Chris Rock vs. Will Smith: Who Won the Oscars?

Hey, I said they should hire Chris Rock to host again. Am I ever wrong? The guy was on stage for 30 seconds and he single-handedly turned a weird, dull Oscar ceremony into one for the ages. The GIF shall be immortal.

Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s buzz cut: “Jada, I love you, G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it!” Except Mrs. Smith has a medical condition that causes hair loss. Did Rock know this? I didn’t. Will Smith laughed at the joke initially, then looked over at his unhappy wife and reversed gears. Hard. Suddenly Mr. Nice Guy wasn’t so nice. One of the biggest movie stars alive marched right up on stage and slapped Chris Rock on the left jaw, though to his discredit Smith neglected to say, “Welcome to Earth.”

Wouldn’t you know it? They hire three women to host, and the boys steal the show by having a fight.

“Oho, wow! Will Smith just smacked the sh** out of me! That was the . . . greatest night in the history of television,” Rock said, not overstating facts. The guy must have worked a lot of rowdy rooms in Laff Lounges and Ha-Ha Halls on the way up, but I’m guessing he never got slapped in the face by a movie star before. Ladies and gentlemen, Chris Rock! Not only should he host the Oscars every year, he should be the next secretary of state. Talk about grace under pressure. When was the last time you got slapped in the face by a large man? I annoy people for a living, and it hasn’t happened to me lately. If it had been you or me up there, we would at least have been caught off guard to get smacked while presenting an Oscar. Rock just moved on. He took it as though he’d rehearsed it for a month.

Oh yeah, and the Oscar was won by the biggest corporation on earth. Hurrah for the little guy! Apple TV+ sneakily won Best Picture as the suits from its archrival Netflix looked around for marketing people to treat the way Smith treated Rock. Netflix has been trying to win itself the top Oscar for about ten years, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this project, and it’s still got zilch. Instead, Apple TV+, which launched just two years ago, won with CODA, a feel-good dramedy about a lovable family of deaf people and their lovely daughter. It was the first movie debuting on a streaming service and the first movie premiering at the Sundance Film Festival ever to win Best Picture. It also won Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor, for the previously unknown Troy Kotsur, who, as a deaf man taking home an Oscar for acting, notched another first. Meanwhile, Netflix sweatily pursued the Oscars with its can’t-miss message-movie-of-the-week The Power of the Dog, “a dazzling evisceration of one of the country’s foundational myths,” according to the New York Times (i.e., it’s about a closeted homosexual cowboy). It proved one of the biggest disappointments in Academy history. Riding in with twelve nominations, it won only a single award — Best Director for Jane Campion, who could hardly lose after everyone pointed out that only two women had ever won in the category before.

Click here to read the full article at the National Review