The Oscars are never short on surprises. Remember when the controversial “Green Book” beat the favored “Roma” for Best Picture in 2019? Or when “La La Land” was mistakenly called to the stage instead of actual victor “Moonlight” in 2017?
Or way back in 1997, when li’l “Shakespeare in Love” took down big honkin’ “Saving Private Ryan”? Usually that’s all part of the fun. But to casual film fans, Sunday night’s big upset packed a particularly emotional wallop: The late Chadwick Boseman lost the Best Actor prize to Anthony Hopkins.
The final award of the evening, which had heretofore been Best Picture, was changed to Best Actor for the bizarre occasion. So, viewers then assumed that the move was to honor Chadwick Boseman, who died in August of colon cancer at age 43. But he didn’t win for his role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Instead, Anthony Hopkins did for playing a man ailing from dementia in “The Father.” Even more anticlimactic, the 83-year-old — the oldest Best Actor winner ever — was far away in Wales, and didn’t deliver a speech. It was the fizzle heard around the world.
Some voters were shocked. However, most people checked Anthony Hopkins’ box this year. Also, let’s make something clear: Like Chadwick Boseman in “Ma Rainey’s,” Hopkins gives a triumphant and very deserving performance in “The Father.”