The Life List: 93rd Academy Awards

Soundbites from the Oscars

It was a memorable Oscars this year, with historic wins celebrating Asian women, upsets in the Best Actor and Actress categories and an abrupt end to the three-hour-plus ceremony.

Here are the best quotes of the show.

1 YOUN YUH-JUNG'S HILARIOUS SPEECH

Best Supporting Actress Youn Yuh-jung's speech was full of gems.

The veteran South Korean star seemed to throw shade at presenter Brad Pitt, who owns the production company behind her winning film Minari: "Mr Pitt, finally, nice to meet you. Where were you while we were filming in Tulsa?"

She then brought up how Hollywood and Europeans often bungle her Korean name and said: "Tonight, you are all forgiven."

Finally, she thanked and guilt-tripped her sons: "Thanks to my two boys, who make me go out and work. This is the result because mummy worked so hard."

2 CHLOE ZHAO EMBRACES GOODNESS

In a year of anti-Asian sentiment, Nomadland's Chloe Zhao - the first Asian woman and only the second woman ever to win the Best Director Oscar - looked to her Chinese roots in her acceptance speech.

She quoted the opening words from the ancient Chinese text Three Character Classic: "'Ren zhi chu, xing ben shan.' People at birth are inherently good. Those six letters had such a great impact on me and I still truly believe them today.

"Even though sometimes it seems like the opposite is true, I have always found goodness in the people I met everywhere I went in the world."

3 DANIEL KALUUYA EMBARRASSES HIS MUM

Best Supporting Actor winner Daniel Kaluuya went from talking about politics in his acceptance speech to completely mortifying his mother and sister in the audience.

The star of Judas And The Black Messiah was talking about the need to celebrate life when he said: "It's incredible. My mum met my dad, they had sex, it's amazing - I'm here. I'm so happy to be alive, so I'm going to celebrate that tonight."

The camera panned to his mother, who scrunched up her face and seemed to say: "What's he talking about?"

4 FRANCES MCDORMAND HOWLS

Accepting the Best Picture win for the film Nomadland, lead actress Frances McDormand dedicated the honour to Nomadland's sound mixer Michael Wolf Snyder, who died earlier this year at the age of 35.

"We give this one to our Wolf," she said, before looking up to the sky and howling.

5 GLENN "DA BUTT" CLOSE

Glenn Close may have made history as the woman with the most Oscar nominations without any wins - she has notched up eight nods - but she reigned supreme on social media.

In a song-guessing segment, she answered excitedly "Da Butt" when the 1988 track from Spike Lee's School Daze came on.

Then she gamely stood up and showed off her booty-shaking abilities as the music played.


Red carpet style hits

Red carpet glamour made a roaring comeback at this year's Oscars.

After a year of awkward award shows held over Zoom, the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday in Los Angeles was largely held in person and the stars dressed to impress in haute couture.

Here are some of the most memorable looks - for good or bad - of the night.


Regina King. PHOTO: REUTERS

REGINA KING

Bow down to Regina King. The director of One Night In Miami - nominated for three awards - looked regal and commanding in a custom Louis Vuitton gown with accentuated shoulders. The picture hardly does justice to the dress, which has 62,000 sequins and 3,900 crystals and took 140 hours to make.


H.E.R. PHOTO: REUTERS

H.E.R.

Singer-songwriter H.E.R., who won the Oscar for Best Original Song with Fight For You, donned a brilliant blue jumpsuit and cape ensemble from Peter Dundas.

The outfit was inspired by legendary musician Prince's 1985 Oscars look, when he won Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain. Her shades and thick, beautiful curls elevated the look.


Leslie Odom Jr PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LESLIE ODOM JR

Leslie Odom Jr is a man who is not afraid of colour. Sporting a head-to-toe gold look, he was impeccably turned out in a double-breasted Brioni suit, looking a little bit like an Oscar statuette.


Zendaya PHOTO: REUTERS

ZENDAYA

This was a seasoned-pros-only dress. With Bulgari bling, fashion icon Zendaya effortlessly wore this yellow Valentino with a cut-out in the torso, instead of letting it wear her.


Amanda Seyfried PHOTO: REUTERS

AMANDA SEYFRIED

Best Supporting Actress nominee Amanda Seyfried was a vision in a flaming red tulle concoction from Giorgio Armani Prive.

Her vintage finger waves and red lips made her look every inch an Old Hollywood bombshell, befitting the film for which she was nominated: Mank, which is set in the 1930s and 1940s.

... and misses


Halle Berry PHOTO: EPA-EFE

HALLE BERRY

Halle Berry was doing her best to make this dress look good, but the two lumps of fabric hanging off her waist just looked depressing and unflattering.


Vanessa Kirby PHOTO: EPA-EFE

VANESSA KIRBY

Actress Vanessa Kirby - nominated for her leading role in Pieces Of A Woman - is beautiful, but that pale pink, ill-fitting Gucci dress washed her out. The severe-looking hair and make-up did not help.


Glenn Close PHOTO: EPA-EFE

GLENN CLOSE

Did Best Supporting Actress nominee Glenn Close give up on winning before the Oscars? This matronly get-up felt low-effort and looked more like it belonged at a retirement home party.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2021, with the headline 'Soundbites from the Oscars'. Subscribe