The big winner at the Academy Award ceremony on Monday was CODA, a low budget film about the deaf. Produced by Apple, CODA (which is an acronym for Child of Deaf Adults) became the first movie made by a streaming to win the Best Picture Oscar. Troy Kotsur, who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, became the first deaf person to win an Academy Award for acting. CODA also won the Best Adapted Screenplay Award.
The Power of the Dog, which was a favourite to win this year, ultimately walked away with only one award, that of Best Director for Jane Campion. In the Best Actor and Actress categories, Will Smith and Jessica Chastain have won for their portrayal of two very complex real-life characters. Will Smith rather long, but riveting acceptance speech, was part-apology and part-justification for slapping host Chris Rock on stage earlier on in the ceremony. Chris Rock had made a joke on Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair fall problems.
Steven Spielberg’s remake of the musical, West Side Story garnered one award, in the Best Supporting Actress category for Ariana DeBose. In the very competitive Best Animated Feature category, the award went to Encanto, while the Best International feature was Drive My Car from Japan. Norwegian film The Worst Person in the World, which was nominated in the International Feature and Original Screenplay categories, failed to pick up any awards. The Best Original Screenplay award ultimately went to Kenneth Branagh for Belfast, which is about the exodus of Protestants from Northern Ireland in the 1960s.
The Oscar ceremony incorporated several live performances on stage, including Billie Elish, who performed the theme song from No Time to Die, which went on to win the award for Best Original Song. In terms of the sheer number of Oscar trophies, Dune rules the roost, with awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Sound and Best Production Design.
In the always poignant In Memoriam section, which is a tribute to movie personalities who have passed in the past year, Bollywood star Dilip Kumar and playback singer Lata Mangeshkar found no mention.