“CODA” won best picture and “Dune” won the most Oscars with six, but the 94th annual Academy Awards will go down in history as the one where Will Smith came on stage and hit Chris Rock in the face on live television.
Smith, who a few minutes later would win best actor for “King Richard,” apparently was upset that Rock made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
The moment, which was bleeped in the United States but apparently aired uncensored in other countries, shifted the mood of the Oscars from the usual awards show bonhomie to something unexpected and weird.
“CODA,” the story of a deaf family with a hearing daughter, seemed to have gained momentum in the final weeks of the Oscars campaign with its heartwarming drama connecting with viewers more than the early frontrunner “Power Of The Dog.”
“CODA” also picked up Oscars for its writer-director Sian Hader for best adapted screenplay as well as best supporting actor for Troy Kotsur.
“Dune,” which was the biggest winner of the night, picked up most of its wins in the pre-show portion of the ceremony, having bagged four Oscars before the actual live show began.
Jessica Chastain won best actress for her portrayal of Tammy Faye Bakker in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” and used her speech to call for love and acceptance for any who might feel threatened by violence and hate, such as members of the LGBTQ community.
“In times like this, I think of Tammy and I’m inspired by her radical acts of love,” Chastain said of the late televangelist. “I’m inspired by her compassion. I see it as a guiding principle that leads us forward. It connects us all.”