The final moments of the 2021 Oscars ceremony left plenty of viewers confused and even upset.
Breaking with tradition, the Best Picture category was announced as the third-to-last prize of the night on Sunday, April 25, despite having been presented as the final award for many years running. This led some viewers and analysts to speculate that the ceremony’s producers were purposely saving Best Actor as the last category, with the assumption that Chadwick Boseman would receive a posthumous win for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
However, that’s not how the show ending up playing out. After Nomadland was crowned Best Picture and Frances McDormand won Best Actress for her role as Fern in the same film, some viewers were stunned when Anthony Hopkins was named Best Actor for his role in The Father. Because Hopkins was not in attendance, presenter Joaquin Phoenix abruptly ended the ceremony right there.
“anthony was phenomenal,” one Twitter user posted. “good for him truly. but how are you gonna 1) speed the absolute f–k out of the in memoriam segment and 2) switch up the order of the awards to make your audience think you’re gonna give chadwick some sort of tribute and then just……. not. feels cruel.”