The 94th Academy Awards kicked with Beyonce singing "Be Alive" from King Richard.
Will Smith stunned everyone when he walked on stage and smacked Chris Rock after the comedian joked about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. At first, no one was sure if the incident was staged. It soon became clear the slap wasn't scripted. The telecast went silent, but lip-readers detected Will shouting, "Keep my wife's mouth of your [expletive] mouth,"
Shortly afterward, Will Smith was named Best Actor for his role in King Richard. His eyes red from crying and clearly shaken, Smith gave an emotional speech about fighting for his family as he did in the bio-pic about the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams. He said, “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about RichardWilliams.”
On the awards side of the show, CODA won Best Picture and took trophies for Best Supporting Actor (Troy Kotsur) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Siân [pr: SHAWN] Heder). Troy became the first deaf male to win an acting Oscar.
Jessica Chastain won Best Lead Actress for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Ariana DeBose was Best Supporting Actress for West Side Story. She's the first openly LGBTQ actor and first Latina to win that honor.
Jane Campion took home Best Director for The Power of the Dog. She's only the third woman to win, but the second in the last two years, following Chloé Zhao (Nomadland). Best Original Song went to the James Bond theme “No Time To Die” by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell.
• Best Picture: CODA
• Best Director: Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog
• Best Lead Actor: Will Smith – King Richard
• Best Lead Actress: Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye
• Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
• Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur – CODA
• Best Original Screenplay: Belfast, by Kenneth Branagh
• Best Adapted Screenplay: CODA, by Siân Heder
• Best Animated Feature Film: Encanto
• Best Original Song: “No Time To Die” from No Time to Die, music and lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
• Best International Feature Film: Drive My Car (Japan)
• Best Original Score: Dune
• Best Film Editing: Dune
• Best Production Design: Dune
• Best Sound: Dune
• Best Cinematography: Dune, Greig Fraser
• Best Visual Effects: Dune
• Best Costume Design: Cruella, Jenny Beavan
• Best Documentary Feature: Summer of Soul – Questlove
• Best Documentary Short Subject: The Queen of Basketball
• Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Eyes of Tammy Faye