A 94th Academy Awards that steadily maintained a buoyant spirit was rocked by an unbelievable exchange after Will Smith took offense to a joke made by Chris Rock about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Smith laughed at Rock’s joke that he was looking forward for a sequel. “G.I. Jane,”Smith stood from his place near the stage and ran up to Rock. He slapped him. Smith shouted at Rock after he sat down. “keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth.”Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith while hosting the Oscars 2016. He protested that it was only a joke. “GI Jane”Smith laughed and repeated the joke.
“That was the greatest night in the history of television,” Rock said, before awkwardly returning to presenting best documentary, which went to Questlove’s “Summer of Soul (…or When the Revolution Was Not Televised).”
A few minutes later, rapper Sean Combs — on stage to introduce a tribute to “The Godfather” — tried to play peacemaker and suggested Smith and Rock settle their differences at an Oscars afterparty. “Will and Chris, we’re going to solve that like family at the Gold party,” Combs said.
The moment shocked both the Dolby Theatre audience, and home viewers. Denzel Washington helped Smith to the sideline of the stage after Daniel Kaluuya, the presenter, approached Smith during the commercial break. They talked and hugged, and Tyler Perry also came over to speak.
Smith, star of “King Richard,”It is widely believed that he will win his first Oscar at the ceremony.
The show had been running quite smoothly until that point. Troy Kotsur was the first actor deaf to win an Academy Award as supporting actress for Ariana DeBose.
Jane Campion won Oscar Best Director for “The Power of the Dog,”Her psychodrama of the open plains that tore at western conventions. Campion, who had been the first woman ever twice nominated in the category (previously for 1993’s “The Piano”She is the third woman to be named best director. It’s also the first time the directing award has ever gone to women in back-to-back years, after “Nomadland” filmmaker Chloé Zhao won last year.
After record-low ratings and a pandemic-marred 2021 show, producers this year turned to one of the biggest stars around — Beyoncé — to kick off an Oscars intended to revive the awards’ place in pop culture. After an introduction from Venus and Serena Williams, Beyoncé performed her “King Richard”Nominated song “Be Alive,”In an elaborately choreographed performance, the Williams sisters performed on a lime-colored, open air stage in Compton.
The telecast was then started from the Dolby Theatre by hosts Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer.
“All right, we are here at the Oscars,” began Hall. Sykes finished: “Where movie lovers unite and watch TV.”
Sykes, Schumer and Hall breezily joked through prominent Hollywood issues like pay equity — they said three female hosts were “cheaper than one man” — the Lady Gaga drama that Sykes called “House of Random Accents,” the state of the Golden Globes (now relegated to the memoriam package, said Sykes) and Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriends. Their most pointed political point came at the end of their routine, in which they promised a great night and then alluded to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
“And for you people in Florida, we’re going to have a gay night,”Sykes.
Accordingly, the first broadcast award went out to Ariana de Bose, the first openly LGBTQ actor in Hollywood and the first Latina winner best supporting actress. She won the role 60 years after Rita Moreno was nominated for the same part in the original 1961 film. “West Side Story.”DeBose thanked Moreno, who led the way. “tons of Anitas like me.”
“You see an openly queer woman of color, an Afro-Latina, who found her strength and life through art. And that is, I think, what we’re here to celebrate,”DeBose. “So if anyone has ever questioned your identity or you find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this — there is indeed a place for us.”
Kotsur was the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar for acting. He later joined his brother, “CODA”Marlee Mattlin was Marlee’s costar and the only deaf actor to win an Academy Award. While he received a standing ovation, many Dolby employees gave the Deaf clap and waved their hands in the air.
“This is for the Deaf community, the CODA community and the disabled community,”Kotsur signed from the podium. “This is our moment.”
“Encanto,”The animated film that made Disney’s hit, propelled by its smashing soundtrack, was awarded best animated movie. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who penned the film’s hit songs, missed the ceremony after his wife tested positive for COVID-19. Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s three-hour Japanese drama “Drive My Car,” one of the year’s most acclaimed films, won for best international film.
Two years after pandemics, Hollywood’s rite of Glamour was back in full swing. There was a packed red carpet and a COVID-tested crowd.
The Oscars heavily emphasized musical performances (Billie Eilish and Reba McEntire), film anniversary (in order to regain cultural attention)“The Godfather,”James Bond), and as many mentions of it “Encanto” breakout song, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” as possible. It was a buoyant ceremony, which put less emphasis on the pandemic. The Ukrainian-born Mila Kunis For Ukraine, a 30-second silence was led. Stars like Sean Penn had lobbyed the academy to have Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian President, speak at the ceremony
Politics were rarely the main stage, with the exception of a few blue ribbons that were spotted on red carpets. Instead, the Oscars emphasized razzle dazzle and used movies as an escape. To attract more viewers, producers brought in Tony Hawk and BTS. Some things worked better than other. Fan favorite rankings, as voted on by Twitter users — in a moment unlikely to be remember as an Oscar highpoint — honored Zack Snyder’s version of “Justice League.”
Films that make you feel good were also well-received. Sian Heder’s family drama “CODA,”A coming-of-age movie about the deaf daughter of a family won best adapted screenplay. Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical “Belfast,”A touching family drama that was shot in black-and white and infused with nostalgia won the best original screenplay award.
Eilish and Finneas were awarded for the Bond theme. “No Time to Die,”A song that was released prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. The film was delayed multiple times.
The Academy Awards got underway Sunday off-camera, with the first eight awards on the night being handed out at the Dolby Theatre before the start of the ABC telecast. The Dolby was nearly full for the pre-show at 7 p.m. ET (dubbed “The Dolby Show”). “golden hour”The academy. The broadcast incorporated the edited speech.
It was a bizarre and controversial start to the second consecutive in-person Oscars. More than 70 Oscar recipients, including James Cameron (Kath Kennedy) and Guillermo del Toro warned earlier this month about the possibility that some nominees would be turned into ‘in-person Oscars’. “second-class citizens.”
“Dune”It led the way in those early awards and stayed there all night. The biggest blockbusters of this year’s 10 best-picture nominees, “Dune” won for production design, cinematography, editing, visual effects, sound and Hans Zimmer’s score. Though it’s not favored in the top awards, “Dune”It was widely anticipated that the technical categories would improve.
Greig Fraser’s cinematography win denied one chance for Oscar history. Others had been rooting. Ari Wenger, who lensed Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,”to be the first woman to win best cinematography, the sole Oscar category that has never been won by a woman in the Academy Awards’ nine decade-plus history
Linda Dowds and Stephanie Ingram won the best makeup and hairstyling awards. Justin Raleigh was second. “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” That film’s star and producer, Jessica Chastain, had been among the many academy members who thought all the awards should have been handed out live during the broadcast. Chastain hugged every winner as they entered the stage.
“I just hope that each and every day on set everyone takes a moment to just look around and look at all those talented people who work hard,”Dowds is the make-up artist.
“The Queen of Basketball,”About the basketball great Lusia Houston, was nominated for best documentary film. Its executive producers include Steph Curry and Shaquille O’Neal. The animated short was voted the best “The Windshield Wiper,”While “The Long Goodbye,”Riz Ahmed stars in this sensational short film. took best fiction short.
“This is for everyone who feels like they’re stuck in No Man’s Land,”Ahmed. “You’re not alone. We’ll meet you there.”
Behind this year’s telecast changes was alarm over the Oscars fast-falling ratings. While drops have been common to all major network award shows, last year’s show attracted only about 10 million viewers, less than half of the 23.6 million the year before. It was closer to 40million a decade ago.
Netflix’s “The Power of the Dog,” Campion’s gothic western, came in A leading 12 nominations and a good chance of snagging the top award. But all the momentum is with Sian Heder’s deaf family drama “CODA,” which, despite boasting just three nods, is considered the favorite. Apple TV+ would win the film, having acquired it from the Sundance Film Festival and spent a lot of money promoting it to academy members.