“Did I miss anything?” comedian Amy Schumer said several minutes after Will Smith publicly assaulted Chris Rock on stage.
That was the most direct acknowledgment of the incident. Anthony Hopkins recited Will Smith’s Oscar winning speech in a presentation saying we should move on with peace and love. Chris Rock declined to file a police report.
Chris Rock was presenting Best Documentary and joked that Jada Pinkett Smith was prepping for G.I. Jane 2 “Can’t wait to see it!” Diddy later presented a salute to the 50th Anniversary of The Godfather (for some reason) and brought up the event saying that we will sort this out [between Chris and Will] at the after-party as a family. All three are friends. Hollywood is a small town.
All of this managed to overshadow various other questionable bits of the award show. For example in the Godfather celebration Al Pacino said nothing and Robert De Niro wasn’t even in the movie, he is only in The Godfather Part II.
A four-man Best Sound Team for Dunewhich won six Oscars, the most of the night was cut off. Best Sound used to be two categories but were combined into one to create less confusion and going by the tone of the broadcast make way for other wins like Encanto the inevitable Disney animated film win which presented two songs, one of which was not even nominated but was popular and made for a show highlight. Of the 6 Oscars Dune won most were truncated and edited into the broadcast after being pre-taped. The legendary Hans Zimmer winning his second Oscar for the film was not present.
The hosts were fine and each had their moments but as usual were mostly gone in the second half as the ceremony approached 11:30 PM EST. The efforts to cut down by cutting out the “less popular” categories did nothing to shorten the broadcast.
There were no surprises in any of the wins as most winners like Jessica Chastain for Tammy Faye and Will Smith had won elsewhere. Same with Supporting Actors Troy Kotsur and Ariana DeBose.
Best Director predictably went to Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog but it was robbed for Best Picture by CODA, an enjoyable and sweet if overly broad comedy with Hallmark trappings, it nonetheless reached out to Academy Voters with an emotionally engaging storyline compared to the cold and masterful (yet to many boring) Dog.
More analysis to come.
The Uncensored version of Will Smith hitting Chris Rock:
This is what was seen and heard on East Coast TV’s: