Troy Kotsur at the 2022 Oscars

Source: Blaine Ohigashi / A.M.P.A.S.

Troy Kotsur at the 2022 Oscars

Coda completed its late run to Oscar glory by winning the best picture and the two other awards for which it was nominated at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday (March 27). 

The win made the drama about the musical child of a deaf family the first best picture from a streamer, with distributor Apple Original Films beating Netflix, whose The Power of the Dog had been the early front runner, to the milestone. 

The evening’s one big shock moment came when Will Smith strode on stage and slapped presenter Chris Rock after Rock told a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith. When Smith returned to his seat he appeared to tell Rock to “Keep my wife’s name out of your f…ing mouth,” though the audio was muted for the live TV broadcast. 

Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars

Source: Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Will Smith appears to slap Chris Rock at the Oscars

It was unclear whether the incident was real or staged, but Smith later apologised to the Academy during his emotional acceptance speech after winning the best actor award for Warner’s King Richard

Coda, which had only become a favourite during the final weeks of an extended awards season, also earned Oscars for supporting actor Troy Kotsur and original screenplay writer Sian Heder, who also directed. 

The Power Of The Dog ended up with only one win out of its 12 nominations (the most for any single film), with Jane Campion taking the best director statuette. 

In two of the evening’s closest categories, Jessica Chastain was named best lead actress for The Eyes Of Tammy Faye and Kenneth Branagh won for his original screenplay for Belfast

Besides Branagh, other British winners included Jenny Beaven, who got her third Oscar for her costume designs for Cruella and Joe Walker, honoured as editor of Dune

As widely expected, Ariana DeBose won the supporting actress Oscar for Disney’s West Side Story (the film’s only win out of seven nominations), Disney’s Encanto was named best animated feature, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) best documentary feature and Japan’s Drive My Car best international film. 

Warner’s Dune was the evening’s biggest multiple winner, with six Oscars (out of 10 nominations). In addition to Walker, the sci-fi epic earned awards for score composer Hans Zimmer, cinematographer Greig Fraser and the production design/set decoration team of Patrice Vermette and Zsuzanna Sipos. 

In an evening of few surprises, Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell’s ’No Time To Die’, from the MGM/United Artists James Bond film of that title, won best song over favoured nominee Dos Oruguitas, from Encanto.

The Oscar ceremony went smoothly – except for the Will Smith/Chris Rock incident – and was clearly designed to maximise mainstream TV audience appeal, with presenters Regina Hall, Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes delivering several comedy routines from the stage of the Dolby Theatre. 

The liveliest and most emotional moments in the broadcast show – which overshot its planned running time by nearly 40 minutes – came during the acceptance speeches by Smith, Kotsur and Summer of Soul director Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson.

The live broadcast included no protests from the winners of Oscars in eight categories whose awards were controversially presented before taping began and the war in Ukraine was directly referred to only in an on-screen written message and a brief comment slipped in by Schumer.

The ‘fan favourite’ award voted on by Twitter users and introduced in an attempt to boost ratings went, bizarrely, to Netflix zombie film Army Of The Dead.

The ceremony also included salutes to popular past Oscar winners The Godfather and Pulp Fiction and segments on 60 years of James Bond films and the new Academy Museum.