Anthony Hopkins Over Chadwick Boseman: A Shock

Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins in The Father. Courtesy of Sony Classics.

When the last award of the night was announced this evening, viewers were stunned to learn Anthony Hopkins beat Chadwick Boseman.

I apologize if none of this is coherent as I am still in a state of shock.

Hopkins gave a commanding performance in the film but Chadwick Boseman all but locked it up. When Joaquin Phoenix opened it up, I was shocked. I mean, I had the tweet ready to go and then suddenly went, WTF?!? This wasn’t supposed to happen! The envelope opened to reveal Hopkins winning his first Best Actor Oscar since winning for Silence of the Lambs. Hopkins also becomes the oldest actor to win an acting award at 83 years old. Previously, Christopher Plummer had set the record when he won for Beginners at the age of 82.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Ma Rainey
(L to R) Glynn Turman as Toldeo, Chadwick Boseman as Levee, Michael Potts as Slow Drag, and Colman Domingo as Cutler in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Photo credit: David Lee/Netflix.

When BAFTA went with Anthony Hopkins, I just assumed that it was because of the hometown audience. Lo and behold, BAFTA voters went with the same acting winners as Oscar would do some two weeks later. I know Best Actress was all over the place among the major predictors. Aside from BAFTA, everyone was in agreement: Chadwick Boseman delivered the best acting performance in a leading role. Marvel’s animated What If? is Boseman’s final performance between live-action or animation. But in terms of major performances, either Da 5 Bloods or Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom were the final chances to honor the Black Panther star during the long awards season.

I’m not lying when I say that Anthony Hopkins is one of the greatest actors alive. There’s also no disagreement from me in that he crushed the performance in The Father. But at the end of the day, Chadwick Boseman delivered one of the strongest performances of the year. And sadly, it’s the final time we’ll be seeing him in a leading role. He kept his cancer battle to himself which only makes that performance even stronger. Knowing how sick he was and yet he still turns in a hell of a performance–that’s award worthy in and of itself.

Elsewhere, Frances McDormand moves to second place all by herself next to the legendary Katharine Hepburn. Until this evening, McDormand had been tied with a number of actresses at two wins in the Best Actress category. Her win wasn’t a guarantee either. In terms of the major awards shows of late, she only took home the BAFTA Award.

Moving on to the Oscars scorecard Netflix took home the most awards at seven. Disney (Searchlight and Disney-Pixar) took home five. Warner Bros. took home three. Amazon and Sony Pictures Classics took home two. A24, Focus Features, and Samuel Goldwyn Films each took home one award. I might be off by one so please forgive me.

This past year was a unique year for film but Chadwick Boseman should have won over Anthony Hopkins.

The Father is currently available on VOD and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is streaming on Netflix.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.