Oscars 2022: Winners, losers, and the ‘slap heard around the world’

It is no secret that the impact of The Academy Awards in pop culture has been dwindling for over 20 years now. According to the Nielsen TV ratings, the Oscars reached its highest point in 1998—the year James Cameron’s “Titanic” won big bringing home 11 wins including Best Picture—until hitting record lows in 2021: 10.5 million viewers.Monday morning’s event (PH time) had its share of big moments and winners. It also rocked the internet for a particularly odd and totally unexpected twist. Actor Will Smith went up on stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock. The latter was the host in the awards ceremony and joked about Smith’s wife, Jada.While the Academy still struggles to find any kind of momentum that would bring it back to its relevance not seen since the turn of the new millennium, it continues to deliver a solid picture of what the trends are in Hollywood.Here is a quick recap on the highs and lows of the Oscars 2022:Big winsIn the Best Original Song category, Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell won for writing and performing the title track in “No Time to Die.” Eilish is the youngest artist to ever record and write a “007” theme. Eilish had previously won a Grammy but this was her first Oscar. She is also the first Academy Awards winner born in the 2000s.For Best Picture, “CODA” was the big winner. As the Oscars’ theme this year was “Movie Lovers Unite,” the awarding Sian Heder’s adaptation of a French film released in 2014 titled “La Famille Bélier” couldn’t be any more symbolic. Aside from tackling universal themes relevant across the world, “CODA” is the first-ever Best Picture Oscar winner that was a film with a streaming-only release. It premiered on Apple TV+ in August 2021. Actor Troy Kotsur, who went on to win Best Supporting Actor for “CODA,” is the first deaf man to earn an acting Oscar.From a mainstream perspective, fans of epic science fiction film “Dune” and computer-animated musical fantasy comedy film “Encanto” were happy with these films winning at the Oscars. The former took home wins for “Film Editing,” “Cinematography,” “Sound,” “Music (Original Score),” “Production Design” and “Visual Effects.” The latter won “Animated Feature Film.”Off the markFans of Kirsten Dunst took to social media when the actress failed to take home the Best Supporting Actress plum. She was a favorite to win the award with her work in “The Power of the Dog.” However, the winner was Ariana DeBose, who played Anita in the big-screen adaptation of “West Side Story.”Fans of DeBose’s work are happy about the win. DeBose is considered the first openly queer, Afro-Latina to win in the acting categories.“The Power of the Dog,” a Western psychological drama film, won Best Motion Picture during the Golden Globes held earlier this year but did not take home Best Picture at the Oscars. It entered the Academy Awards with the most nominations (12) only to take home one—Best Director for Jane Campion. Campion’s win is historic, as it marked the first time women won the Best Director category twice in a row. In 2021, Chloé Zhao won the award for her work in “Nomadland.” “The Power of the Dog” is distributed by Netflix.This year also featured the first-ever “Oscars Fan Favorite,” a move popular as it was divisive. The Academy tried to tap into the power of the Twitter-verse. For 2022, Zack Snyder and his work in “Army of the Dead” won the #OscarsFanFavorite title. Snyder’s “Flash Speed Force” scene in “Justice League” also won as #OscarsCheerMoment.Smith slaps RockThe biggest yet infamous moment which elevated the Oscars to relevance this year was when actor Will Smith slapped host Chris Rock on live television.Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife starring in another “G.I Jane” movie. It was a reference to the 1997 film starring a bald Demi Moore. Smith’s wife, Jada, recently shaved her head as she was struggling with alopecia.Smith went on to win the Best Actor award in “King Richard.” When he went up onstage to accept the award, a visibly shaken Smith addressed the moment.“I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to my fellow nominees,” he said, without naming Rock.“This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people … Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father just like they said … just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things,” he added.“Denzel [Washington] said to me a few minutes ago, he said, ‘At your highest moment, that’s when the devil comes for you.’”News outlets reported after the event that Rock declined to press charges. In Hollywood, expect the unexpected.