Film Adaptations of The Father, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Earn Oscars in Surprising Ceremony | Playbill

Awards Film Adaptations of The Father, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Earn Oscars in Surprising Ceremony The 93rd annual ceremony took place April 25 from L.A.'s Union Station.
Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins in The Father Sony Pictures

The 93rd annual Academy Awards ended with a surprise win as an absent Anthony Hopkins claimed the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, recognized for his work in the film adaptation of the play The Father.

The category was the last of the night, a spot traditionally reserved for Best Picture (which this year went to Nomadland). Upon the reveal of the switch, the night was seemingly headed toward a posthumous celebration of Chadwick Boseman; the late actor won both a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for another stage-to-screen role: Levee in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

As for Best Actress, Tony Award winner Frances McDormand picked up her third Oscar in that category, this time for Nomadland, marking the first time since 2004 Best Picture and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role went to the same film.

Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Viola Davis, Michael Potts, and Glynn Turman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom David Lee/Netflix

Both of the evening’s screenplay winners have theatre ties. Emerald Fennell (book writer of the upcoming Cinderella musical, with a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber) won Best Original Screenplay for her debut film Promising Young Woman; Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton shared the Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Father, based on Zeller’s Tony- and Olivier-nominated play, which Hampton also provided the English translation for. (Their subsequent stage collaboration, The Son, is heading to the screen in a movie starring Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern.)

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom won Oscars for Costume Design (going to Tony winner Ann Roth) and Makeup and Hairstyling (going to Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Jamika Wilson, and Broadway veteran Mia Neal—the latter two making history as the first Black designers to win in the category).

Additional nominees during the 93rd annual ceremony included Tony winners Glenn Close (for her performance in Hillbilly Elegy) and Leslie Odom Jr. (for his performance as Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami… and for the film’s song “Speak Now”—watch below).

The ceremony took place primarily at Los Angeles’ Union Station, in a space designed by veteran stage designer David Rockwell. During the breaks, theatre fans were treated to glimpses of two highly anticipated stage-to-screen titles: West Side Story (out December 10) and In the Heights (out June 9).

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