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Will Smith’s slap and the many firsts of Oscar 2022

The 94th Academy Awards will be remembered for so many things. One of those, was the infraction between award-winning actor, Will Smith and popular comedian…

The 94th Academy Awards will be remembered for so many things. One of those, was the infraction between award-winning actor, Will Smith and popular comedian Chris Rock.

Will Smith thrashed the script of the Academy Awards, by going against its regulations and hitting Chris Rock for a joke Chris said regarding his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The act was witnessed by millions across the world. While words once spoken are irreparable, Chris Rock put up another ‘scripted act’  in his reaction which he described as the greatest night in the history of television. 

Notwithstanding that the slapping incident did not go down well with many in the industry, the unfortunate incident, however, did not stop Will Smith from earning another first of the night.

He was named best leading actor for his role in King Richard, taking his first Oscar for his portrayal of Richard Williams, ‘a crazy father’ of US tennis legends, Venus and Serena Williams. While fans will be happy to see him finally scoop an Oscar and have to beat Denzel Washington to the award, the ‘crazy things’ he did for love cast a shadow on the win. There are indications that Will Smith will be sanctioned for his act, though Chris Rock is not pressing charges fans, however, would be contented that the Academy will unlikely take back the award. 

On another history-making night, for the first time in the history of the award ceremony, the fans were also given a chance to select a film of their choice through a public vote. 

The sequel to Army of Thieves, Army of the Dead were chosen by the public as their favourite, therefore winning the best popular film category. The film, Army of the Dead was produced by Zack Snyder. This addition presented audiences with a voice at the awards.

A few weeks before the Award Awards ceremony was International Women’s Day where women resolved to break the bias. The award obviously listened to the female agitation as for the first time in the history of the award, three women were chosen as presenters for this year’s ceremony.  Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes. They did well, bringing the ceremony alive from the beginning with a shared monologue. The women known for comic roles as well as comedians added to the glitz that made the ceremony unique. 

Unlike the year 2019 when the Academy reversed its plan to give out some awards before the ceremony, despite the controversies eight categories of the awards were given before the ceremony. To ensure viewers did not miss much, an edited clip was shown during the ceremony. This was the first time something of such will be done. Dune won four of the categories. The science-fiction adaptation, Dune, later went on to win two more awards at the live show. The six Oscars, Dune took are best sound, film editing, original score and production design, cinematography and best visual effects. 

Also, CODA, a movie that was released directly on Apple TV+, made history by becoming the first motion picture from a streaming service to win the Best Picture prize.

CODA also won the award for the best-adapted screenplay, while the film’s Troy Kotsur – with his Best Supporting Actor prize – became only the second deaf person ever to win an Oscar, following in the footsteps of his CODA co-star Marlee Matlin, who won in 1987 for Children of a Lesser God.

Encanto was also named best-animated feature while having been the first Japanese movie nominated for the best picture award, Drive My Car could only settle for the best international feature.

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