It was an all-female line-up of hosts for this year’s Oscars when the 94th Academy Awards were held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes opened the night with some sassy lines and the movies Dune and CODA scooped the awards. But it was Will Smith who scored most of the headlines when he walked on stage and slapped Chris Rock for making a joke at his wife’s expense – but more on this later.
Having more than one host hasn’t happened since the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011 and it was nice to see three women opening one of the biggest shows there is. Schumer quipped the Academy had hired “three women because it was cheaper than hiring one man!”
After the opening, Schumer came out and did a second series of smart, funny lines including a jibe at Being the Ricardos which she said is a movie about comedienne Lucille Ball and yet the movie isn’t funny at all. She added: “It’s like making a biopic about Michael Jordan and just showing the bus trips between games.”
CODA was the big winner of the night, taking home the Academy Award for best picture as well as the Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Troy Kotsur from CODA made history when he became the first deaf man to win an Academy Award for acting when he won the Best Supporting Actor Award.
Dune won the most awards of any film by winning in six categories including: Best Original Score; Best Sound; Best Cinematography; Best Visual Effects; Best Film Editing; and Best Production Design.
Jessica Chastain and Will Smith won best actress and actor in a leading role. Chastain played Tammy Faye Bakker in the movie, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and Smith played Richard Williams in King Richard.
Jane Campion made history at these awards when she won best director for her film, The Power of the Dog, and she became the third woman to win best director ever. Troy Kotsur from CODA also made history when he became the first deaf man to win an Academy Award for acting.
Music-wise, Beyoncé kicked the night off with an excellent rendition of Be Alive from King Richard performed at a Compton tennis court. Billie Eilish and brother, Finneas, performed No Time to Die and this song won them the Oscar for Best Original Song.
The 94th Academy Awards also made tribute to the James Bond franchise as well as the 50th anniversary of The Godfather.
But despite all of this being very entertaining and as well, it was such a pleasant change to see people interacting as per normal after two years where the Academy Awards were filmed differently due to the pandemic – it was disappointing when Chris Rock came on stage and made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Some critics have said most of Rock’s material wasn’t funny on the night and when he got to his joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, he stooped to an even lower level. The context is that Pinkett Smith has alopecia so when Rock came out and said she looked like she was doing a sequel to G.I. Jane, her husband Will Smith, understandably, got angry.
Smith raced onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock hard and told him to: “Keep my wife’s name out of your fxxxxxx mouth!”
Rock recovered fairly well but the incident did tarnish the night. When Smith finally came up to accept his Oscar for Best Actor, it would have been such an amazing tribute to this beloved actor but instead it was difficult to watch him as he cried and talked about how he has to protect his family.
Smith has since apologised to the Academy and to his fellow nominees, but many have been disappointed he used violence to react to what was definitely a joke in very poor taste.
So, rather than be remembered for being the first time the Academy Awards were back in force after a two-year pandemic, the 94th Academy Awards may be remembered for Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage.
But we should keep in mind – there were many other positive firsts on the night. The first time a trio of women hosted the show – and the first time a movie made for Apple TV Plus won the award for Best Picture are just two which spring to mind.
Our congratulations go to the Dune team for all of their technical wins and to the CODA team for making such a powerful film.
For a full list of the winners you can visit here.
For more from Women Love Tech on the latest movies, visit here.