After several canceled awards shows and a virtual exhibit of nominees, amid the pandemic, movie stars and Hollywood A-listers returned to flex their muscles and accept appreciation for their skills at the 93rd Academy Awards or the Oscars 2021. The producers of the annual awards ceremony had vowed to serve the audience an Oscars like none before and this year, the theme resembled the movie sets.

Regina King appeared in a powerful opening scene, maskless and discussed issues facing the Black community at the 93rd Academy Awards that kicked off the award show Sunday. A totally retooled telecast that’s setting history on the line, the ceremony was held at Los Angeles' Union Station - this year's center for a show normally broadcast from the Dolby Theatre - had no host, no audience, and no face masks for nominees. Zoom boxes had been closed out, in comparison to the more virtual Golden Globes, while international hubs and satellite feeds connected nominees who were unable to fly, the Hollywood Reporter noted.

King began the ceremony with a power-packed recollection of the past year, "It has been quite a year, and we are still smack-dab in the middle of it. And I have to be honest: If things had come differently this past week in Minneapolis, I may have traded in my heels for marching boots."

She then added, "This was indeed a hard year for everyone, but our love of movies helped to get us through." With that, the Oscars kicked off, with Emerald Fennell, for the #MeToo revenge thriller, “Promising Young Woman," receiving the night's first award.

The closing of the Arclight and Pacific cinema chains may have given the Oscars the goal of spreading the message to save theatres, in addition to celebrating the best in film, CNN Entertainment reported. The red carpet was doused with energy to put away the rigors of 2020, although temporarily.

"We want the whole show to feel of a piece and if we are going to pull people in remotely, we want the kind of control over that that you would have if you were making a movie," said Steven Soderbergh, one of the producers of the awards show. He said they were filming a three-hour film at Union Station, with 90 minutes of preparation and an hour of debriefing, but treating it like a movie shoot in every way.

Attendees had been vaccinated, screened, and retested, and the event was treated like a movie set, with participants only being able to remove masks once the cameras were rolling, Chicago Tribune reported.

Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller won Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Father,” a drama starring Anthony Hopkins about a man suffering from memory loss. Among many other nominations, nine actors of color made it to the nominations, setting a milestone in history.

As the film industry prepares for summer and fall with far higher expectations than 2020, reminding viewers not just of what they were seeing, but also of what they've been missing, might be the most critical task these Oscars can accomplish. The event, which was designed to look like a movie where the presenters are the actors, was a creative take in these trying and testing times presented amid the pandemic.

Regina King and Aldis Hodge (left/bottom) attend the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Mark Terrill-Pool/Getty Images

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