Oscars speeches weren’t played off this year. It meant Daniel Kaluuya got to shock his mom.

Despite COVID-19, this year’s Oscars had all the glitz and glamour of the red carpet and a star-studded ceremony. But there was one thing notably missing: the orchestra.

The large orchestra that normally cues Academy Award winners as to when it’s time to wrap up their acceptance speeches (in the past, a mere 90 seconds was allotted) was not in play Sunday night at Los Angeles’ Union Station, allowing winners an unlimited amount of airtime to express their gratitude.

The unrestrained speeches allowed for heartfelt and sobering moments that made us cry and downright funny asides that made us laugh out loud (we’re looking at you, Daniel Kaluuya).

Here’s why it worked.

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