“LOS ANGELES — In an Academy Awards ceremony where an onstage altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock overshadowed the honors, “CODA” from Apple TV+ won the Oscar for best picture, becoming the first film from a streaming service to be welcomed into that rarefied Hollywood club.
The 94th Academy Awards on Sunday had a freewheeling, irreverent tone from their start, with ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences laboring to prove that the Oscars could be lively and culturally relevant. By the ceremony’s end, it was certainly a night for the Hollywood ages.
An emotional Will Smith won the best actor Oscar for his performance in “King Richard” as the fiery, flawed coach and father of the tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. Moments earlier, the ceremony had been derailed when Smith strode onstage from his seat and — in what at first seemed like it could be a preplanned bit — slapped Rock, who had just cracked a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
“Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wa Rhiit,” Rock said, a reference to her shaved head. She revealed her alopecia diagnosis in 2018. Demi Moore famously shaved her head to star in the 1997 film “G.I. Jane.” “
David Lindsay: Thank you Brooks Barnes and for an excellent review of last night’s 94th Oscars, 2022, about 2021. I was delighted that CODA won, and I was one of the 6 percent of viewer s who lasted all the way through The Power of the Dog, which my partner loved.
This year was a record breaker for me. 40 years ago I used to not see any new movies until I watched the Oscars, during which, I would choose the three movies of the year I would see. This year I had actually seen six of the nominees for best picture, Dune, Don’t Look Up, King Richard, CODA, Macbeth, and The Power of the Dog. CODA was the clear winner in my heart, because it was delightful, surprising, funny, exciting, and you could recommend it to your Aunt Mildred and Uncle Joe in the mid west, to watch with their teen age children, and it wouldn’t scar the younger children either. Dune was extraordinary.
I was infuriated repeatedly by the Oscars show last night, and they need a new director, and a return to the good old days, when they showed extensive clips of the best film nominees,and of the other nominees, so the audience can learn about the movies, most of which, we haven’t seen, and don’t know anything about. Making the show an insiders game for those who have already seen all the movies, is a recipe for a bad show that deserves its declining ratings. Bringing back the host, or hosts, was a move in the right direction, but adding an extra 30 minutes of advertising to an already ad laden event was pathetic.
Of the films I saw, I also recommend Don’t Look Up, because it was hilarious satire, about the danger of ignoring the science of the impending climate crisis, by way of ignoring an asteroid headed toward earth. We both loved King Richard, and thought Will Smith was worthy of an Oscar, which is a low bar. Probably all the nominees deserved an Oscar, one shouldn’t take the winners too seriously. That is why the Oscar show has an artistic and moral requirement, to showcase and introduce all the nominees in all the categories, and reduce the speeches thanking my mother, my father, my children, and our pet dog and cat. The recipients should be required to spend part of their speech explaining to people what the movie was about, and why we should take the time to see it. Some of the presenters could talk about the shows, instead of their constant preening.