Smith-Rock Controversy and four other highlights from 2022 Academy Awards

Hollywood hosted its biggest night of the year at Dolby Theatre, LA, California, the home of the Academy Awards. A show dedicated to powerful films and artistic and technical brilliance in the film industry turned out to be a night full of banter, burns, and bruises (literally). Beginning with the hosts, the Academy had three women hosts for the night, to fill the void of the past three years, where Oscars were running hostless.

The Oscar emcees were Regina Hall, Wanda Skyes, and Amy Schumer; and boy oh boy, these women obviously didn’t come to play nice. The three hostesses started taking barbs at the Academy and H-town nominees. Schumer in her monologue took a dig at Academy stating, “This year the Academy hired three women to host because it’s cheaper than hiring one man.” But this was just the beginning of wild things to come on the biggest night in Hollywood. Here we have shortlisted five major highlights from the 94th Academy Awards that truly made the Oscars 2022 remarkable and unforgettable.

Dune sweeps the floor

The big winner of the night was Denis Villeneuve directed sci-fi epic Dune. The film bagged six Oscars out of ten nominations. Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya starrer film won Oscars for best cinematography, editing, score, visual effects, production design, and sound. The film received all the Oscars in technical categories.

CODA the ultimate underdog

What people call the biggest Oscar upset, I’d rather term it David slaying Goliath. Let’s be honest, we all loved CODA. An English-language remake of the 2014 French film La Famille Bélier that had left us in tears. The feel-good film directed by Sian Heder edged over the much-hyped Netflix western, ‘The Power of the Dog’ and won the best film Academy Award.

The film is about a heartwarming story of a deaf family with a young daughter who can hear and aspire to be a singer. The film pays an ode to the deaf culture and deaf artists. Three of the main leads, Troy Kotsur, Marlee Matlin, and Daniel Durant are deaf in real life.

The queer Afro-American supporting actor

Ariana DeBose scripted history after becoming the first Afro-American openly queer to win Oscar in a supporting role. “In this weary world that we live in, dreams do come true. And that’s really a heartening thing right now,” DeBose said in her Oscar acceptance speech.

The American actress, singer, and dancer was too good to not have won an Oscar for her impeccable performance in the Steven Spielberg-directed musical ‘West Side Story.’ She also thanked Rita Moreno who originally played the same character of Anita in the 1961 musical classic directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.

First deaf male to win an Academy

Troy Kotsur became only the second deaf actor to win the Academy Award. He is also now the first male to bag the prestigious award. The accomplishment was highlighted by a standing ovation for the hearing-impaired actor.

The American actor and filmmaker won the best supporting actor male award for CODA, an acronym for children of deaf adults. Kotsur played the character of deaf father of a hearing daughter. His co-star in CODA, Marlee Matlin was the first deaf person to win the best actress for the 1986 film, Children of lesser God.

Will Smith’s infamous slap

As aforementioned, the night was indeed about bantering, burns, and bruises. Hollywood’s biggest night about celebrating the legacy of scripted films would be reckoned in the future by the most unscripted scene to have unfolded in the Dolby theatre. The Oscar 2022 may not be remembered for Will Smith winning the best actor accolade but would definitely go down in memory as a night when King Richard star lost his calm and delivered a tight slap to comedian and presenter Chris Rock who was not so funny while trying to be funny.

Rock was on stage to present the best documentary feature Oscar when he made jokes about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her newly shaved head. The joke didn’t go well with the celebrity duo with Jada nodding her head in disagreement and Smith heading to the stage fuming and delivered a slap to the comedian. Initially, what looked like a planned and scripted skit, turned out to be the major controversy from this year’s Oscars.