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Oscars 2021: All the winners and biggest moments of the Academy Awards

A play-by-play breakdown of Oscar winners and all the biggest moments of the night.
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After more than a year of pandemic lockdowns that upended movie making, Hollywood celebrated the best films of the past year at the 93rd Academy Awards where stars gathered together at Union Station in Los Angeles, with some parts also taking place at the Dolby Theatre.

The event was maskless, but abided by all the same Covid-19 safety protocols that Hollywood film sets follow, including vaccinations, testing, distancing and masks when the cameras are off.

Here are all the top moments and monumental wins of Hollywood's biggest night.

Live Blog

Best original screenplay goes to Emerald Fennell

Emerald Fennell, the writer of the audacious #MeToo-era revenge thriller "Promising Young Woman," nabbed the first award of the night: best original screenplay.

You might recognize Fennell from "The Crown." She plays Camilla Parker Bowles.

Emerald Fennell accepts the Oscar for Original Screenplay during the 93rd Oscars at Union Station in Los Angeles on April 25, 2021.Todd Wawry / A.M.P.A.S via Reuters


The show is off to a strong start!

In the opening minutes of the ceremony, Regina King strode confidently through Union Station in Los Angeles, accompanied by a swanky soundtrack and stylish opening credits. She took the stage and faced the crowd of nominees, who are seated in tiered booths and at cocktail-style tables.

King nodded to the Derek Chauvin verdict, saying in her opening remarks: "I have to be honest, if things had gone differently this past week in Minneapolis, I might have traded my heels for marching boots."

I'm cautiously optimistic the show will be fun. Here's why.

It's been a rough few years for Oscars aficionados. The ratings for the telecast have slumped. The nominees are often overshadowed by streaming TV shows, video games, TikTok clips. The conventional wisdom is that Hollywood's marquee awards show is edging toward irrelevancy.

But this year, I'm cautiously optimistic that the ceremony could make for some fun viewing — or, at the very least, give folks at home a welcome distraction from the Sunday scaries.

The main reason is that the producers of the show, including the innovative director Steven Soderbergh, have been given greater latitude to experiment with the format. The producers have promised a more intimate event that conjures the "joy of cinema" for pandemic-weary viewers at home.

If tonight's show channels the effortless cool of Soderbergh's "Ocean's Eleven" trilogy, we're in for an interesting night. But if not — well, there's always next year.

Best original song nominees get the pre-show treatment and it totally rules

Typically, the best original song nominees are presented over the course of the Oscars broadcast. However, in order to give each performance equal time, songs were featured as part of the pre-show broadcast, with four of the five nominees having been pre-recorded on the Dolby Family Terrace of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

The fifth? Performed in Iceland, which makes sense considering it was "Húsavík" from "Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga."

The thing is, it totally works. Not only is each song and performer free of having to perform under serious time constraints, there's finally a way for us to find a mainline to the feelings behind each.

Plus, instead of waiting for a live show to inevitably go a little bit wrong, we've been given a front row to talent without their raw nerves, which means we're allowed to just ... listen. And, of course, Google where to buy the sweaters worn by the children's choir in Iceland. (After the Oscars are over, I swear.)

Chloe Zhao's red carpet look (hopefully) embodies the future of formal

I know the red carpet is a welcome beacon after a year-plus of the absolute opposite, but Chloe Zhao's Oscars choice has reaffirmed that one day, in a post-lockdown world, the definition of what formal means may finally change.

Clad in Hermes and a perfect white sneaker, the "Nomadland" director made getting dressed up look cool, comfortable and a means to self-express — while avoiding blisters. Made even more perfect by her French braids and minimal makeup, may her look inspired us all to wear what we'd like, especially since it's impossible not to look incredible doing it.

Chloe Zhao attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles.Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

Men bring undeniable style to the Oscars ceremony

Men are making incredible fashion statements on the Oscars red carpet, starting with actor Coleman Domingo.

Domingo, who stars in the Oscar-nominated film "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," brought heat with this tailored hot-pink suit with sparkles in all the right places.

Actor Leslie Odom Jr. dressed in a gold and black suit — possibly hoping to add a matching gold Oscar trophy to the outfit by the end of the night. Odom is nominated for two Oscars for his work in "One Night in Miami."

LaKeith Stanfield, who is nominated for best actor in a supporting role for his interpretation of Bill O'Neal in the film "Judas and the Black Messiah," gave fans a glimpse of his '70s-inspired black and white suit before showing up on the red carpet.

Viola Davis remembers co-star Chadwick Boseman on the red carpet

While speaking to Giuliana Rancic on the Oscars red carpet, best actress nominee Viola Davis remembered her "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" co-star Chadwick Boseman.

Boseman, who died last year of cancer, is nominated posthumously for best actor.

Rancic asked Davis how it felt that Boseman was being honored with a nomination.

"It feels right only because I know him," Davis replied. "He was authenticity on steroids."

Davis added that sometimes we "honor people who were not really nice or the persona doesn't match the person," saying that was not the case with Boseman.

"This artist did not mistake his presence for the event," Davis said. 

Davis is the most nominated Black woman in the history of the Oscars, according to Entertainment Weekly. In addition to her nomination tonight, she has also been nominated for "Fences," "The Help" and "Doubt."

If she wins tonight, she will be the second Black woman to win best actress, joining Halle Berry, who won in 2002 for "Monster's Ball."

Some of the most memorable lewks of Oscars past

Celebrities are already bringing fine fashion to the red carpet. It's a welcome bright spot after a year many of us spent in soft pants. 

We're eagerly awaiting — nay, hoping for — some wild outfits. Tonight brings to mind some real stunners from years past, including Bjork's albatross dress. And who could ever forget Cher's spider dress, one of many designed by her friend Bob Mackie?

Bjork during the Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on March 25, 2001.SGranitz / WireImage file
Cher wears a black headdress at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angles on March 24, 1986.Getty Images

NBC's bloggers make their predictions for best picture

When we asked our team of live-bloggers to submit their predictions for best picture, I assumed everybody would pick the odds-on favorite: Chloé Zhao's "Nomadland," the elegiac road drama that has nabbed the top honors at most of the pre-Oscars awards shows.

But as it turns out, my colleagues were split between "Nomadland" and Lee Isaac Chung's "Minari," a tear-jerking portrait of a family of Korean immigrants chasing the American Dream.

Here's where we stand:

Nicole Acevedo, reporter: "Minari"

Daniel Arkin, reporter: "Nomadland"

Amanda Covarrubias, editor: "Nomadland" 

Anne T. Donahue, blogger: "Nomadland"

Ben Kesslen, reporter: "Minari"

Matthew Marshall, social media: "Nomadland"

Kalhan Rosenblatt, reporter: "Minari"

Ethan Sacks, reporter: "Nomadland"

Joy Wang, editor: "Nomadland"

We'll find out who picked the right horse when the Oscars wrap up ... many, many, many hours from now.

The fashions are rolling in ...

This young star from "Minari," which was nominated for several of tonight's biggest awards, is pretty adorable. Admit it.

Actor Alan S. Kim and Producer Christina Oh arrive at the Oscars on April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles.Chris Pizzello / Pool via AFP - Getty Images

Follow along with the full list of nominees

Can't remember if your favorite animated short made the cut? 

Check out the full list of nominees here

We'll be updating the list throughout the event with all the latest winners.