Well that was… weird. The 93rd Academy Awards are over, and apparently it wasn’t a second too soon for everyone involved. In easily one of the most anti-climatic endings to the broadcast in awards history, the Oscars stage-managed themselves into a position where the night’s final award went to a man who wasn’t even there to accept it.

Taking the unusual step of not presenting Best Picture last, the broadcast instead saved its final two awards for the cornerstone acting gongs – Best Actress and Best Actor.

The former was scooped by Frances McDormand for her performance in Nomadland. The latter? That went to Sir Anthony Hopkins for his performance in The Father.

The only problem with that, was that Hopkins wasn’t there to accept. He wasn’t even on video link, as many of the night’s other recipients had been.

Presenter Joaquin Phoenix accepted the award on Hopkins’ behalf, giving the standard (and very brief) speech in doing so, and then… that was it. End of broadcast. Everyone go home.

In not presenting Best Picture last (an award that was scooped by Nomadland again), the broadcast had seemingly positioned itself to end on an all-time emotional moment with the late, great Chadwick Boseman winning Best Actor for his turn in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Instead, Phoenix presented the award to a man who was not there, and then the credits rolled immediately.

It really did just… end.

That was it. Go home, folks. It’s over.

The very weird and deeply dumb ending to proceedings did not get past anyone watching on, with social media immediately lighting up in protest of Boseman missing out on what would’ve been just the second Best Actor award to be won posthumously.

Adding further intrigue and genuine What The Fuck Is Going On to everything, all nominees in this year’s awards received a gift bag that contained, among other things, a NFT of Chadwick Boseman’s golden head.

You would have to think – it’s almost beyond doubt – that stage managing the show to have Best Actor last meant producers were banking on Boseman winning the Oscar. You would have to think that. There’s no other logical explanation to end the show with Joaquin By-God Phoenix accepting an award on someone else’s behalf.

Does it rate above the Moonlight/La La Land debacle in terms of bizarre Oscars finishes? Time will tell. Immediately though, it’s right up there.

Image: Getty Images / Jason LaVersi