By Joseph T. LeBlanc
When the 2021 Awards Season came to a close, there was a lot of awkwardness and drama that transpired.
According to multiple articles from Hollywood Reporter, The awkwardness came after the Academy Award For Best Actor, was given to Anthony Hopkins for his role in the film, The Father. He won over the fan-favorite of the late Chadwick Boseman, for his role as Levee Green in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. According to the BBC, Chadwick Boseman unfortunately died in August of 2020 from Colon cancer.
The Oscars, made the evening more awkward because according to that same Hollywood Reporter article titled, “Oscars Face Backlash Over Chadwick Boseman Snub”, the article states, “Oscar producers even seemed to be preparing for a Boseman win by changing the order of the awards show to end with the best actor award, rather than best picture, which usually closes out the show.” and the article continued to say that Anthony Hopkins, who is 83, becomes the oldest best actor winner and was not even in attendance at the ceremony so the show ended rather abruptly with no speech.
Hollywood Reporter, also mentioned that after the award show, there were a lot of angry journalists, who shed their light on the subject:
‘MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid tweeted, “Wait what was that Game of Thrones style ending?? Andra Day and Chadwick Boseman were robbed.” And the writer of shows Parenthood and Shameless, LaToya Morgan, tweeted out as well by saying,
“For those keeping score, people aren’t mad that Chadwick lost. It’s the way it played out. The build up… the let down. Chaos achievement: unlocked.” That’s only mentioning two of the many people that were infuriated with the Oscars decision.
Now, to shed my light on the topic, I have a lot of mixed views about this. I say that because Chadwick Boseman, in my opinion, has been completely overlooked his entire career before Black Panther. He has starred as some of the most famous African American figures to have walked this earth, such as Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get On Up, and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. What I have noticed in his films is that he doesn’t just play the part, he completely becomes the part and puts his full heart and soul into every role he plays. However, his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, was by far his best performance. You could see all the pain and agony that his character was going through, throughout the film. His acting was truly masterful.
Now, Anthony Hopkins performance in The Father in my opinion, was professionally and truthfully the best one nominated. He played a mentally ailing elderly father, who was losing his whole reality of life because of dementia. Now, in my opinion, dementia is one of the hardest things to display on screen and in a film because it needs to be scripted and acted out perfectly or the audience will lose interest and get lost. I never lost interest at all while watching The Father. That’s just how good his performance was.
In conclusion, I think that the right decision was made in awarding Anthony Hopkins the Oscar. I just think that Chadwick Boseman’s previous roles were just so under looked, that it almost seemed to forced into giving him the Oscar, even after winning the Golden Globe and SAG award. It seemed like the award shows were making up for lost time. Even though, I feel like Boseman’s nominated performance was the best of his career, It was the right the right decision to give it to Hopkins because he did something on screen that is incredibly hard to do, and made it a beautiful work of art. I just feel that society and the media put way too much pressure on Chadwick Boseman, to win the Best Actor Oscar, because this was his last acting performance before he died and his previous acting performances, were not recognized as much as they should have been. It was the only ethically fair thing to do, in awarding the Oscar to Anthony Hopkins. The Oscars needs to be strictly focused on the performance itself and not based on the person, whether they are alive or deceased.