that was a dick move.
Olivia Colman would have given the most amazing acceptance speech on behalf of Anthony Hopkins, but Joaquin Phoenix is a surly little asshole who shut the whole thing down. https://t.co/6JhtvEaKEq— Tom and Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) April 26, 2021
Truly the most spectacular anti-climax to an awards show of all time. Joaquin Phoenix doesn't want to be there giving an award to someone who isn't there. Like the ending of a New Hollywood movie from 1973. Perfect.— Ashley Clark (@_Ash_Clark) April 26, 2021
We should have known some fuck shit was about to happen when Joaquin Phoenix said he wasn’t going to say what he originally planned.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) April 26, 2021
When they ask Joaquin Phoenix to go out there and end the show on a high note… pic.twitter.com/jCfsaNoxo6— Jamie (@amidreaming78) April 26, 2021
To his credit, at least Joaquin wore the same tuxedo during this awards season that he wore during all of last year’s awards season because he’s all about sustainability. I just hope he had it washed, because there’s probably a lot of awards’ season sweat in the crotch of that tux.
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