‘Nomadland’ wins Best Picture and Zhao is first Asian woman to win Best Director - TrueID

‘Nomadland’ wins Best Picture and Zhao is first Asian woman to win Best Director

April 27, 2021


Photo credit: Nomadland/Twitter, The Academy/Twitter

There were a lot of surprises at the 93rd Academy Awards! First, the winners were allowed to continue on with their acceptance speeches without being cut by orchestra music and next, the change in winner line-up by announcing Best Picture first before Best Actor. Viewers assumed that this meant that Chadwick Boseman would win posthumously for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. However, Anthony Hopkins ended up winning for The Father and he wasn’t present to accept the award. What a rollercoaster indeed! Here are some of the other highlights:

Chloé Zhao is the second woman and the first of Asian descent to win Best Director 

Hitting numerous firsts, the China-born Zhao’s film ‘Nomadland’ took home the big prize for Best Picture. She also took home Best Director becoming the second woman to win best director, (the first was Kathryn Bigelow for Hurt locker in 2009) and the first female POC. 

For her next project? Oh, just a little movie called The Eternals from the Marvel Cinematic Universe—no biggie. The folks over at Marvel are probably editing the trailer and adding, From Academy Award Winning Director Chloé ZhaoI” and we are excited!  


Photo credit: Noala Pamela/Twitter 

Yuh-Jung Youn channels Asian Mom realness and flirts with Brad Pitt 

A definite favorite from the Oscars was Yuh-Jung Youn who also made history as the first Korean to win Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars, she won for Minari. Viewers enjoyed her Asian Mom realness as she thanked her two sons for “pushing her to work.” Audiences were also amused at her visible fangirling over meeting Brad Pitt. 

She asks Pitt, Where were you when we were filming in Tulsa? ICYDK: Brad Pitt is actually one of the executive producers of Minari. Brad Pitt (and his man-bun) escorted a giddy Yuh-Jung Youn backstage where they had photos taken! Definitely an unforgettable night for her and who wouldn’t be kilig with Brad Pitt? 


Photo credit: H.E.R./Twitter 

Pinoy Pride, represent! Half Pinay H.E.R. wins Best Song for “Judas and the Black Messiah”  

Born Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson but known professionally as H.E.R. (pronounced as “her,” an acronym for Having Everything Revealed) raised the Philippine flag when she won Best Original Song for “Fight For You,” which is from the film Judas and the Black Messiah. 

The R&B artist, who was born to a Filipina mom and an African-American dad, shares in a statement, “Knowledge is power, music is power and as long as I’m standing, I’m always going to fight for my people and fight for what is right.” 


Photo credit: Two Distant Strangers:  Image Courtesy of Netflix 

Netflix wins for Best Short and Best Documentary

A favorite among viewers, Netflix viewers, Two Distant Strangers’won for Best Short. The American science-fiction drama was written by Travon Free and directed by Free and Martin Desmond Roe. Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley were also part of the film as executive producers. 

With Two Distant Strangers’ win, Durant and Conley join Kobe Bryant as the only other NBA players with Oscar wins. 

ICYDK: The late Kobe Bryant won an Oscar for the animated short ‘Dear Basketball’ in 2018. 

Netflix also won for Best Documentary for ‘My Octopus Teacher’. 


Here’s the complete list of winners: 

Best Picture 


Best Director 

Chloé Zhao, Nomadland 

Best Actor 

Anthony Hopkins, The Father 

Best Actress 

Frances McDormand, Nomadland 

Best Supporting Actor 

Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah 

Best Supporting Actress

Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari 

Original Screenplay 

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman 

Adapted Screenplay 

Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller, The Father 

Animated Feature 


Production Design 


Costume Design 

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 


Erik Messerschmidt, Mank 


Sound of Metal 

Makeup and Hairstyling 

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 


Sound of Metal 

Visual Effects 


Did your favorites win? What are you most looking forward to seeing now after the winners have been announced?

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