Anthony Hopkins’ Best Actor win for “The Father” stunned. Not only was the late Chadwick Boseman widely expected to take the honor, but it also meant there was no final acceptance speech, since the Oscar producers clearly didn’t expect Hopkins to win. Best Actor was the last category of the night, and the 83-year-old actor was asleep in Wales, where it was 4 AM; he didn’t want to travel to one of the broadcast’s satellite locations in Dublin or London, and Zoom speeches were forbidden.
This morning, Hopkins posted a delayed Oscars acceptance speech to his social media accounts. “Here I am in my homeland in Wales,” Hopkins said in his social media acceptance speech. “At 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award, I really didn’t. I’m very grateful to the Academy – thank you. I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early. Again, thank you all very much. I really did not expect this, I feel very privileged and honored, thank you.”
Had Hopkins been able to give that speech at the Oscars telecast, the entire broadcast might have been easier to digest. It appeared that the even the Academy and the producers expected Boseman to win Best Actor, which meant the telecast would conclude with a tribute to the late icon. When he didn’t, and Hopkins was absent, the ceremony ended with a splat.
“Everything about that was a bummer,” IndieWire senior film critic David Ehrlich wrote on Twitter. “Oscars fucked up big time not saving Best Picture for last. Boseman doesn’t get the tribute he deserves, and Hopkins gets a ‘what the fuck just happened?’ moment for the single best performance of his entire career.”
Film critic Robert Daniels added, “It wasn’t just the Chadwick loss. It was the back-to-back losses by two Black actors who were touted as front runners in lead categories. It perpetuated the history of voters favoring white performers in lead categories, and absolving voters of that isn’t the route I’d take.”
IndieWire’s Ben Travers wrote in his review of the Oscars 2021 ceremony that the Academy could have saved face by allowing Hopkins to attend via Zoom, adding, “Had the producers been a bit more flexible on virtual acceptance speeches, perhaps the graceful and generous Hopkins could have said something about Mr. Boseman, sharing his stage with the man who means so much to so many people.”
The win made Hopkins the oldest Best Actor winner in Oscars history. Hopkins previously won the Best Actor prize for his performance as Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs.”
Watch Hopkins’ delayed Oscars acceptance speech for Best Actor in the video below.
View this post on Instagram
everything about that was a bummer. #Oscars fucked up big time not saving Best Picture for last, Boseman doesn’t get the tribute he deserves, and Hopkins gets a “what the fuck just happened?” moment for the single best performance of his entire career.
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) April 26, 2021
I think it would be ok if, next time, we let the #Oscars producers know the winners in advance
— Rebecca Rubin (@rebeccaarubin) April 26, 2021
That’s the worst TV ending since “Game of Thrones”
— Matt Brennan (@thefilmgoer) April 26, 2021
It wasn’t just the Chadwick loss. It was the back-to-back losses by two Black actors who were touted as front runners in lead categories. It perpetuated the history of voters favoring white performers in lead categories, and absolving voters of that isn’t the route I’d take.
— Robert Daniels (@812filmreviews) April 26, 2021
They build the entire show around a Chadwick Boseman ending and then Anthony Hopkins won and didn’t show up
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) April 26, 2021
The build up… the let down.
Chaos achievement: unlocked.
— LaToya Morgan (@MorganicInk) April 26, 2021