By Olivia Valkner, Staff Writer
The 94th Academy Awards returned in their star-studded glory last night, umbrellaed by a theme of “movie lovers unite,” and hosted by Regina Hall, Amy Shumer and Wanda Sykes.
For the third time in Oscar history, Netflix led the nomination count, earning 27 nominations from 5 movies and documentaries. It also took home the gold in CODA, which was named Best Picture of the year.
Another Netflix original, The Power of the Dog starring Benedict Cumberbatch, went into the night with a staggering 12 nominations. While it did not win the big-ticket prize, director Jane Campion walked away with the award for best director.
After three previous nominations, Will Smith also won his first Oscar. He was named Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams in King Richard. The award was not the only headline Smith earned. Right before he won his award, he punched Chris Rock after several insensitive comments about his wife, Jada Pinkett.
In another first for the academy, Troy Kotsur was the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar, being lauded Best Supporting Actor for his role as Frank Rossi in CODA.
Dune also took the night by (sand) storm walking out with the hardware to match six awards: Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Sound and Best Original Score.
Despite previous confusion about her invitation to the awards show, Rachel Zegler was in fact in attendance. Her lead role as Maria in West Side Story was apparently overshadowed in Spielberg’s remake, as it barely got her onto the red carpet.
Speaking of red carpet looks, this year’s fashion scene did not disappoint. Most notably, Timothee Chalamet sported a sparkly, black Louis Vuitton suit coat complete with lace trim.
The night was also entertaining from a musical standpoint. A conglomeration of artists performed “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” written by Lin-Manuel Miranda for Encanto, despite the song’s lack of nomination. This live rendition included a brand-new verse by Megan Thee Stallion, aided by the musical talents of Becky G, Luis Fonsi and other artists. Encanto won Best Feature Animated Film.
Beyonce however, was the highlight of the night with her very performance of “Be Alive” which was nominated for and won the category of Best Original Song.