Troy Kotsur, Ariana DeBose made Oscars history with their acting wins; Beyonce opened with performance
LOS ANGELES -- The Academy Awards named the deaf family drama "CODA," best picture Sunday, handing Hollywood's top award to a streaming service for the first time in a ceremony that saw the greatest drama when Will Smith strode onstage and slapped Chris Rock.
While Jane Campion's "The Power of the Dog," with a leading 12 nominations, seemed like the frontrunner for the Oscars' top prize, Sian Heder's "CODA" rode a wave of goodwill driven by its cast including Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur, Emilia Jones and Daniel Durant. It's the first film with a largely deaf cast to win best picture.
Kotsur also won best supporting actor to become the first male deaf actor to win an Oscar, and only the second deaf actor to do so, joining his castmate and "CODA" co-star Matlin.
Many, though, were talking about another moment. After Rock, as a presenter, joked to Jada Pinkett Smith that he was looking forward to a sequel to "G.I. Jane," Will Smith stood up from his seat near the stage, strode up to Rock and smacked him. After sitting back down, Smith shouted at Rock to "keep my wife's name out of your (expletive) mouth." When Rock, who joked about Jada Pinkett Smith while hosting the Oscars in 2016, protested that it was just a "GI Jane" joke, Smith repeated the same line.
The moment shocked the Dolby Theatre audience and viewers at home. Smith later took the stage when he won best actor for Venus and Serena Williams' father in "King Richard," his first Oscar. His acceptance speech vacillated between defense and apology.
"Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family," Smith said in his first remarks. Smith then shared what Denzel Washington told him: "At your highest moment, be careful because that's when the devil comes for you."
Aside from what seemed likely to be one of the most infamous moments in Academy Awards history, other wins made history of their own. Ariana DeBose became the first Afro-Latina and openly LBGTQ actor to win an Academy Award for supporting actress.
Campion also became only the third woman to win best director for "The Power of the Dog." She had been the first woman ever twice nominated in the category (previously for 1993's "The Piano"). It's also the first time the directing award has ever gone to women in back-to-back years, after "Nomadland" filmmaker Chloé Zhao won last year.
The Oscars looked kindly on Jessica Chastain. She won the Academy Award for best actress on Sunday night for playing televangelist Tammy Faye Baker in "The Eyes of Tammy Faye."
It's the first Oscar for Chastain in three nominations: She was previously nominated for "Zero Dark Thirty" in 2013 and "The Help" in 2012.
Chastain emerged as the Oscar favorite late in the season, earning an upset victory at the SAG Awards before adding a Critics' Choice trophy for a movie that was released six months ago. She beat out fellow best actress nominees Olivia Colman, Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman and Kristen Stewart.
"It's very special to be part of a film that means something to me in that it rights a misjustice. It re-examines a life," she said backstage. "It's so important to give each other our flowers when we're still alive, and I feel like we missed that opportunity with Tammy Faye."
Hosts Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall breezily joked through prominent Hollywood issues like pay equity -- they said three female hosts were "cheaper than one man" -- the Lady Gaga drama that Sykes called "House of Random Accents," the state of the Golden Globes (now relegated to the memoriam package, said Sykes) and Leonardo DiCaprio's girlfriends.
Their most pointed political point came at the end of their routine, in which they promised a great night and then alluded to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill.
"And for you people in Florida, we're going to have a gay night," said Sykes.
After an opening greeting from Venus and Serena Williams, whose tennis-playing youth and life with their father is the subject of "King Richard," the opening number was performed by none other than Beyoncé.
The superstar sang her nominated song, "Be Alive," in a dance-heavy performance from an open-air stage in Compton, where the Williams sisters were raised.
Even her star power didn't win the song an Oscar, though. It was Billie Eilish and her brother, Finneas, who won for their "No Time to Die" James Bond theme song.
Finneas thanked the duo's parents with words that brought smiles to many, saying: "We love you as parents and we love you as real people, too."
It began on Oscar nomination day when TroyKotsur, learning of his supporting actor nod for "CODA," literally fell off his chair in a video that went viral. He continued to charm Hollywood and by Oscar night Kotsur, who plays a randy father in the film about a deaf family with a hearing child, was a clear favorite.
Still, his win was emotional -- many in the audience, including Chastain, Javier Bardem and Nicole Kidman, responded with waving hands -- what is known as a deaf clap.
Even his interpreter choked up during Kotsur's speech. He joined "CODA" costar Marlee Matlin as the only deaf Oscar winners. "I just wanted to say this is dedicated to the Deaf community, the CODA community and the disabled community," Kotsur signed. "This is our moment."
Holding her Oscar in triumph, Ariana DeBose echoed the words of her famous character in "West Side Story," Anita.
"Now you see why Anita says, 'I want to be in America,'" said DeBose, who won for best supporting actress, as expected. "Because even in this weary world that we live in, dreams do come true."
There was much that was special about her win. DeBose won the trophy 60 years after Rita Moreno claimed the award in 1962 for the original film version of the Broadway musical.
And she made history as well, becoming the first Afro-Latina and openly LGBTQ actor to win in the category. "To anybody who has ever questioned your identity," she said, echoing more lyrics from "West Side Story," "I promise you there is a place for us."
"CODA" - WINNER
"Don't Look Up"
"Drive My Car"
"The Power of the Dog"
"West Side Story"
"Belfast" Kenneth Branagh
"Drive My Car" Ryusuke Hamaguchi
"Licorice Pizza" Paul Thomas Anderson
"The Power of the Dog" Jane Campion - WINNER
"West Side Story" Steven Spielberg
Jessica Chastain in "The Eyes of Tammy Faye" - WINNER
Olivia Colman in "The Lost Daughter"
Penélope Cruz in "Parallel Mothers"
Nicole Kidman in "Being the Ricardos"
Kristen Stewart in "Spencer"
Javier Bardem in "Being the Ricardos"
Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Power of the Dog"
Andrew Garfield in "tick, tick...BOOM!"
Will Smith in "King Richard" - WINNER
Denzel Washington in "The Tragedy of Macbeth"
Jessie Buckley in "The Lost Daughter"
Ariana DeBose in "West Side Story" - WINNER
Judi Dench in "Belfast"
Kirsten Dunst in "The Power of the Dog"
Aunjanue Ellis in "King Richard"
Ciarán Hinds in "Belfast"
Troy Kotsur in "CODA" - WINNER
Jesse Plemons in "The Power of the Dog"
J.K. Simmons in "Being the Ricardos"
Kodi Smit-McPhee in "The Power of the Dog"
"Dune" Greig Fraser - WINNER
"Nightmare Alley" Dan Laustsen
"The Power of the Dog" Ari Wegner
"The Tragedy of Macbeth" Bruno Delbonnel
"West Side Story" Janusz Kaminski
"CODA" Screenplay by Sian Heder - WINNER
"Drive My Car" Screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
"Dune" Screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth
"The Lost Daughter" Written by Maggie Gyllenhaal
"The Power of the Dog" Written by Jane Campion
"Belfast" Written by Kenneth Branagh - WINNER
"Don't Look Up" Screenplay by Adam McKay; Story by Adam McKay & David Sirota
"King Richard" Written by Zach Baylin
"Licorice Pizza" Written by Paul Thomas Anderson
"The Worst Person in the World" Written by Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier
"The Mitchells vs. the Machines"
"Raya and the Last Dragon"
"Drive My Car" Japan - WINNER
"The Hand of God" Italy
"Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom" Bhutan
"The Worst Person in the World" Norway
"Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)" - WINNER
"Writing with Fire"
"Lead Me Home"
"The Queen of Basketball" - WINNER
"Three Songs for Benazir"
"When We Were Bullies"
"Affairs of the Art"
"The Windshield Wiper" - WINNER
"Ala Kachuu - Take and Run"
"The Long Goodbye - WINNER"
"On My Mind"
"Be Alive" from "King Richard" Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
"Dos Oruguitas" from "Encanto" Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
"Down To Joy" from "Belfast" Music and Lyric by Van Morrison
"No Time To Die" from "No Time to Die" Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell - WINNER
"Somehow You Do" from "Four Good Days" Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
"Don't Look Up" Nicholas Britell
"Dune" Hans Zimmer - WINNER
"Encanto" Germaine Franco
"Parallel Mothers" Alberto Iglesias
"The Power of the Dog" Jonny Greenwood
"Belfast" Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather and Niv Adiri
"Dune" Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett - WINNER
"No Time to Die" Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey and Mark Taylor
"The Power of the Dog" Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb
"West Side Story" Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy
"Don't Look Up" Hank Corwin
"Dune" Joe Walker - WINNER
"King Richard" Pamela Martin
"The Power of the Dog" Peter Sciberras
"tick, tick...BOOM!" Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum
"Cruella" Jenny Beavan - WINNER
"Cyrano" Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran
"Dune" Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan
"Nightmare Alley" Luis Sequeira
"West Side Story" Paul Tazewell
"Coming 2 America" Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer
"Cruella" Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon
"Dune" Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
"The Eyes of Tammy Faye" Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh - WINNER
"House of Gucci" Gran Lundstrm, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras
"Dune" Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer - WINNER
"Free Guy" Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis and Dan Sudick
"No Time to Die" Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner and Chris Corbould
"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker and Dan Oliver
"Spider-Man: No Way Home" Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick
"Dune" Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos - WINNER
"Nightmare Alley" Production Design: Tamara Deverell; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau
"The Power of the Dog" Production Design: Grant Major; Set Decoration: Amber Richards
"The Tragedy of Macbeth" Production Design: Stefan Dechant; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
"West Side Story" Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo
The full Academy Awards show is now available for streaming on Hulu.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.