Film Adaptations Of Ma Rainey’s The Father, Black Bottom Win Oscars In Surprising Ceremony

The 93rd annual Academy Awards ended in a surprise win as absentee Anthony Hopkins took home the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, recognized for his work in the film adaptation of the room. The father.

The category was the last of the evening, a spot traditionally reserved for Best Picture (which this year went to nomadland). When The Switch was revealed, the night was seemingly heading for a posthumous celebration of Chadwick Boseman; the late actor won both a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for another on-screen stage role: Levee in Ma Rainey’s black background.

As for Best Actress, Tony Award winner Frances McDormand picked up her third Oscar in that category, this time for nomadic land, marking the first time since 2004 that Best Picture and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role have gone to the same film.

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Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Viola Davis, Michael Potts and Glynn Turman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
David Lee/Netflix

The two winners of the evening’s script have ties to the theatre. Emerald Fennell (author of the book of the next Cinderella musical, with a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber) won Best Original Screenplay for his feature debut Promising young woman; Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton shared the Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The father, based on Zeller’s Tony and Olivier nominated play, for which Hampton also provided the English translation. (Their later stage collaboration, The sonheads to the screen in a film starring Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern.)

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom won Oscars for costume design (going to Tony winner Ann Roth) and makeup and hairstyling (going to Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Jamika Wilson and Broadway veteran Mia Neal – the latter two entering the history as the first black designers to win in the category).

Other nominees at the 93rd annual ceremony included Tony winners Glenn Close (for his performance in Hillbilly Elegy) and Leslie Odom Jr. (for his role as Sam Cooke in One night in Miami… and for the movie song “Speak Now”—see below).

The ceremony took place primarily at Union Station in Los Angeles, in a space designed by veteran set designer David Rockwell. During breaks, theater fans were treated to previews of two highly anticipated titles from stage to screen: West Side Story (released December 10) and In the heights (out June 9).

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