If Will Smith hadn’t assaulted Chris Rock on stage, the big headline might have been CODA beating out films by Spielberg and Campion to win Best Picture. Here are four takeaways from the 94th Academy Awards, and the complete list of winners:
Apple becomes the first streamer to win the big prize
CODA made all sorts of history, but the one thing that’ll really make traditional studios take notice is a streamer winning Best Picture. And instead of Netflix or Amazon, it turned out to be the more selective Apple (who distributed CODA after Sundance), with a film few would have foreseen getting this big in awards season. It was inevitable that a streamer would win the top Oscar soon. It remains to be seen if this is an opening of the floodgates.
‘Dune’ wins for its parts, not the sum
Dune won 6 Oscars, more than any other film this year—for Cinematography, Visual Effects, Production Design, Editing, Sound, Score. Denis Villeneuve wasn’t nominated for Best Director, though, which sound designer/supervising sound editor Theo Green made a point to mention in his acceptance speech. “I was very confused when Denis was not nominated for directing,” he said. “It’s as if the film directed itself and all of these craft categories magically did great work.”
Broad performances win
If the winning performances by Will Smith (King Richard), Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Troy Kotsur (CODA) and Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) have something in common, it’s that they’re full-strength emotional turns. Arguably, subtler work was overshadowed in all categories, especially Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley in The Lost Daughter.
The more you try and fix the Oscars, the more it fractures
Save for a few moments of grace—Kotsur signing his acceptance speech, Lady Gaga’s warmth towards co-presenter Liza Minelli—this was an awkward, crass ceremony. The decision to not present eight award categories live came to haunt the Academy, with every innovation or flat moment scrutinized (the ‘cheer-worthy moment’ fans were asked to vote for was presented to no cheers). Smith’s meltdown—though not a gag—seemed symptomatic of the naked desire for ratings that has driven the Oscars to gimmickry and further bad ratings.
List of winners:
Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Walt Disney (Searchlight Pictures)
Actor in a Leading Role
Will Smith, “King Richard,” Warner Bros.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Troy Kotsur, “CODA,” Apple
Actress in a Supporting Role
Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story,” Walt Disney (20th Century Studios)
Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog,” Netflix
“No Time to Die,” from “No Time to Die,” Music and lyrics by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
“Summer of Soul,(...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” Director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Producers Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein, Walt Disney (Searchlight Pictures)
“CODA,” Siân Heder, Apple
“Belfast,” Kenneth Branagh, Comcast (Focus Features)
“Cruella,” Jenny Beavan, Walt Disney
International Feature Film
“Drive My Car,” Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Sideshow and Janus Films
Animated Feature Film
“Encanto,” Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer, Walt Disney
“Dune,” Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer, Warner Bros.
“Dune,” Greig Fraser, Warner Bros.
“Dune,” Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlet, Warner Bros.
Makeup and Hairstyling
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh, Walt Disney (Searchlight Pictures)
“Dune,” Patrice Vermette, Zsuzsanna Sipos, Warner Bros.
“Dune,” Joe Walker, Warner Bros.
“Dune,” Hans Zimmer, Warner Bros.
Live Action Short Film
“The Long Goodbye,” Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed, Left Handed Films
Animated Short Film
“The Windshield Wiper,” Producers Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez, Pastel, the Animation Showcase
Documentary Short Subject
“The Queen of Basketball,” Director Ben Proudfoot, Breakwater Studios
(with inputs from Bloomberg)