FIB’s 94th Academy Awards Round-Up: Winners, Losers, and the Slap Heard Around the World

The 94th Academy Awards took place overnight. Dune is the major winner – taking home 6 Oscars, with wins for legendary composer Hans Zimmer and local up-and-coming cinematographer Greig Fraser. But the ceremony is, unfortunately, being overshadowed by an altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke in poor taste regarding Smith’s wife.

Credit: Business Insider

The 94th Academy Awards took off this year. Rock was doing the usual host thing, making some light-hearted jabs as he overlooked the people in front of him. After mentioning the awkward situation Javier Bardem would be in if he won but his wife didn’t, he moved on to Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith. Rock made a crack about Pinkett-Smith’s appearance, mentioning the 1997 Demi Moore film G.I. Jane and making a “joke” about being excited about the sequel.

Despite initially being unphased by the joke, even having a smile on his face, Jada’s obvious disapproval spurred Will into action. As Rock continues to monologue, Smith approaches him and slaps him hard across the face. This action appears to take the entire auditorium by surprise, and Rock is visibly shaken as he scrambles to pick up from where he left off with his routine.

The Slap Heard Around the World

Credit: Boss Hunting

The moment went viral almost instantly, as multiple angles of the incident became available from different broadcasts of the event. Afterwards, Smith was consoled by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry during a commercial break, apparently quite distraught. Not long after, Smith won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Richard Williams, father of Serena and Venus, in King Richard.

The event informed the tone and nature of Smith’s acceptance speech, as he mentions the character he played was a fierce defender of his family – and used this as a kind of justification for his actions against Rock.

Credit: The Today Show

This has been a pretty divisive move on social media as some supported Smith for standing up for his wife. Others condemned his actions as petty and short-sighted, and as an adult there should always be a better alternative to violence for conflict resolution.

This is of course assuming that the incident is genuine, and not an elaborate stunt for the sake of publicity for the awards that have in recent years flagged in the ratings, as well as questions around its ongoing relevance. Incidents like this – Kanye interrupting Taylor Swift, or the Madonna-Britney kiss – tend to be significant pop-culture moments, and can revitalise interest in shows.

Not the Only Gaffe

Credit: People

I guess the incident could be chalked up to the excitement of live theatre. But around it, there was the usual ceremony, and also it was far from the only gaffe. Fans of Bob Saget were incensed with the late actor not being included in the ceremony’s ‘In Memoriam’ tribute, which is a yearly tradition of honouring those in the industry that have passed.

In addition, there was a James Bond tribute to celebrate 60 years of the gentleman spy at the multiplex, but with one major problem: the montage was presented by three athletes, which seems a massive wasted opportunity for one or more of the ex-Bond actors to present the award instead.

There have also been mixed reactions on Twitter regarding the multiple host format. Some praised it for the diverse voices on show, while others found the style to be a bit distracting and disorienting with a lack of focus.

But…What About the Awards?

Yes, the overall purpose of the Academy Awards is, well, the awards. As previously mentioned, Dune was the night’s big winner in terms of total awards, with 6 gongs awarded to Denis Villeneuve’s science fiction epic. The awards were mainly for technical achievements, and rightly so, as Dune is a feast for the senses, and had a dedicated team of individuals behind the scenes working to bring the world of Arrakis to audiences.

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

What’s called the “Big 5” awards were, surprisingly, an nearly-even split across a few of the top contenders. New Zealand filmmaker and all around legend Jane Campion became only the third woman in history to take home the Best Director award, for her amazing work on Netflix’s The Power of the Dog. She was not the only one who made history, as Troy Kotsur became the first deaf male to win a Best Supporting Actor award. Despite some predicting a clean sweep from Campion’s film, there were some surprises.

Perhaps most surprising was Coda winning Best Picture. Will Smith’s win for King Richard was another prediction, but Jessica Chastain winning for The Eyes of Tammy Faye surprised many who had Kristen Stewart’s turn as Princess Dianna as the front-runner. Also Kenneth Branagh managed to win his first Oscar, after 9 previous nominations, for his work on the screenplay for Belfast, another Best Picture nominee.

Full List

Below is a full list of all the winners from last night’s ceremony.

Best supporting actress

Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)
Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) – WINNER!
Judi Dench (Belfast)
Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)
Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)

Best costume design

Cruella – WINNER!
Nightmare Alley
West Side Story

Best sound

Dune – WINNER!
No Time to Die
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Best original score

Don’t Look Up
Dune – WINNER!
Parallel Mothers
The Power of the Dog

Best adapted screenplay

Coda (Sian Heder) – WINNER!
Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe)
Dune (Eric Roth, Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve)
The Lost Daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal)
The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion)

Best original screenplay

Belfast (Kenneth Branagh) – WINNER!
Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay, David Sirota)
Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)
King Richard (Zach Baylin)
The Worst Person in the World (Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier)

Best animated short

Affairs of the Art
Robin Robin
The Windshield Wiper – WINNER!

Best live action short

Ala Kachuu – Take and Run
The Dress
The Long Goodbye – WINNER!
On My Mind
Please Hold

Best supporting actor

Ciarán Hinds (Belfast)
Troy Kotsur (Coda) – WINNER!
Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog)
JK Simmons (Being the Ricardos)
Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog)

Best film editing

Don’t Look Up
Dune – WINNER!
King Richard
The Power of the Dog
tick, tick… BOOM!

Best makeup & hairstyling

Coming 2 America
The Eyes of Tammy Faye – WINNER!
House of Gucci

Best animated feature

Encanto – WINNER!
The Mitchells Vs the Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

Best documentary feature

Summer of Soul – WINNER!
Writing With Fire

Best documentary short

Lead Me Home
The Queen of Basketball – WINNER!
Three Songs for Benazir
When We Were Bullies

Best original song

Be Alive (King Richard)
Dos Oruguitas (Encanto)
Down to Joy (Belfast)
No Time to Die (No Time to Die) – WINNER!
Somehow You Do (Four Good Days)

Best cinematography

Dune – WINNER!
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Best international feature

Drive My Car – WINNER!
The Hand of God
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
The Worst Person in the World

Best production design

Dune – WINNER!
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Best visual effects

Dune – WINNER!
Free Guy
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
No Time to Die
Spider-Man: No Way Home

Best actress

Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) – WINNER!
Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter)
Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers)
Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos)
Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

Best actor

Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos)

Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)
Andrew Garfield (tick, tick … BOOM!)
Will Smith (King Richard) – WINNER!
Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)

Best director

Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)
Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)
Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) – WINNER!
Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)

Best picture

Coda – WINNER!
Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

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