The Oscars 2022 have wrapped up – and there’s plenty to discuss.
The major event of the night is without a doubt the exchange between Chris Rock and Will Smith. But that’s not the only thing that happened at this year’s Academy Awards. We’ve rounded up the five biggest talking points right here, from that surprise Best Picture win to a Disney musical extravaganza.
Will Smith and Chris Rock
The most shocking moment of the evening was an apparent physical altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock. Rock, who was presenting the Oscar for Documentary Feature, made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, likening her appearance to G.I. Jane. Pinkett Smith previously revealed her alopecia diagnosis – which leads to hair loss – in 2018. Will Smith then took to the stage and seemed to strike Rock in the face. During the ceremony, there was some confusion over whether it was a staged moment, but it was not.
Will Smith acknowledged the moment in his acceptance speech for Best Actor, apologizing to the Academy and his fellow nominees, and revealing words of advice given to him by Denzel Washington: “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”
The Los Angeles Police Department has since released an official statement, saying that Rock will not be pressing charges.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the statement reads. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
CODA wins Best Picture
In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, The Power of the Dog seemed the safest of safe bets for Best Picture. But, the tide started to shift as the Academy Awards got closer, and on the night, CODA took home the gold. Troy Kotsur also won for Best Supporting Actor.
“Thank you to the Academy for letting our CODA make history tonight,” producer Philippe Rousselet said in his acceptance speech. “To our incredible cast, you guys have made such a wonderful and loving family onscreen, but also off-screen, and everybody wants to be a part of it.”
Fan Favorite and Cheer Moment
At this year’s ceremony, two new awards were introduced: the Oscars Fan Favorite and Oscars Cheer Moment. These particular prizes were voted for by the public online, and on the night, the Zack Snyder-directed Army of the Dead won the Fan Favorite award – beating Cinderella, which took second place – and Zack Snyder’s Justice League won the Oscars Cheer Moment for the scene that sees the Flash enter the Speed Force and travel back in time.
In more Snyder-related news, a plane flying a Restore the SnyderVerse banner also took to the skies over Hollywood and the Dolby Theatre. Even without a properly nominated movie, Snyder still managed to be a major presence at the Oscars.
Dune sweeps the technical categories
Dune dominated the technical categories – which were announced before the live show, with the presentations edited into the broadcast afterward – but missed out on Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay (along with Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Costume Design). Overall, Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic won six awards: Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Visual Effects.
This year’s ceremony, though, saw the first ever live performance of “Bruno,” albeit a remixed version. Megan Thee Stallion had a surprise verse, and the lyrics were changed to fit the Oscars towards the end of the song. It was quite the spectacle.
For the complete rundown of the night’s winners and losers, check out our Oscars 2022 winners list.
I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site’s Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after I got my BA in English.