Biggest Oscar Surprise: Chadwick Boseman

Late actor didn't win as expected
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2021 6:08 AM CDT
Biggest Oscar Surprises
This image released by Netflix shows Chadwick Boseman in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."   (David Lee/Netflix via AP)

The pandemic-year Oscars are in the books, with Nomadland grabbing big awards including best picture, director (Chloe Zhao), and actress (Frances McDormand). But entertainment sites also were focusing on who didn't win. Some common entries:

  • Chadwick Boseman: The late actor seems to be No. 1 on everybody's "snub" list, including the Hollywood Reporter. Boseman had been widely expected to win best actor for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, but Anthony Hopkins won for The Father. THR notes, however, that Hopkins won the BAFTA award two weeks ago.

  • Trial of the Chicago 7: Aaron Sorkin's film had been up for six awards, but it was the only best-picture nominee to end the night empty-handed, notes Variety.
  • Best actress: McDormand's victory isn't exactly seen as a snub to the other nominees, but Deadline notes that she hadn't won any of the televised awards shows in the US before the Oscars. Most sites are counting this one as at least a surprise that neither Viola Davis (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman), nor Andra Day (The United States vs Billie Holiday) won.
  • Mank: The Netflix movie went into the night with a leading 10 nominations and picked up just two awards, for cinematography and production design. The cinematography win was seen as a surprise in itself, with most predicting that it would go to Nomadland.
  • Best song: H.E.R. won for "Fight for You" from Judas and the Black Messiah, which Deadline sees as at least a surprise over Leslie Odom Jr.'s "Speak Now" (One Night in Miami), and Diane Warren's "Io Si" (Seen). The latter's loss makes her 0 for 12 in Oscar nominations.
  • Glenn Close: The actress may not have won an Oscar Sunday night, but she impressed with her knowledge of the song "Da Butt" and her accompanying dance moves, notes USA Today. Close had been up for best supporting actress (Hillbilly Elegy), and the Los Angeles Times notes that she now has eight acting nominations and zero wins. She and Peter O'Toole are tied for that record.
(More Oscars stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.