The Smartstream21 ‘round the world has been dominating the news cycle and social media outlets, the 94th Academy Awards (2022 Oscars) came and went with little controversy compared to previous years. It is hard to be excited year after year and having to watch cinema change so much that the Academy has been slow to address that change. The last “new” category was Best Animated Feature which was introduced in 2002 and while some categories have been consolidated (Best Sound, Best Original Score) the categories have been stagnant. There is an easy technical award to add and that would Best Stunt Work which would be an honor long overdue and include more acting categories such as Best Ensemble, Best Voice Over Role and Best Motion Capture Performance which let’s be honest, Andy Serkis would dominate this category every single year.

For the 93rd and 92nd Academy Awards, the ceremonies went sans host and they went smoothly. Two hosts have been trotted out and now three but the Oscars never had a hosting problem until the 2010’s. Please stop enlisting people who clearly have no ability in hosting and just have an announcer to move things along.

Stop forgetting celebrities for the In Memoriam section

Seriously, enough is enough with this crap. If someone had an impact in Hollywood, they should be remembered during that section. Bob Saget was notably absent during the tribute video this year and it’s time to just recognize the importance and acknowledge the loss of beloved figures.

The Big Winners

Streaming Services

CODA took home three big awards (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay) after the film premiered on Apple+ while The Power of the Dog managed to snag a win in the Best Director category for Jane Campion. It finally brings some respectability to the streaming after directing giants Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese have derided the services for intruding on their turf.

Jessica Chastain In the midst of the Will Smith fiasco, it’s being overlooked that Jessica Chastain finally won an award for Best Actress for her performance in The Eyes of Tammy Faye (the film also won for Best Makeup & Hairstyling). Having been previously nominated for The Help and Zero Dark Thirty, Chastain finally broke through after countless amazing performances.

Dune After snagging 10 nominations, Dune managed to win the most Oscars of the evening (Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Production Design and Best Film Editing) but the discussion should continue for the level of disregard the Academy has for mainstream and science fiction films. In spite of its Best Picture nomination, director Denis Villeneuve didn’t land a Best Director nomination which just adds another brick in the foundation of the argument that Villeneuve is the most underrated director working today. In the larger context, the Academy continues disregarding or outright ignoring mainstream films such as Avengers: Endgame or Spider-Man: No Way Home. Why bother watching a ceremony if your favorite film from the past year isn’t being considered for anything? While the Academy did try to make a step towards creating a “Best Popular Film” category in 2018, it did not pass among the voting body but the Academy needs to find a way to honor the films that have a broader appeal.

Will Smith vs Chris Rock

Here is where I stand on this; Chris Rock was out of line by joking about Jada’s hair but it does not excuse Will Smith for being out of line by walking onstage and slapping him in the face in front of an international television audience. There is a time and a place to settle all disputes and the Oscars stage isn’t either of those. Their beef has a long history that’s outside the scope of this article but it’s worthy of its breakdown. Will Smith absolutely deserved to win for his portrayal in King Richard but the entire evening and his win are now tainted by his actions. Given his past comments towards the Oscars, it seems unlikely he’ll be invited back.