It is the triumph of a small film, of an outsider that nobody knew a few months ago. The triumph of a low-budget French film: “CODA” won the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday in Los Angeles making Apple+ the first streaming platform to win the prestigious award.
The film and its deaf actors were applauded in sign language by the evening’s guests who, however, remained flabbergasted when actor Will Smith hit comedian Chris Rock after a joke about his wife.
Adapted upbeat comedy-drama of the French hit “La Famille Bélier” “CODA” is a small independent film (15 million dollars of budget) which appeared as Tom Thumb at the beginning of the season of the prices.
But since its presentation at the Sundance festival in January 2021, the film, which follows a high school student torn between the passion she discovers for song and her deaf family, who depend on her to communicate with the hearing world, has scooped up all the prizes of the season one after the other.
His victory is also that of Apple TV +, which becomes the first streaming platform to win the Oscars in the flagship category of best feature film.
“I don’t think it’s a miracle. The film deserves to be where it is in this period in which we live. It’s an important film, a film that does good, that touches people and brings them together with its human values,” the producer of “CODA,” Frenchman Philippe Rousselet, told AFP, not yet daring to consider a victoire.
The film was also awarded in the category of best male supporting role with Troy Kotsur, actor deaf from birth, who dedicated his victory to the “community of the deaf and handicapped”, and by the Oscar for best screenplay adapted for the director Sian Heder.
“The Power of the dog”, the other favorite
On his side, “The Power of the Dog”, a Netflix film, almost left with its tail between its legs despite a dozen nominations. Dark and psychological Western on men not assuming their sexuality nor their feelings, it had however a long time figure of favorite.
Its director Jane Campion was nevertheless distinguished by the Academy of Oscars, becoming the third woman to be rewarded in this category, only one year after Chloé Zhao.
“Belfast”, a black and white evocation of Kenneth Branagh’s childhood in the midst of the violence in Northern Ireland at the end of the 1960s, had to settle for the Oscar for best original screenplay.
The grandiose space opera “Dune” by Denis Villeneuve distinguished itself in no less than six technical categories (sound, special effects, photography, etc.).
Will Smith slaps a comedian
It’s the always very popular Will Smith who won the Oscar for best actor for “The Williams Method”, where he plays the father of tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams.
“I want to apologize to the Academy” of the Oscars, launched the actor in tears, coming to receive his award. Earlier, he caused a moment of amazement in the room after going on stage, apparently furious, to slap comedian Chris Rock who had just made a joke about his wife’s shaved head. Jada Pinkett Smith has alopecia, severe hair loss.
Returning to the stage to receive his award, Will Smith, holding back tears, lambasted “people disrespecting you”.
Jesica Chastain, Ariana DeBose, Billie Eilish rewarded
On the actress side, Jessica Chastain won for “In the eyes of Tammy Faye” and her role as a televangelist with a big heart and outrageous makeup, after two unsuccessful nominations.
Often criticized for their lack of diversity, the Oscars this year also rewarded Ariana DeBose, an actress who defines herself as “Afro-Latina” and queer, for her role as Anita in the remake of “West Side Story” by Steven Spielberg .
The gala evening was opened by the Williams sisters and a spectacular performance by Beyoncé, live from a tennis court in Los Angeles where the champions had made their sporting debut. But it was the young Billie Eilish who won the Oscar for best song for “No Time To Die”, the title of the latest James Bond.
Disney, the world’s number one in entertainment, added another Oscar to its collection with the victory of “Encanto, the fantastic Madrigal family”, a celebration of Colombia, its culture and its traditions which won the prize of best animated film.
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Oscars: CODA, “crowned best film”, a first for streaming