The whole night built up to the final category: best actor, presumed to be the late Chadwick Boseman of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” who has posthumously swept award season up until this point. Instead, the prize went to Anthony Hopkins of “The Father,” who didn’t attend the ceremony, leaving the show without a final acceptance speech. And with that, the Oscars were over.
The anticlimactic ending fell in line with the rest of the telecast, which producers had said from the start would be an unusual one. The Oscars were a fine award ceremony, expressing true appreciation of the art (most of the time, anyway) and allowing each recipient however much time they wanted to share their thoughts and gratitude. But they lacked the qualities that keep at-home viewers engaged, be it lighthearted bits (aside from Glenn Close’s go-go knowledge, that is) or enlightening clips from the nominated films.