Entering the 2021 Oscars, we knew that the show was going to feel different. It was being held at Union Station, there were protocols in place, and it’s celebrating one of the strangest years in movie history.
So how do you commemorate much of this? That’s a difficult question unto itself to answer. The show had to get creative from the get-go, and that includes coming up with an opening segment full of memorable moments. This opening felt atypical from the get-go, with Regina King welcoming into the famed occasion with dramatic music behind her. The entire setting felt strange, with the nominees sitting separated from each other in a big, open indoor space. It felt almost like the Golden Globes when it comes to the seating arrangement.
King chose from the get-go to shine a light on current events, addressing the recent Derek Chauvin trial and expressing why, as a mother, the subject of the events in Minneapolis was so important to her. She expressed her message, and then made it clear all of the different protocols that those in the room were following.
There really wasn’t all that much of an extended opening to the Oscars this year — instead, what we saw was a brief intro from King before getting into the first award of the night. Original Screenplay was won by Emerald Fennell of Promising Young Woman, which is especially notable when you consider that she was once a star of Call the Midwife. What a fun TV connection!
In the end, we understand why the Oscars didn’t want to do anything too overtly comedic due to what’s happening in the real world. What they chose to do instead here was be grateful that they were able to pull off an in-person show at all.
What do you think about the opening of the 2021 Oscars?
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