- "Nomadland", the story of van dwellers in America, has won 3 Oscars, including Best Director for Chloe Zhao.
- She becomes only the second woman ever to win the award, after Kathryn Bigelow in 2010.
- This year, 15 women won a record 17 Oscars, but the prospect of all four acting honors going to people of color for the first time was not realized.
"Nomadland," the story of van dwellers in America, won the best picture Oscar and two other Academy Awards on a triumphant night for women that also saw a return to Hollywood glamour after a long pandemic shutdown.
In a major upset, Britain's Anthony Hopkins won the best actor trophy for his role as a man battling dementia in "The Father." The Oscar had been widely expected to go to the late Chadwick Boseman for his final film, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."
Have you read?
China native Chloe Zhao was named best director for Searchlight Pictures' "Nomadland," making her the first Asian woman and only the second woman ever to take home the trophy. Kathryn Bigelow was the first in 2010.
Zhao thanked the nomadic community for "teaching us the power of resilience and hope and reminding us what true kindness looks like."
Frances McDormand, one of the few professionals in the film in which several people played versions of themselves, won her third Oscar.
Social distancing forced a rethink of the ceremony, moving it to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
After strict COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols, nominees and their guests walked the red carpet, mostly maskless. They sat in a cabaret-style room inside the Mission Revival-style rail station or chatted in an outdoor courtyard.
The prospect of all four acting honors going to people of color for the first time was not realized. But 15 women won a record 17 Oscars, the Film Academy said, including for sound ("Sound of Metal"), production design ("Mank"), original screenplay ("Promising Young Woman") and documentary feature ("My Octopus Teacher.")
The national reckoning about systemic racism in the United States was also a theme following the murder conviction last week of a white police officer who knelt on the neck of Black man George Floyd.
"As a mother of a black son, I know the fear that so many live with, and no amount of fame or fortune changes that," said Regina King, who directed "One Night in Miami," about four black icons at the height of the 1960s civil rights movement.
Youn Yuh-jung, 73, won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role as a cantankerous grandmother in immigrant tale "Minari."
Youn, the first South Korean actor or actress to win an Oscar, joked about people mispronouncing her name.
"Tonight you are all forgiven," she said. "Me being here, I cannot believe it."
The ceremony for the highest honors in the movie business took place after a turbulent year for the industry that shuttered production and movie theaters for months and saw studios delay the release of some blockbusters by more than a year.
"This was indeed a hard year for everyone, but our love for movies helped to get us through it," said presenter King, opening the ceremony, which had no host for the third straight year.
McDormand made a passionate plea for people to return to theaters.
"One day, very soon, take everyone you know into a theater, shoulder to shoulder in that dark space, and watch every film that's represented here," she said.
What's the World Economic Forum doing about diversity, equity and inclusion?
The COVID-19 pandemic and recent social and political unrest have created a profound sense of urgency for companies to actively work to tackle inequity.
The Forum's work on Diversity, Equality, Inclusion and Social Justice is driven by the New Economy and Society Platform, which is focused on building prosperous, inclusive and just economies and societies. In addition to its work on economic growth, revival and transformation, work, wages and job creation, and education, skills and learning, the Platform takes an integrated and holistic approach to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice, and aims to tackle exclusion, bias and discrimination related to race, gender, ability, sexual orientation and all other forms of human diversity.
The Platform produces data, standards and insights, such as the Global Gender Gap Report and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 4.0 Toolkit, and drives or supports action initiatives, such as Partnering for Racial Justice in Business, The Valuable 500 – Closing the Disability Inclusion Gap, Hardwiring Gender Parity in the Future of Work, Closing the Gender Gap Country Accelerators, the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality, the Community of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers and the Global Future Council on Equity and Social Justice.
Britain's Daniel Kaluuya was named best supporting actor for his role as 1960s Black Panther activist Fred Hampton in "Judas and the Black Messiah."
The movie "Soul," the first from Disney's Pixar to feature a black lead character, won best animated feature, while Denmark's "Another Round" took the prize for best international feature.
The winners were chosen in a secret ballot by the 9,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.