The 94th Academy Awards brings historic wins and iconic moments


Anaita Mistry

The 94th Academy Awards took place last Sunday on March 27, 2022 with historic wins and memorable moments that viewers will be talking about for months to come.

With rather historic wins, “The Slap,” and a plethora of snubs, the Academy Awards could be making a comeback. The Oscars have long since been losing relevance and viewers amongst the general public, however this year might have changed that.

“Short term, I think the next Oscars will probably have better viewership, not as much as previous because I think that people are just waiting for something like that [Will Smith’s slap] to happen again. I don’t think it’ll fix the issue long term but I feel like the Oscars should still go on even if it’s losing relevance,” said Myra Qin (‘23).

Diversity during awards season is a battle continuously fought; however, the hosts this year were all women (Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Sykes), two of whom are black. Three hosts could’ve spelled a recipe for a cumbersome show with awkward transitions but the three managed to pull it off.

“Honestly I think that the three hosts were perfectly fine, I think it’s actually easier to have multiple people bounce off of each other than just one person trying to connect with everyone. I think each personality brought something different and was able to help get everyone excited,” said Bella Gentille (‘22).

Notable wins

On the topic of diversity, the award for Best Motion Picture was given to CODA, a film about the children of deaf adults, starring deaf actress Marlee Matlin, as well as Troy Kotsur. (You can find our story on it here.) Kotsur also won best supporting actor, saying his win “is dedicated to the Deaf community, the CODA community, and the disabled community.”

“As an ASL student it was really amazing to watch CODA win an Oscar. That definitely is something to be really proud of, ” said Gentille (‘22).

Additionally, Jane Campion won Best Director for The Power of Dog, becoming only the third woman to do so. The award for Best Animation went to Encanto, a movie that put diverse characters and culture front and center. Will Smith also won Best Actor for his role as Serena and Venus Williams’ father in King Richard. In the technical categories, Dune was a big winner, sweeping awards in almost all categories like Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Score to name a few.

Other memorable moments and snubs

Every awards season is surrounded by controversy and snubs, but this year the Academy Awards seem to have quite a few more. 

Rachel Zegler, who starred in Steven Speilberg’s West Side Story, (nominated for Best Motion Picture) was not invited to the Oscars until after speaking about her snub less than a week before the event. Neither House of Gucci nor Respect seemed to make the cut for any nominations as Wanda Sykes gibed in the opening “There were a lot of snubs this year, like … Jennifer Hudson for Respect and Lady Gaga and Jared Leto for ‘House of Random Accents.’”

“The recent events at the last Oscars stirred up some more drama and attention towards it and people are wanting to know more about it…I definitely think that drew more attention and views towards the Oscars for that night in particular,” said Gentille (‘22).

Some awards had also been moved off the broadcast which was definitely cause for controversy as well, but the hosts handled it with grace. However the awards this year were headlined by one event that left everyone reeling. Will Smith’s getting up to slap Chris Rock after a joke was made left many people shocked and a few wondering if it was real or not. Leaving the sensationalism behind, the Oscars have made their mark in pop culture for the first time in a while.