For the first time in history, the Oscars had three hosts—all women—in its return to Hollywood’s Dolby Theater. Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes co-hosted a dramatic 94th Academy Awards that wasn’t short of surprises, both staged and spontaneous.
Stars including Jamie Lee Curtis, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Warren and Yuh-Jung Youn turned up wearing blue #WithRefugees ribbons in solidarity with those forced to flee Ukraine. Benedict Cumberbatch was spotted with a button of the Ukrainian flag, Jason Momoa chose to make a statement with a blue and yellow picket square, and Francis Ford Coppola picked a pin of the US and Ukraine flags.
During the show, a moment of silence was observed, whereby text on a screen asked for financial contributions to aid Ukraine in alleviating its humanitarian crisis. “It’s really, really strange to be here in tuxedos, knowing what’s going on in Ukraine,” said Emile Sherman, producer of Power of the Dog. The movie’s director, Jane Campion, won the Oscar for Best Directing.
In an evening of soaring highs and regrettable lows, Ariana DeBose made history as the first openly queer woman of colour to win an acting Oscar, taking home the award for Best Supporting Actress. Jenny Beavan, the genius behind Cruella’s show-stopping outfits and who we had the pleasure of speaking to last year, won for Costume Design.
Scroll down for more highlights and the full winners’ list.
Will Smith makes headlines, for better or for worse
In a shocking moment captured on live TV, Will Smith marched up from his seat in the audience to slap Chris Rock across the cheek. Rock was up on stage to present the award for Best Documentary. “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth,” Smith yelled at Rock after returning to his seat.
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The move was in response to Rock making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s buzz cut. He’d said, while gesturing to Pinkett Smith, “Jada, I love you. GI Joe 2, can’t wait to see it.” Pinkett Smith has been battling alopecia areata, a condition that causes rapid spot balding.
Smith went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor, awarded for his role in King Richard, and apologised for the prior outburst in his emotional acceptance speech. While poking fun at anyone’s medical condition (and appearance) isn’t cool, so is a display of toxic masculinity.
Troy Kotsur becomes first deaf male actor to win an Oscar
Coda’s Troy Kotsur—who was born deaf—picked up the Best Supporting Actor award from Youn Yuh-jung, last year’s winner of the Best Supporting Actress award, who conveyed her congratulations using sign language. It’s only the second time, after a gap of 35 years, that a Deaf actor has won an Oscar—the previous win was awarded to Kotsur’s Coda co-star, Marlee Matlin, for Best Supporting Actress in 1987.
In Coda (which stands for Children of Deaf Adults), Kotsur portrayed the patriarch of a fishing family that are all deaf except for a daughter who aspires to become a singer. In his acceptance speech, delivered in American sign language, he conveyed: “I just wanted to say that this is dedicated to the Deaf community, the CODA community and the disabled community. This is our moment.”
The Apple TV+ production was also one of the night’s biggest winners, taking home all three awards it was nominated for, including the coveted Best Picture accolade.
Stream Coda via Apple TV+.
Dune sweeps multiple awards
Denis Villenueve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic, Dune, was the night’s most-awarded movie with six wins—though these were all technical awards that, while important, lack the buzz that typically accompanies the more glamorous categories.
It gave Hans Zimmer his second Oscars statue for Best Score, while Australian Greig Fraser’s brilliant work was recognized with the win for Best Cinematography. Most of Dune’s awards had been announced and presented off-air, prior to the start of the official ceremony, in order to shorten the broadcast and make more time for scripted bits and musical numbers—a move that has courted controversy since it was announced in February.
The #Oscars this year are full of SPICE. #DuneMovie#DenisVilleneuve #MaryParent( IndieWire) pic.twitter.com/zhQWYOGDYe
— DUNE (@dunemovie) March 28, 2022
Megan Thee Stallion’s spin on ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’
Following Encanto’s win in the Animated Feature Film category, Carolina Gaitán and Mauro Castillo performed a live rendition of ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’. That they were brilliant was to be expected. What wasn’t expected, however, was Megan Thee Stallion’s hip-hop remix of the song—which has garnered mixed reviews from fans of Encanto. What do you think of this version?
Stream Encanto via Disney+ Hotstar.
Check out the full list of winners below:
Actor in a Leading Role
Will Smith, King Richard
Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Actor in a Supporting Role
Troy Kotsur, Coda
Actress in a Supporting Role
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Greig Fraser, Dune
Animated Feature Film
Live Action Short Film
The Long Goodbye
Animated Short Film
The Windshield Wiper
Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Documentary Short Subject
The Queen of Basketball
International Feature Film
Drive My Car (Japan)
Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Siân Heder, Coda
Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, ‘No Time To Die’ from No Time to Die
Hans Zimmer, Dune
Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett, Dune
Patrice Vermette and Zsuzsanna Sipos, Dune
Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer, Dune
Makeup and Hairstyling
Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Cruella, Jenny Beavan
Joe Walker, Dune
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