Culture

Oscars 2021: And the big winner of the 93rd Academy Awards is… Union Station Los Angeles

Regina King on stage at the 2021 Oscars

The 2021 Oscars were short on surprises, if you don’t count QuestLove’s golden Crocs, Halle Berry’s hair-do, and the abrupt, anticlimactic ending, but the decision to stage the 93rd Academy Awards predominantly in Union Station, rather than the show’s traditional home of the Dolby Theatre, proved inspired.

This 82-year-old mass transit hub, located in downtown Los Angeles, is no stranger to Hollywood, having been used in a wide variety of feature films, including To Live and Die in LA, Blade Runner and The Dark Knight Rises.

Oscar producer Steven Soderbergh took full advantage of his novel location. The Awards show opened with movie style credits, as Regina King swept in, and was sumptuously lensed in widescreen at a cinematic 24 frames per second.

The main stage took over the station’s original ticket-counter room, its 12m high windows bathing the room in bright sunlight during the first half of the show.  

The station looked every inch the star (indeed it dominated during a night where movie clips were notable mainly by their absence), and now seems certain to become even more of a tourist attraction in its own right.

But where exactly is Union Station, and where could you transit to and from if you flounced in wearing your Oscar tribute gown or DJ?

Oscar producer Steven Soderbergh took full advantage of his novel location. The show was sumptuously lensed in widescreen at a cinematic 24 frames per second…

Exterior view of Union Station in Los Angeles at sunset
Union Station is a mix of Spanish-colonial, Revival and art deco influences

Union Station is actually only a short ride from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Remarkably, the Station remained open to transit riders during the entire event, with all bus, rail, Metrolink and Amtrak services running. 

The station is the main regional hub for Amtrak, as well as Metrolink’s five-county commuter train service. It also serves as a transfer point for Metro’s Red, Purple and Gold Lines, and connects Los Angeles with around 1,800 buses per day.

A gorgeous blend of Spanish-colonial, revival and art deco styles, the station opened in May 1939,  at a cost of 11.2$ million, which is the equivalent of 1.2$ billion in today’s money.

Visitors should look up for the station’s six art deco-inspired brass chandeliers, and down for the original terracotta floor tiles. 

Terracotta tiles inside the Union Station
Look up and you’ll see six art deco-inspired brass chandeliers

Other attractions include an 11-foot-wide floor runner made from a variety of inlaid stone, and 286 mahogany art deco chairs. 

Best plan for a good meal too. Dining options in the Grand Waiting Room, include Traxx,  which serves modern American cuisine in a glamorous retro setting, and Café Crepe, a European-inspired casual diner.

If you find yourself on the South Patio, drop into The Streamliner, a brewpub serving craft beer, cocktails, and an extensive oyster and American classics menu.

Trent Reznor, Jon Batiste and Atticus Ross accept the Oscar for their Soul score
Trent Reznor, Jon Batiste and Atticus Ross accept the Oscar for Original Score

Oscars 2021: 93rd Academy Award winners in full:

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Anthony Hopkins (The Father) 

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Frances McDormand (Nomadland) 

Best Picture
Nomadland

Best Animated Feature Film
Soul

Best Director
Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) 

Best Original Song
Fight for You, (Judas and the Black Messiah)

Best Original Score
Soul, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste 

Best Film Editing
Sound of Metal Mikkel E.G. Nielsen

Best Cinematography
Mank, Erik Messerschmidt 

Best Production Design
Mank 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari) 

Best Visual Effects
Tenet 

Documentary Feature
My Octopus Teacher

Best Documentary Short Subject
Colette

Best Animated Short Film
If Anything Happens I Love You

Best Live-Action Short Film
Two Distant Strangers

Best Sound
Sound of Metal

Best Costume Design
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah) 

Best International Feature Film
Another Round 

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Father

Best Original Screenplay
Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell)

Emilia Jones as Ruby in CODA

Sundance Film Festival winner CODA goes day-and-date on Apple TV+ and in cinemas August 13

Sundance award-winning movie CODA will debut on Apple TV+ this summer, simultaneously with its theatrical release. The film was the hit of this year’s Sundance Film Film Festival, winning four drama categories, making it the first movie in Sundance Film Festival history to win all top prizes in the US Dramatic Competition category. CODA will debutContinue Reading

Nomadland and Promising Young Woman lead BAFTA winners pack, Liam Payne makes AR debut

Nomadland cleaned house at the 2021 EE British Academy Film Awards, winning four BAFTAs for Best Film, Director for Chloé Zhao, Leading Actress for Frances McDormand, and Cinematography for Joshua James Richards. The movie is now a hot favourite at the upcoming Academy Awards. An outside bet though for Oscar gold could be Promising YoungContinue Reading

About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and editor of The Luxe Review, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, Yahoo UK, Home Cinema Choice, Games Radar, Ideal Home, Louder Sounds, Channel News and Boat International. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

%d bloggers like this: