Oscar 2022: the 10 key moments of the ceremony

After three years without a presenter and an edition, last year’s, half of walking around the house, the 2022 Oscar ceremony was presented as one of a certain return to normality: emcees, great musical numbers, overpopulation of stars… But the only problem was the nominated films, generally little seen. To try to solve it (and incidentally, overcome the historical low of 2021 audience), producers Will Packer and Shayla Cowan promised a more agile show than usual. But not only was it almost as long, but also somewhat chaotic. Below, some of the keys. Or La Clave and nine others.

1. The musical performance (1)

The gala kicked off with Beyonce performing ‘Be alive’, her song for ‘The Williams Method’, for the first time live, accompanied by a large group of dancer-choristers and string and wind-metal sections. But it wasn’t a real live broadcast: it was a pre-recorded video on the same tennis courts where Venus and Serena Williams trained as girls. Initial feeling of continuing at the time of the distanced galas.

2. The presenters

After three editions without a master of ceremonies, this year the gala was presented by Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall: three women because, as Schumer said, “it’s cheaper than signing a man.” There were taunts for Jared Leto and Lady Gaga’s accents in ‘The House of Gucci’, the Golden Globes (proposed for the ‘In Memoriam’ segment), and even the favorite ‘The Power of the Dog’: “I’ve seen that movie three times and I haven’t finished it yet,” Sykes said. It wasn’t the only iffy joke about not having seen the nominated movies. Already on his own, Schumer made a more accurate comment when he spoke of the “genius” Aaron Sorkin (director of ‘Ser los Ricardo’) and the “innovation of making a movie about Lucille Ball without a single funny moment”.

3. The speech

Ariana DeBose, best supporting actress for ‘West Side Story’, started the audience’s applause by reminding her that she was observing the first openly ‘queer’ woman of color who got a golden statuette. Among DeBose’s viewers, the great Rita Moreno, the first Latina to win an Oscar, also for that role in the famous musical. “I’m so thankful that your Anita paved the way for lots of Anitas like me,” DeBose told Moreno from the stage.

4. The Tribute

The classic ‘montage’ in celebration of the-magic-of-cinema could not be missing: see that potpourri of Bond moments to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the saga. Another display of the power of streaming at the Oscars, given that Amazon has just finalized its purchase of MGM, the film and television studio behind Agent 007? Be that as it may, an enjoyable parenthesis. With a well-chosen soundtrack: not Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ or Sam Smith’s ‘Writing’s on the wall’, even though they won Oscars, but the magnificent ‘Live and let die’ by Paul McCartney and his Wings (with some help from George Martin himself in production and orchestral arrangements).

5. The speech (2)

Troy Kotsur, the first deaf actor to win an Oscar (for his role as the fisherman father in ‘CODA. The Sounds of Silence’), gave his speech in sign language. (South Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung (‘Minari’) held the Oscar for her so she could do it.) “We went to see Joe Biden and he wanted to teach him tacos in sign language, but [su compañera de reparto] Marlee Matlin stopped me,” Kotsur joked. More seriously, he recalled how his father was the best sign speaker and how he stopped being after an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. “Dad, I learned so much from you. I will always love you. You are my hero.” Smiles and tears with a more effective and emotional speech than ‘CODA. The sounds of silence’ itself.

6. The moment of silence

The producers of the gala always affirmed that they would reserve a space for the invasion of Ukraine, although they did not commit to President Zelenski participating via satellite, as apparently the Ukrainian government had tried with the help of Chernivtsi-born actress Mila Kunis and her husband Ashton Kutcher. That space ended up being a moment of silence with a message that recalled the hardships of the people of Ukraine. Just before, Kunis had hinted at “global instability” in her introduction to Reba McEntire’s performance.

7. The musical performance (2)

Although it was not nominated for best original song, there was more than a minute reserved for ‘We don’t talk about Bruno’, the hit among hits from the ‘Encanto’ soundtrack. It was already known that Becky G and Luis Fonsi would accompany the cast members, but the appearance of Megan Thee Stallion to add ‘swagger’ hip hop. Color ration in front of Billie Eilish’s sepulchral mourning in that (magnificent) take of ‘No time to die’ with her brother FINNEAS at the piano.

8. The Will Smith Slap

It seemed like a joking moment, but Smith’s final flushed look seemed to say something else: Or does he really deserve the Oscar for best actor? to the comic Chris Rock it occurred to him to call ‘Lieutenant O’Neil’ Jada Pinkett-Smith for his almost zero haircut, which he began to wear after beginning to suffer from alopecia. Will Smith then got up from his seat, slapped Rock across the face and, once back in his chair, yelled the most believable and intense: “Get my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!” Raw and awkward moment of the night. “Richard Williams was a fierce supporter of his family,” Smith said minutes later to open his best actor Oscar acceptance speech. “Love will make you do crazy things,” he said near the end, through tears. And as a finale: “I hope the Academy invites me again.”

9. Three super three

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The announced tribute to ‘The Godfather’ brought together three of the greats on stage: Francis Ford Coppola and the actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Coppola, a humble genius, took the opportunity to thank Mario Puzo (author of the ‘Godfather’ novels) and Robert Evans, the Paramount executive with whom he had his pluses and (above all) his minuses during the filming of the classic 1972.

10. The surprise presenter

No, we are not referring to the ‘snowboarder’ Shaun White or the ‘skater’ Tony Hawk, whose presences were already announced, nor to Shawn Mendes, who for some reason presented the Oscar for best adapted screenplay, but to the presenter of the last award for the night: the best film, after last year’s change. The producers wanted to save the surprise until the end: it was Liza Minnelli (taken in her wheelchair by Lady Gaga: excellent and emotional couple) in the year of the 50th anniversary of ‘Cabaret’. The winning film was no surprise at this point, after the recent wave of awards and the rumor mill: ‘CODA. The sounds of the silence’.

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