Let’s face it, there’s one big moment at this year’s Oscars that everyone is talking about… the slap.
If you’re yet to see Will Smith dishing out a whack to Chris Rock that any EastEnders cast member would be proud of, then you need to stop what you’re doing and take a look. Luckily we’ve got you covered.
You’re welcome. But what was it all about?
Will Smith whacks Chris Rock
The night was ambling along nicely, with no big shockers or surprises, some jazzy performances and plenty of stars on top form.
That was until Smith whacked Rock in the face on stage after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s haircut.
Referring to Pinkett Smith’s shortly shaven hair, Rock said: “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2.”
Smith walked up on stage and appeared to hit Rock before returning to his seat and shouting: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f****** mouth.”
Rock appeared shocked and flustered as he tried to resume presenting the best documentary feature category.
He said: “That was the greatest night in the history of television.”
Introducing the next set of presenters, rapper Sean Coombs (formerly P Diddy) joked about the testy moment, saying: “Will and Chris, we’re going to solve that like family at the gold party.”
While many weren’t sure if the incident was staged or real, it’s possible Rock’s reference to Pinkett Smith’s hair touched a nerve, as she has recently spoken publicly about her struggle with alopecia following a diagnosis in 2018.
She has shared videos on social media talking about the autoimmune disorder, which can cause hair loss and balding, saying in the past she “struggled” with it, but now “laughed” and refused to “take it lying down”.
Roastings all round
Away from that moment, hosts Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall spent the evening roasting – well – just about everyone.
First they poked fun at themselves, highlighting the gender pay gap, saying the Academy had “hired three women to host because it’s cheaper than hiring one man”.
Then they referenced the eight craft categories cut from the televised ceremony, and filmed earlier that night. They said it was “a controversial and difficult decision but I think we’ve moved on”, before the lights flickered around them.
In a pointed joke looking ahead to the In Memoriam section of the night, they said it would include the Golden Globes because “they had no black people”. The Globes ceremony was dropped by NBC in 2021 after a Los Angeles Times expose revealed the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organisation which runs the ceremony, had no black members voting for the awards.
Then the ladies moved on to a critique of Samuel L Jackson’s career, pointing out “gaps in his resume”.
Being a good sport, Jackson took it in good spirit, laughing along after initially looking somewhat baffled as the camera panned in on him.
In single skits that followed, Schumer joked about Leonardo DiCaprio wanting to save the planet for the sake of his (much younger) girlfriends.
Hall had an ongoing joke about being single and on the hunt for a man, getting stars including Bradley Cooper, Timothee Chalamet and Josh Brolin up on the stage, and even giving Aquaman star Jason Momoa a full body pat down.
At one point all three hosts dressed up – Wanda as Richard (Venus and Serena’s dad from King Richard) complete with a shopping trolley of tennis balls and very short shorts; Regina as Tammy Faye and Amy as Spider-Man, suspended from the ceiling and liberally spraying shaving foam.
Regina and Wanda gave out consolation prizes to those who didn’t get a gong, including a “never been seen” screening of film The Last Duel and an inspirational quote for Dame Judi Dench, “work harder… Move that ass babe” taken from Kim Kardashian. Dench appeared to appreciate the joke.
They finished the night in their pyjamas, signing off from the Dolby Theatre in slippers and eye masks. The way anyone over 30 would like to roll out of a party if we’re honest.
‘Queer woman of colour’
Ariana DeBose won best supporting actress for the role of Anita in West Side Story – the same role as her predecessor Rita Moreno, who picked up an Oscar for the 1961 version. DeBose paid tribute to Moreno, saying she “paved the way for tonnes of Anitas like me”.
DeBose is the first openly queer actress of colour to win an Oscar – a fact she movingly referenced in her acceptance speech, tearfully telling the audience: “Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus.
“Look into her eyes, you see an openly queer woman of colour, an Afro-Latina, who found her strength in life through art.
“And that’s what we’re here to celebrate.
“So to anyone who has ever questioned your identity or you find yourself living in the grey spaces…I promise you this, there is indeed a place for us.”
It’s been quite a year for DeBose, and she’s clearly relishing every moment. What a star.
CODA makes history – twice
The coming-of-age drama about Ruby – the child of deaf adults – struggling to gain her independence and branch out alone, made history twice over.
The Apple TV + movie took the night’s top prize – best picture – becoming the first film on a streaming platform to take the accolade.
Netflix, whose Power Of The Dog was an early favourite to take the prize, and led the night’s nominations with 12 nods, will no doubt be feeling sore that it didn’t bag the prize on the night (it only took one gong home in the end).
CODA’s second star momentous win was claimed by Troy Kotsur, who became the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar. The room was filled with silent jazz hands (in place of applause) as he approached the stage.
In his speech Kotsur said, CODA reached out “worldwide… It even reached all the way to the White House… we met our president Joe and doctor Jill.”
He went on: “I was planning on teaching them some dirty sign language but Marlee Matlin told me to behave myself, so don’t worry Marlee I won’t drop any f-bombs in my speech today.”
Matlin plays his wife in the film. Aged just 18, she became the first ever deaf performer to win an Oscar, for her role in romantic drama Children of a Lesser God.
Kotsur then moved on from jokes to a moving tribute: “My dad he was the best signer in our family, but he was in a car accident and he became paralysed from the neck down and he was no longer able to sign.
“Dad, I learnt so much from you, I’ll always love you, you are my hero. Thank you to my biggest fans.
“I just want to say this is dedicated to the deaf community, the Coda community and the deaf community.
“This is our moment.”
And while she wasn’t a player in the best director race (many felt she should be), CODA writer and director Sian Heder took best adapted screenplay.
She joked about coming “dressed as a disco ball” (referencing her sparkly silver dress) as she accepted her statuette, she thanked the deaf community for being her “teachers” and called writing and directing the film “a life-changing experience”.
She said the cast had become her “family”, before thanking her own family including her husband and children. On the verge of tears she said: “It’s so hard to be a director and a mom, but you guys make it possible. Thank you.”
Silence for Ukraine
Many stars took their moment in the spotlight to draw attention to the plight in Ukraine.
The was has been ongoing for more than a month as Russia continues its bombardment of the country.
More than 1,000 civilians have been killed since President Vladimir Putin announced what he called a “special military operation” on 24 February.
A quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people have been driven from their homes, with many fleeing to the west of the country or neighbouring nations such as Poland and Romania.
Mila Kunis referenced the “strength and dignity” of the Ukrainian people as they “fight through unimaginable darkness” as she announced singer Reba McEntire to the stage.
Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, in western Ukraine, and lived there until she was seven when her family moved to LA in search of a better life.
Along with her husband actor Ashton Kutcher, Kunis has raised about $35 million (£26.5m) after setting up a fund to support refugees. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has personally thanked the pair for their efforts.
There was a moment of silence for the people of Ukraine about an hour and a half into the night, when slides on screen said: “We’d like to have a moment of silence to show our support for the people of Ukraine currently facing invasion, conflict and prejudice within their own borders.
“While film is an important avenue for us to express our humanity in times of conflict, the reality is millions of families in Ukraine need food, medical care, clean water and emergency services.
“Resources are scarce, and we, collectively as a global community, can do more.
“We ask you to support Ukraine in any way you are able #standwithukraine.”
We Don’t Talk About Bruno
Megan Thee Stallion made an unexpected appearance in the live performance of Encanto’s We Don’t Talk About Bruno.
Members of the cast and Latin music powerhouses Becky G and Luis Fonsi (best known for his single Despacito) led the rendition, which saw the cast traverse the theatre singing as they went.
But in an addition to the original version, Megan joined them dressed in a revealing ruffled yellow dress to rap the bridge of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tune.
The 27-year-old was flanked at one point during the performance by stars Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet, who clapped along to the verse.
The catchy hit may have won fans around the world, but isn’t actually nominated for an Oscar. With Encanto released three weeks after the official deadline for Academy Award submissions, Disney was forced to make the call on which song to submit somewhat blind.
They went with acoustic Spanish-language ballad Dos Oruguitas instead, and have been left likely kicking themselves with the benefit of hindsight…
Meanwhile, the father of Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda hinted on Twitter that the Academy may have altered the lyrics without asking first.
Luis A Miranda Junior replied to someone on Twitter, who had asked whether Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the rap verse that was included in the performance.
He replied: “No. Lin Manuel wrote the lyrics we have heard a thousand times and they were sung by Encanto Movie’s original cast.
“Everything else was added by The Academy and we heard it, like you, for the first time tonight.”
Encanto won the Oscar for best animated feature.
Saying goodbye to those we’ve lost
The In Memoriam section is always moving, but this year it was accompanied by a live gospel choir who sang and danced as the tributes played.
It included Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim, director Peter Bogdanovich, and Wire actor Michael K Williams.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis took a rescue dog to the stage to honour Golden Girl Betty White (who was a lover of dogs and worked to raise money for animal charities) and actor Bill Murray spoke as Ghostbusters writer and producer Ivan Reitman was celebrated, ending “Ivan I love your work”.
Other bits that got our attention…
Billie Eilish, dressed all in black, with a new black long-bob to match, giving a moving performance of Bond title song No Time To Die, with her brother Finneas accompanying her on piano. Later in the night the pair won best original song with the track.
Uma Thurman and John Travolta re-enacting their famous Pulp Fiction dancing scene, while Samuel L Jackson explained the iconic film moment. They’ve still got the moves.
Liza Minnelli and Lady Gaga presenting the final and biggest award of the evening, best picture. Minnelli was celebrating the 50th anniversary of musical Cabaret, and Lady Gaga was clearly in awe of her star power. Two stellar acts on the stage to round off the night.
If you missed any of the ceremony, you can watch again on Monday 28 at 7pm on Sky Cinema or from 10pm on Sky Showcase