Oscars organisers can officially breathe a sigh of relief – the awards ceremony is over for another year, and it actually all went rather smoothly.
After a few tweaks to the usual show due to the pandemic, the Academy Awards ended up being quite a serious affair in 2021, with a number of nominees and presenters using the platform to speak out about issues that were close to their heart.
There were a fair few lighthearted moments, too, including an impromptu shout-out to an 80s heart-throb, an all-round brilliant speech from Daniel Kaluuya and some unexpected booty-shaking from a certain eight-time nominee.
And of course, it wouldn’t be the Oscars without a bit of controversy, with a lot of viewers voicing their upset about the final award of the night.
Here are 21 things you might have missed from this year’s Academy Awards, for those who didn’t feel like staying up to watch it all play out live...
1. Paul Raci was the first star on the red carpet and he made sure to make a big impression
At 73 years old, the Sound Of Metal actor has just been nominated for his first Academy Award. He and his wife Liz Hanley Raci made sure they enjoyed their first time at the Oscars, posing up a storm for photographers on their way into the event.
2. Glenn Close gave us her own take on Hollywood glamour (as always)
What we love about this ensemble is that the gloves are both glamorous and – considering we’re in a pandemic – extremely functional.
3. Can we talk about Celeste’s outfit for a second?
A red carpet moment we don’t think we’ve seen nearly enough people talking about is the fact that Celeste – nominated for her contribution to the Trial Of The Chicago 7 soundtrack – made her way into the event while holding a bedazzled human heart.
The Brits are only a few weeks away now, and we’ll be keeping an eye out for what Celeste wears to that.
4. Oh, and Carey Mulligan came dressed as a literal Oscar
The Promising Young Woman star was dressed in head-to-toe gold, which was especially fitting as she was in the running for Best Actress this year.
5. We have to say, though, our favourite look of the night was H.E.R.’s
More excitingly than being named our best dressed star, the singer-songwriter won her first Oscar during this year’s broadcast, picking up Best Original Song for her song Fight For You, which was featured in Judas And The Black Messiah.
6. This clip of Riz Ahmed fixing his wife’s hair got a lot of love on Twitter
7. As did this clip of Viola Davis pretending to take a shot
8. Regina King’s powerful opening speech set the mood for what was ultimately a fairly serious evening
“It has been quite a year, and we are still smack-dab in the middle of it. We are mourning the loss of so many,” last year’s Best Supporting Actress winner began.
Paying her respects to George Floyd, Regina continued: “I have to be honest, if things had gone differently this past week in Minneapolis, I might have traded my heels for marching boots.
“I know many of you want to reach for your remote when you feel Hollywood is preaching to you, but as the mother of a Black son who fears for his safety, no fame or fortune changes that.”
9. Emerald Fennell gave an unlikely shout-out in her Oscars speech
One of the first awards of the evening was Best Original Screenplay, which went to Promising Young Woman writer Emerald Fennell.
Claiming she hadn’t prepared a speech, Emerald said she’d only written one in her life when she was just 10 years old.
“I had a look to see if there was anything useful from it,” she joked. “But it mostly thanked Zack Morris from Saved By The Bell, my very supportive husband.
“Unfortunately, he hasn’t been as much a part of my life as I’d hoped, and so that speech is not that useful.”
10 Daniel Kaluuya acceptance speech paid tribute to the real Fred Hampton and made a candid reference to his conception
His mum and sister’s reaction to it all was… quite something, too.
11. As well as being nominated for an award, Riz Ahmed presented the prize for Best Sound
We don’t really have much else to say on the matter other than… “hi, Riz Ahmed”.
12. Tyler Perry gave an impassioned speech about “refusing hate”
Collecting an award for his humanitarian work, the US actor said: “In this time, with all of the internet and social media and algorithms that want us to think a certain way. The 24-hour news cycle. It’s my hope that we teach our kids, refuse hate. Don’t hate anybody.
“I refuse to hate someone because they’re Mexican or because they are Black or white. Or [LGBTQ]. I refuse to hate someone because they’re a police officer or because they’re Asian. I would hope we would refuse hit hate.”
13. It’s hard to pick a favourite part of Youn Yuh-jung’s acceptance speech, to be honest
Was it her putting everyone in their place about mispronouncing her name all the way through awards season? Was it her brief flirtation with Brad Pitt? Or maybe it was the iconic line: “[My] two boys make me go out and work. This [Oscar] is the result because mummy worked so hard!”
14. Chloé Zhao delivered a rousing speech after making Oscars history
The Nomadland filmmaker is the first woman of colour – and only the second woman in history – to be awarded Best Director at the Academy Awards.
On stage, she spoke about finding the goodness in ourselves and others, drawing from classic Chinese poems and texts from her childhood.
“People at birth are inherently good,” she said after reciting the phrase in Chinese. “Those six letters had such an impact on me when I was a kid and I still truly believe them today.
“Even though it might sometimes seem like the opposite is true, I have always found goodness in the people I’ve met everywhere I went in the world.”
15 The Oscar songs trivia game delivered a few notable moments, first when Andra Day swore...
When asked whether she thought Prince’s Purple Rain had won an Oscar, Andra Day told Lil Rel Howery: “I mean, it’s an awesome song – so it probably wasn’t nominated, and that’s some bullshit.”
For the US broadcast, the moment was censored just in time, and fortunately for Andra, something else then happened to take the heat off her a little bit.
16 ...and then when Glenn Close got up and danced to Da Butt (a song she knew more about than anyone could have predicted)
Will we ever fully recover from this? Who knows, to be honest.
17. The In Memoriam segment was… fast
Immediately after Glenn Close booty-shaking to Da Butt, the Oscars cut to an ad break, after which Angela Bassett introduced the In Memoriam section, paying tribute to those who had died in the past year.
However, many felt that the sequence felt rushed compared to previous years, particularly in light of how long had been spent on the Oscars trivia game just minutes earlier.
18. Rita Moreno never fails to deliver
“West Side Story went on to win 10 competitive Oscars,” she said while introducing Best Picture. “The most important of which was Best Supporting Actress.”
Truly iconic behaviour.
19. Frances McDormand had us really excited to go back to the cinema
As a producer on Nomadland, she joined Chloé Zhao on stage when the film was awarded Best Picture.
“Please watch our movie on the largest screen possible,” she urged viewers. “And one day take everyone you know into a theatre, that dark space, and watch every film that’s represented here tonight.”
The speech ended with an energetic howl from Frances, a tribute to Nomadland sound mixer Michael Wolf Snyder, who died last month.
20. The three acting winners in attendance later posed for this fantastic photo backstage
We're going to be honest, we'd give quite a hefty amount to know what this lot were laughing at.
21. Oh and there was quite a bit of upset when Chadwick Boseman didn’t win Best Actor
Because the Best Actor category was moved to the end of the live broadcast, many assumed his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom had earned Chadwick Boseman a posthumous win for Best Actor.
This turned out not to be the case, with Sir Anthony Hopkins getting the award instead, following his leading role in The Father.
Adding to the furore on Twitter was the fact that the 83-year-old didn’t attend the Oscars, meaning the ceremony ended with an award being accepted by the Academy on a winner’s behalf.
Suffice to say, people had a lot of thoughts: