AceShowbiz - The verdict has come in. "CODA" is the best movie of 2021, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), having been named Best Picture at the recently concluded 94th annual Academy Awards.
The movie, written and directed by Sian Heder, bested out other strong contenders, such as "Belfast", "King Richard", "The Power of the Dog" and "West Side Story". "Thank you to the Academy for letting our 'CODA' make history tonight," producer Philippe Rousselet said. The film, which is on Apple TV+, is the first streaming movie to win the award.
Earlier that night, "CODA" picked up its first award through Troy Katsur's win in Best Supporting Actor category. He made history as the first deaf man to win an Oscar and second deaf actor to win an Academy Award. The movie also grabbed Best Adapted Screenplay for Heder.
Also taking coveted awards from the Sunday night, March 27 ceremony were Will Smith and Jessica Chastain. Smith grabbed the award for Best Actor through his role as Serena Williams and Venus Williams' father in "King Richard". It's his first Oscar win after having been nominated twice before.
His victorious moment came shortly after his awkward confrontation with Chris Rock, who made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's hairstyle. "Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family," Smith tearfully said in his speech, seemingly justifying his act moments earlier. "I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world."
He paused for a moment before sharing what Denzel Washington had told him when comforting him earlier, "At your highest moment, be careful, that's when the devil comes to you." He then apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees before adding about the movie, "Art imitates life: I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things."
Chastain, meanwhile, had her own first Oscar moment when picking up the Best Actress award for her role in "The Eyes of Tammy Faye". She was previously nominated for her role in "The Help" (2011) and "Zero Dark Thirty".
In her speech, Chastain shared a message about acceptance. "In times like this, I think of Tammy, and am inspired by her radical acts of love," she said. "Love…unites us all in our desire to be accepted for who we are, accepted for who we love, and to live a life free of violence and terror. For any of you out there who do in fact feel hopeless or alone, I just want you to know that you are unconditionally loved for the uniqueness that is you."
"The Eyes of Tammy Faye" also won an Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, which was handed out during off-air parts of the ceremony.
Jane Campion won another top honor that night, being voted as Best Director for her work in "The Power of the Dog". It's her first Oscar in directing category and her second overall, having won once for Best Original Screenplay in 1994. It's the only prize won by the movie, which grabbed the most nominations with 12.
Leading the winner list in terms of number was "Dune", which grabbed a total of six awards. Nominated in 10 categories, it won Best Sound, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography.
Another movie with multiple nominations, "Belfast" took home one gong for Best Original Screenplay for Kenneth Branagh. Ariana DeBose was named Best Supporting Actress for her role in "West Side Story", while Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O'Connell picked up their first Oscar for Best Original Song for writing "No Time to Die" song of the same title.
Other winners included "Encanto" (Best Animated Feature Film), Japanese-language film "Drive My Car" (Best International Feature Film), "Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)" (Best Documentary Feature) and "Cruella" (Best Costume Design).
Full Winner List of the 94th Academy Awards