At the Oscars a year later, The Slap stays in the picture

Streaming HUBMarch 8, 2023

The Academy Awards Are Sunday, But Did Last Year’s Oscars Ever Get Over?

When Hollywood returns to the Dolby Theater for the 95th Academy Awards, the ceremony will signal many things. Possible triumph of “everything everywhere all at once”. A potentially historic night for Asians and Asian Americans in the film industry. Possibly a record number of jokes about “cocaine beer”.

But for many, nothing will register more than returning to the site of The Slap. In a way, we are all still living in that frozen time. Chris Rock’s face is turned to one side. Will Smith’s arm was raised dramatically. Deathly silence at the Dolby Theatre.

A new low for the Oscars but a high point of public fascination, Thappad was immediately etched into collective memory, and its shock continues to resonate. In a live stand-up special on Sunday, Rock offered just his fiercest rebuttal, adding a new volley to the ongoing discourse around the incident.

For the first time, two sequels (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “Avatar: The Way of Water”) are nominated for Best Picture this year. But this year’s Oscars – whether they like it or not – will also feature a sequel, with none of the main stars in attendance. The Motion Picture Academy banned Smith for 10 years. The Rock has stuck with stand-up.

Host Jimmy Kimmel — who was on the Dolby stage in 2017 for The Flub, a moment of Oscar infamy that has now been practically forgotten — has said he will address The Slap. He told The Hollywood Reporter that it would be “ridiculous” not to do so.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is also preparing. After a sluggish response to Smith’s actions that Academy President Janet Yang called “inadequate”, the Oscars will have their first “crisis team” to react to the surprise. Kimmel, who has hosted twice before, was brought in partly to have a steady hand on the telecasts, which would restore all categories to live shows. Kimmel is the first solo host of the show since he last hosted five years ago.

“We’ve learned from this that the academy must be completely transparent and accountable in our actions,” Yang said at a luncheon last month, “and you need to act fast, compassionate, and kind for yourself and for our industry, especially in times of crisis.” Must act decisively.

Kimmel’s challenge will be to reference The Slap without letting another Oscar be defined by it. Last year, after Smith was shocked and then screamed from his seat, the Academy Awards wobbled indistinctly through the rest of the airless ceremony, headlined by historic wins for deaf drama “CODA” and documentary winner “Summer of Soul.” came. award Rock presented to Questlove. Smith also won his first Oscar for “King Richard”. He did not apologize at that moment but made a statement the next day. Shortly thereafter Smith resigned his membership of the Academy.

This year, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has received 11 nominations. Though an unlikely Oscar frontrunner, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Sheinert’s multiverse mash-up is expected to win best picture after racking up top guild awards. Daniels, as he is known, favors Steven Spielberg the best for Best Director. Former child star Hui Quan is seen as a lock for Best Supporting Actor. Michelle Yeoh could become Asia’s first Best Actress winner.

Can anything stop ‘everything everywhere at once’?

The A24 indie hit has led the way at the Oscars, taking home wins from the Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild, Directors Guild and Writers Guild. History says that no one can beat it. Yet some doubts remain that the madcap action comedy just doesn’t have enough material to win an Oscar, and WWI film “All Quiet on the Western Front” — which won at the BAFTAs and comes away with nine nominations — could sneak up on it. Is. Worried. Germany’s anti-war Netflix film has resonated particularly well in Europe, where Russia’s war in Ukraine continues. The documentary, titled “Navalny,” about imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, is more directly connected to current events in Eastern Europe.

What’s the latest in Best Actress?

Easily the fiercest and most controversial category this year is Best Actress. It is billed as a clash of heavyweight contenders for “Tar” in first-time nominee Yoh and two-time winner Cate Blanchett. Either can go home with the trophy. But most of the drama came in the nominations, where Andrea Riseborough garnered a nod for the little-known drama “To Leslie.” A slew of celebrities led an A-list grassroots campaign for the British actress. At the same time, two acclaimed black actresses – Danielle Deadweiler (“Till”) and Viola Davis (“The Woman King”) – were dropped, prompting a debate about the influence of connections, money and race on awards campaigns. . Just as the whole affair was fading, on Tuesday, with hours to go in Oscar voting, Yoh posted screenshots on Instagram of a Vogue article advocating Yoh’s victory over Blanchett. Academy rules prohibit “any strategy that excludes ‘competition’ in name or title.” Yoh deleted the post. During the race, however, he and Blanchett warmly congratulated each other.

Where are the streamers?

Last year’s best-picture winner, “CODA,” marked the first time a streamer won Hollywood’s top award. This year, it’s a very different story. Of the 10 films up for best picture, only one came from a streaming service: Netflix’s “All Quiet on the Western Front.” That film should win several awards on Sunday, including best international film and cinematography. Netflix’s “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” is also a strong favorite to win best animated feature. But after years of Oscar advancement, Netflix and company may be facing a setback in the top categories. This coincided with industry-wide layoffs in streaming after years of rapid growth.

Will the ratings of blockbusters rise?

It’s been years since the best picture nominees were so rich at the box office. “Top Gun: Maverick” earned nearly $1.5 billion worldwide. (Spielberg was heard telling Tom Cruise that he “saved Hollywood” at the Oscars luncheon.) “Avatar: The Way of Water” is the third-highest-grossing film of all time with nearly $2.3 billion in ticket sales. . “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” ($858.8 million) may give Angela Bassett her first acting Oscar for a Marvel film, though the supporting actress category is the toughest to call. But historically, ratings have often risen with the popularity of the nominees. Last year’s ceremony, perhaps boosted by those who rushed to follow in The Slap’s wake, attracted 16.6 million viewers. This was up 58% from the pandemic-hit 2021 edition (viewed by a record low 10.5 million), but still a far cry from the viewership of several years ago. Last year’s telecast was billed as a return to normal for the Oscars — at least before, well, you know what. This year will go a long way in determining what the new normal is for the Academy Awards broadcast.

What is Over/Under on Slap?

As Kimmel noted, you can bet on anything at the Academy Awards, including whether someone slaps the host.

“If you bet $100 on yes – you win $1200,” Kimmel said on his late night show earlier this winter.


Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter:


For more coverage of this year’s Academy Awards, visit:

Comments are closed.
Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.