Rediff.com  » Movies » Oscar Top 10: Where there's a Will...

Oscar Top 10: Where there's a Will...

By SUKANYA VERMA
Last updated on: March 28, 2022 15:13 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

A steadily dwindling viewership has the Academy Awards desperately seeking new ways to stay relevant.

But its decision to shake things up for its 94th edition by skipping a live telecast of technical categories -- like sound, score, cinematography, editing, production design and costumes -- in order to broadcast fan-friendly awards to the likes of Army Of Darkness and Minamata is hardly a step in the right direction. It has understandably met with disappointment if not wholehearted protest from peers.

After going host-free for two pandemic-ridden years, the Oscars roped in the funny troika of Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes to liven up this year’s ceremony.

Despite the glitz and glamour though, the Oscars this year remained a dull affair marked by predictable wins and a lacklustre celebration of cinema.

You’d think a Godfather, Pulp Fiction and White Men Can’t Jump reunion where legends like Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro share stage, Uma Thurman and John Travolta recreate their famous jig and Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson and Rosie Perez hanging out would add cheer to the proceedings. Hmm!

Beyonce and BTS pitched in performances and appearances. But that wow factor was sorely missing.

And the less said about that lousy montage for 007 completing 60 years the better.

For all the glitz and glamour and politically and socially aware emphasis on representation and support for Ukraine, the 94th Annual Academy Awards was largely a bore.

Except these few standout moments, for better or worse. Sukanya Verma lists them out.

 

 

Photograph: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

It was yet another year of gushing, grateful speeches, standing ovations, musical performances, too many jokes, too few laughs and shiny people handing out shining trophies to other shiny people.

Until, all of a sudden, Chris Rock got on Will Smith’s bad side, launching a social media storm of ‘what just happened’, ‘scripted or real’, and other hot takes.

Rock’s 'G I Jane' joke about Smith’s significant other, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, who has publicly talked about her hair loss disorder (Alopecia Areata), did not go down well with the King Richard actor.

The rest of the ceremony is still a blur. Smith's punch effectively overshadowed everything that followed, including his Best Actor win and a teary-eyed speech, damage control, apology, PR nightmare, some yap about God and Devil and ‘crazy things love makes you do’ all rolled in one.

Did Rock go too far? Could Smith have handled it better? You be the judge of that.

 

 

Photograph: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

The host trio did well.

If the opening zingers had Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes roasting nominated movies -- 'Don’t Look Up is nominated. I guess the Academy members don’t look up reviews' -- as well snubs -- 'Lady Gaga and Jared Leto for House of Random Accents' -- Sykes made it a point to ridicule Florida’s homophobic stance, 'We’re going to have a great night tonight. And for you people in Florida, we’re going to have a gay night.'

Hall’s frisking gag in the garb of COVID-testing, as she felt up presenters Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa, left many Twitter users wondering about the appropriateness of her actions or if a guy would get away with it.

 

Photograph: Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images

A super sassy Rachel Zegler -- breakout star and leading lady of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, triumphantly chirped, 'I never thought I would be here six days ago.'

Zegler was famously left out of the guest list, prompting a social media outrage that led to Oscars sending an invite right away.

 

Photograph: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

For Zegler’s co-star and Best Supporting Actress winner Ariana DeBose, it certainly was a win-win.

A hot favourite, DeBose dazzled us once again with her strong words of inspiration.

'You see an openly queer woman of colour, an Afro-Latina, who found her strength and life through art. And that is, I think, what we’re here to celebrate. To anybody who has ever questioned your identity, there is indeed a space for us.'

 

 

Photograph: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Troy Kotsur made history as the first deaf actor to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for CODA.

His win wasn’t a surprise but his speech touched our (and his interpreter’s) heart and tear glands.

'We’ve been so patient with all of you, and can you be patient with us deaf people? Can you learn the rich diversity of our sign language, which includes our vulgarities? … Sign language is so rich. Everything I’ve been through in my life. You know, we communicate visually as deaf people. It’s as simple as that,' he said in his speech.

'It’s really amazing that our film, CODA, has reached out worldwide. It even reached all the way to the White House, and they invited the cast of CODA to visit and have a tour of the White House, and we met President Joe and Dr Jill, and I was planning on teaching them some dirty sign language, but Marlee Matlin told me to behave myself. So don’t worry, Marlee, I won’t drop any F-bombs in my speech today. Instead, I want to thank all of the deaf theatre stages where I was allowed and given the opportunity to develop my craft as an actor.

'My dad, he was the best signer in our family, but he was in a car accident, and he became paralyzed from the neck down, and he no longer was able to sign. Dad, I learned so much from you. I’ll always love you. You are my hero.

'I just wanted to say this is dedicated to the deaf community, the CODA community (CODA expands to Child Of a Deaf Adult) and the disabled community. This is our moment.'

 

 

Photograph: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Billie Eilish delivered a stunning rendition of her Oscar-nominated original, eponymous song, No time to die from the latest James Bond vehicle.

The Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe singer and her brother, Finneas, can now add a sparkling Oscar to their crowded trophy shelf.

 

 

Photograph: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

It was gratifying to see one of the biggest snubs of the year, Dune director Denis Villeneuve -- whose adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic novel picked up six, the maximum number of Oscars for one film this year -- smile graciously as he received heartfelt tributes from his crew in their winning speeches.

 

 

Photograph: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Co-presenters Zoe Kravitz, channeling her inner Audrey Hepburn, and Jake Gyllenhaal simply being Jake Gyllenhaal, raised the mercury with their smoldering, collective hotness.

Hollywood, do your magic and pair them up, NOW.

 

 

Photograph: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Nicole Kidman exudes so much strength on screen, you’d think she’s invincible.

But it looks like the extra strong air conditioners bother her as much as anyone else.

Throwing on husband Keith Urban’s dinner jacket is such a relatable, real sight in an otherwise superficial celebration of show business.

 

 

Photograph: Kind courtesy Hans Zimmer/Twitter

Hans Zimmer didn’t even need to attend the Oscars to steal the show. In a bath robe holding a mock trophy, no less.

Receiving his award for Best Original Score in Dune from a hotel in Amsterdam, Zimmer tweeted he was woken up by his daughter to learn he’s earned his second Oscar since The Lion King.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
SUKANYA VERMA / Rediff.com