Will Smith received his first Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of boxer Muhammad Ali in the film “Ali.” At last nights presentation of the 94th Annual Academy Awards, Smith seemed to channel the boxer when he slapped presenter Chris Rock, who had make a joke about the bald head of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. This incident added a pall to an already uneven show, taking some of the pomp away from the annual celebration of the best films and performances of 2021.
“CODA” took home three awards, including the big one, Best Picture. It also received Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Troy Kotsur, the second deaf actor to win an Oscar, following Marlee Matlin’s win as Best Actress in 1987 for “Children of a Lesser God.”
After largely ignoring such female film directors as Lina Wertmuller, Penny Marshall, Barbra Streisand and others for 81 years, the Academy awarded the Best Director prize to Jane Campion for “The Power of the Dog.” Campion becomes the thirds woman to win the Best Director award in the past 13 years. A female director has taken home the Oscar in this category for two years in a row.
An apologetic Will Smith took home the Best Actor award for his role as Richard Williams in “King Richard,” while Jessica Chastain was named Best Actress for her portrayal of Tammy Faye Baker in The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” These wins make a total of 79 acting awards that have been given for portrayals of real-life characters.
Ariana DeBose was named Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s reimagining of “West Side Story.” She joins Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro (Vito Corleone) and Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix (the Joker) for winning an Oscar in a role in which another actor also won an Oscar, joining Rita Moreno, who won for portraying Anita in the original “West Side Story.”
“Dune” took home the most awards, winning a total of (6) Oscars, including Best Original Score and Best Visual Effects.
Below is a complete list of winners:
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story”
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Troy Kotsur, “CODA”
INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
“Drive My Car” *WINNER
“The Queen of Basketball”
“Summer of Soul”
“No Time to Die”
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Will Smith, “King Richard”
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog”
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND
ANIMATED SHORT FILE
“The Windshield Wiper”
LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
“The Long Goodbye”
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”