Apple made history on Sunday night, claiming streaming’s first, albeit long expected, Oscar for best picture for CODA.
The movie won all three Oscars for which it was nominated: best picture, best adapted screenplay and best supporting actor for Troy Kotsur. The win upset the expected winner: Netflix’s The Power of the Dog, although Jane Campion did win best director, making it two in a row for female directors after Chloé Zhao won last year for Nomadland, which went on to win best picture. Kotsur is the first deaf man to ever win an Oscar.
CODA’s momentum had been building over the past few weeks, grabbing wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Producers Guild Awards. In the meantime, Campion had dampened The Power of the Dog’s chances a bit after saying to Venus and Serena Williams at the Critics’ Choice Awards: “Venus and Serena, you’re such marvels. However, you don’t play against the guys, like I have to.” After that, social media blew up and Campion apologized to the two tennis greats two days later.
Even with Apple’s big win, the night’s most viral moment by far came after presenter Chris Rock joked that he was looking forward to seeing Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, in G.I. Jane 2 due to Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett-Smith was diagnosed with alopecia, which causes total hair loss, in 2018. Immediately after the joke, Smith stormed up on stage and slapped Rock in the face. When Smith returned to his seat, he said, “keep my wife’s name outta your f–king mouth.” When Rock said, “wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke,” Smith repeated himself.
Moments later, when Smith won the best-actor Oscar for King Richard, playing Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Smith was tearful and apologized to the Academy and to his fellow actors (although not to Rock), saying, “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all of my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me; it’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people.”
The four actors who were predicted to win going into Sunday night’s ceremony all did so. Besides Smith and Kotsur, Jessica Chastain took home her first Oscar, after having been nominated three times, for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Eyes of Tammy Faye also won for hair and makeup. Ariana deBose was named best supporting actress for playing Anita, a role for which Rita Morena also won the Oscar 60 years ago, in Steven Spielberg’s reboot of West Side Story. DeBose also made history as the first openly queer Afro-Latina to nab an Academy Award.
Denis Villeneuve’s Dune dominated the below-the-line categories to win the most Oscars of any film with six: visual effects, production design, editing, cinematography, sound and score, giving Hans Zimmer his second Oscar.
In the other major music award, sister-and-brother team Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell won the Oscar for “No Time to Die,” the theme song for the James Bond film of the same name. The win blocked Lin-Manuel Miranda, at least for the time being, from completing his EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). Eilish and O’Connell have many Grammy wins between them as well.
Among the remaining awards, Disney Plus’ Encanto was named best animated feature; Japan’s Drive My Car won best international film; Questlove’s Summer of Soul was named best documentary feature; Kenneth Branagh won best original screenplay for his biographical black-and-white film, Belfast; and Disney Plus’ Cruella, starring Emma Stone, won best costume design.
Tags: abc apple tv plus coda oscars