This year's Oscars "in memoriam" segment was a heartbreaking moment during this year's unique ceremony. Since it has been 14 months since the last Oscars, producers sadly had more celebrities to pay tribute to in a short period of time compared to previous segments. While viewers are usually angry about missing names, this year, many were stunned by how short the segment was. It also did not help that Chadwick Boseman, who some expected to win Best Actor and did not, never got a full tribute during the broadcast.
The 93rd Academy Awards did still mention Boseman, who died from colon cancer at age 43, in the brief segment. Boseman starred in two acclaimed movies in 2020, Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods and George C. Wolfe's adaptation of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. His performance in Ma Rainey earned him an Oscar nomination, as well as a Golden Globe and SAG Award. Boseman is only the sixth actor ever nominated for the Best Actor Oscar posthumously and could be the second overall, following Network's Peter Finch in 1977.
Many other beloved Oscar winners and nominees were featured in this year's segment. Sean Connery, who was the big screen's first James Bond and won an Oscar for his supporting role in The Untouchables, died in October 2020 at 90. Olivia de Havilland, who won Best Actress for To Each His Own and The Heiress, died in July 2020 at 104. Christopher Plummer, an Oscar-winner for Beginners, died in February at 91. Cloris Leachman, who won an Oscar for The Last Picture Show, died in January at 94.
Every year, the Academy misses a few actors and crew members who died simply because there is not enough time to include all of them. However, the omission of Luke Perry in last year's segment was shocking to many. Although Perry is primarily known for his television roles, he made a handful of movies, including the 2020 Best Picture nominee, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Disney Channel star Cameron Boyce was also left out of the segment.prevnext
After the 2020 Oscars, the Academy issued a statement saying that it receives "hundreds of requests" to include loved ones and colleagues in the segment. "An executive committee representing every branch considers the list and makes selections for the telecast based on limited available time," the Academy said last year. "All the submissions are included on Oscar.com and will remain on the site throughout the year. Luke Perry and Cameron Boyce are remembered in the Oscar.com gallery."prevnext
The 2021 #Oscars going through the In Memoriam on beat with the peppy song underscoring itApril 26, 2021
Some viewers at home thought that one reason why the Best Picture award was presented before Best Actor and Actress was so the night could end with a tribute to Boseman. However, Boseman shockingly did not win. Instead, the award went to The Father star Anthony Hopkins. Since Hopkins was not even present, the entire ceremony just ended oddly, with presenter Joaquin Phoenix accepting the award on Hopkins' behalf.prevnext
Okay, let's play the In Memoriam again but maybe not on double speed? I'm fine remembering those who passed away at least as long as we played Name that Tune a few minutes ago. #Oscars— Dan Murrell (@MurrellDan) April 26, 2021
Others were also horrified by the placement. The segment aired almost immediately after a comedy sketch featuring Lil Rel Howery quizzing stars on the names of songs from movies.prevnext
Hey #Oscars, re: your in memoriam segment. Here’s a simple editing trick so that you don’t have to blast through the segment on fast forward; use a longer song.— Kris Kristensen (@theK2dispatches) April 26, 2021
"OK I know we lost a lot of people this year and I've gasped a number of times but they could have taken another minute and slowed the SLIDE SPEED down," comedian Michelle Collins tweeted. "Always a good sign when the in memoriam has to go at the speed of a cd compilation ad," writer Jess Dweck noted.prevnext
"Thoughts and prayers to everyone about to get cut out of the In Memoriam because this bit ran long," writer Matt Oswalt tweeted. "Why am I getting the feeling that there were a 'slow version' and a 'fast version' of In Memoriam planned and they chose the latter," critic Daniel D'Addario wrote.prev