Well that certainly was another round of the Oscars. The award show that critics love to hate, the Oscars could only go up from last year’s dismal showing that nobody, and I mean nobody, liked. Was it interesting? Oh you better believe it was interesting, but for one story and one story alone. If you’re more interested in finding out who won, you can take a look at those results over here and see the nitty-gritty details. Sure, we’ll break down some of the major trends and analysis of the winners in this article, but first, let’s just get the big story out of the way.
Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock On National Television
The internet went absolutely insane during the Oscars when Will Smith open palm smacked Chris Rock. #whatjusthappened started to trend as the internet scrambled to figure out what happened and put everyone in the Dolby Theater on pins and needles.
To simplify things, Chris Rock made a joke as he was introducing Best Documentary Feature about Jada Pinkett Smith. He said she looked like she was gearing up for G.I. Jane 2, a joke that some people laughed at, some groaned at, but Jada Pinkett Smith did not laugh at since her hair loss came from alopecia and she’s been openly discussing it. Was it a great joke? Not really, but to then see Will Smith get up on stage and smack Chris Rock as hard as he could, then angrily shout at him to “keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth” was definitely uncalled for. And all over G.I. Jane.
Will Smith later won Best Actor for King Richard, but everyone was notably on edge for the rest of the night. It’s one of those moments that immediately lit up internet discourse and viewership, more than anything the Academy could have staged for forced to stage in previous years. It was a raw, emotional moment, especially watching Will Smith sputter and ugly cry while receiving the award with the Academy also frantically cutting to and from him like maniacs.
I’ve never heard of Will Smith having anger issues, but to see that happen on national television did not leave a good look for him and immediately undermined his win. What was meant to be a great moment for him turned out to be a night that he’s going to probably regret for the rest of his life.
Of all of the nominees at the Oscars this year, Dune was the most well-known. It had the highest box office out of all of the nominees, it had a hefty marketing campaign behind it, and it had a respectable amount of nominations this year. Dune came in with 10 nominations and walked away with six of them, winning Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Score, and Best Production Design.
There have been many conflicting opinions about Dune here at Flixist. Some love it, some hate it, some think it’s right in the middle. Personally, while I’m not a fan of it, I can’t deny the technical elements that Dune was able to pull off. Denis Villeneuve has always excelled at creating technically impressive films, so I’m understanding of everything that it won. As long as it didn’t win Best Picture, I would have been happy. Speaking of…
CODA’s Wins Are Truly Historic
CODA is going to be seen as a game-changer in a lot of ways, almost like how Parasite marked a major shift back in 2020. Slowly over the awards season, what many considered to be the dark horse of the season slowly but surely became more of a stronger choice for Best Picture. Lo and behold, it took home the grand prize. It also took home Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Troy Kotsur, the first deaf actor to win the award.
In case you aren’t aware, CODA is a movie most starring deaf actors and it really elevates the film. These aren’t actors that are pretending to be deaf, they’re actual deaf actors delivering authentic deaf performances. The representation given to disabled communities here is astronomical, but that isn’t the only reason that CODA’s victory is a landmark moment. The Academy, after several years of staunch resistance, finally gave Best Picture to a movie where a streaming service was the sole distributor.
Apple distributed the film on their streaming service, Apple TV+. For years, the Academy has been digging its heels into the ground on trying to stop streaming services from claiming top honors. Netflix has tried numerous times and failed over the past several years, with this year boasting 27 nominations for the streaming giant but only landing one win for Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog. While it’s too soon to tell if this will have any impact on future awards and nominations, it’s probably not going to be the last time streaming services take home top honors at the Oscars.
God Amy Schumer Isn’t Funny
I pity anyone who has to host the Academy Awards. Last year, opting to go for no host and just having a variety of presenters worked in the Academy’s favor. It was probably the best decision they made in that train wreck of a show. Choosing to have three hosts wasn’t a terrible idea, but whoever decided to make Amy Schumer one of the three probably shouldn’t make these calls in the future.
Most, if not all of her jokes, weren’t done well and just made everyone feel awkward. Everyone at my Oscar party winced whenever she came on. Having her drop down from the ceiling as Spider-Man just made all of us shake our heads, especially following up her co-hosts Wanda Sykes dressing up as a pretty convincing Richard Williams and Regina Hall becoming Tammy Faye so she could “play a crazy white lady.” Forced comedy like hers is never entertaining and having her try to play off Will Smith smacking Chris Rock with a few jokes just made things even worse.