Oscars feature slaps, snubs, surprises


Photo courtesy of Myung Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS

The cast and producers of “CODA” accept their award during the the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday. “CODA” is the first film from a streaming service to win Best Picture.

By Olivia Rosenberg, Assistant buzz Editor

From the “CODA” Best Picture win to the altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock, the Oscars was full of action-packed and historical moments. Hosted by Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes, the 94th Academy Awards premiered live on Sunday night. 

After not having hosts since 2018, the three female comedian hosts were a return to the traditional ceremony remembered by viewers. 

The theme of Sunday’s ceremony was “Movie Lovers Unite” and showcased many fan-voted segments such as “Most Cheer Worthy Moment.”

This year, the awards controversially exempted eight categories from the live broadcast, including editing and score. Instead of being presented live, the awards were pre-recorded and edited before being broadcast for the purpose of reducing runtime. 

“CODA” made history at the Oscars as the first film from a streaming service to win Best Picture. Its win also represents the recognition of disabled actors and stories by Hollywood. The film won all three awards it was nominated for, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor. 

Troy Kostur’s “CODA” win made him the second deaf actor in history to win an Academy Award. To make Kotsur’s win even more special, he joins Marlee Matlin, his co-star in the film, in the history-making as she was the first deaf actor to win an Oscar. 

Ariana DeBose also made history on Sunday night with her win of Best Supporting Actress for Anita in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.” DeBose became the first openly queer woman of color to win an Academy Award. 

“The Power of the Dog” was commonly predicted as the front runner for all of the categories it was nominated in but only ended up taking one award home. Jane Campion won Best Director, making her the third woman in history to win the award. 

Other highlighted wins throughout the ceremony include Jessica Chastian’s Best Actress win for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Billie Eillish’s and Finneas O’Connell’s win for “Best Original Song,” “Drive My Car” for Best International Feature and “Dune”’s six wins. 

The ceremony gave tribute to “The Godfather” and the James Bond franchise for their release anniversaries as well as “Juno” and “Pulp Fiction” for the anniversaries of their Best Screenplay wins. Stars from each film like Elliot Page, Uma Thurman and Robert De Niro were recognized.

The night featured live performances of the nominated original songs by Beyoncé, Billie Eilish and more. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” the hit song from “Encanto,” was also performed live by the cast of the film, as well as Megan Thee Stallion, Becky G and Luis Fonsi. 

Despite all the excitement from the rest of the night, the most memorable moment from the evening was not about the awards. After a joke was made about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock as well as yelled at him afterward saying, “Leave my wife’s name out of your f——— mouth.” 

The event was shocking, leaving both audience members and viewers stunned at what had just unfolded. At first, it was unclear whether the interaction was scripted, but Smith’s anger made it clear that it was unplanned. 

The Smith and Rock interaction cast a shadow on the rest of the evening as viewers scrambled to understand the details of the situation. 

Despite the incident, Smith was awarded Best Actor for his performance as Richard Williams in “King Richard.” 

In his speech, Smith apologized to the Academy and went on to say, “Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things.”

Aside from Smith’s dramatic turn of events, the Oscar wins this Sunday night are ones for the history books. The 94th Academy Awards will certainly not be forgotten with its multiple recognitions of diversity, tributes to the classics and fight all within its three-hour runtime.


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