Viewers of this year’s Oscars couldn’t help but pick up on the awkwardness of the ceremony.
Steven Soderbergh directed the 2021 event, which was forced to undergo a radical overhaul due to the pandemic.
A smaller number of attendees gathered in Los Angeles’ Union Station, with others gathering in hubs set up in Paris and London, to see the results announced by a selection of guests.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Regina King attempted to explain how the event would play out, stating: “People have been vaxxed, tested, re-tested, socially distanced, and we are following all of the rigorous protocols that got us back to work safely.”
Before almost falling when first walking on to the stage, she continued: “So, just like on a movie set, when we’re rolling: masks off. And when we’re not rolling: masks on. That’s how we do it.”
Due to the smaller crowd, and the lack of an orchestra, the broadcast was a lot quieter than usual, with intermittent music spots played by Questlove.
Also noticeable in their absence were clips from the nominated films, leaving extended silences in the place where they would usually be.
Due to the layout, certain nominees were left craning their neck around in their seats, which left many feeling uncomfortable by the perceived confusion of those in attendance.
“I understand the circumstances, but I have to say it: This is one of the most awkward Oscars I’ve ever seen,” one viewer wrote.
Another added: “These PEOPLE in the audience look so awkward & confused. They don’t know which way to turn & look.”
One viewer said the ceremony was akin to “an employee of the month ceremony for a mid-level accounting firm”.
Bringing much needed levity was Best Supporting Actor winner Daniel Kaluuya, who left his mum in shock with a comment about his parents “having sex”.
Find the full list of winners here.