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Felicity Warner / HCM
Culture > Entertainment

A Recap of the Best Oscars Moments

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

If you missed the live broadcast of the 94th Academy Awards on last Sunday, don’t worry. We have a recap of the monumental moments, wins and all the best Hollywood had to offer.   The Academy Awards (or Oscars) is considered the most prestigious night in Hollywood, with some of the biggest acting, directing, writing and film awards being handed out to the biggest stars of the year. And it’s never short of that classic Hollywood glitz and glam that captivates audiences. Last week’s awards ceremony brought about some iconic moments in Oscar and Hollywood history, so here is a recap of the best moments!

Ariana DeBose’s Best Supporting Actress Win

Ariana DeBose, who you may recognize as the infamous “Bullet” in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acclaimed Hamilton, took to the screen this year in Steven Spielberg’s big-budget remake of the classic musical West Side Story. Playing Anita, Maria’s sister-in-law, DeBose gave one of the most profound and stunning performances of the year. And she took home the Oscar, making history as the first openly Queer woman of colour to win an academy award! She is also only the second Latina woman to win an Oscar, after Rita Moreno, who won for her portrayal of Anita in the original 1962 West Side Story. An amazing start to the ceremony and a great night to make HERSTORY!

The Academy Award’s First(!) All Black Production Team

It takes close to 5000 people to pull off one night of extravagant glitz and celebration for Hollywood’s biggest and brightest! But it all starts with the production team, and their leadership. After many years of “Oscars Too White” trending after blatant snubs to BIPOC actors, directors, writers and films, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) hired its first all-Black production team to execute the ceremony. Led by Will Packer, the renowned producer of Straight Outta Compton (2016) and The Photograph (2020), this year’s awards was produced entirely by BIPOC creators, who chose who would host, perform and present. While it’s obviously not enough for only one year, this was huge step in the right direction for the HFPA and “prestigious” awards ceremonies.

CODA and Deaf Representation at the Oscars

CODA’s nomination and win at the 94th Oscars brought with it newfound calls for all awards ceremonies to include accessible options for deaf audiences. While it’s not the first film or performance award to nominate and celebrate deaf actors, CODA comes at a time when the HFPA is pressured to adapt the way they’ve been producing these awards. The awards show, and most broadcasted Hollywood events, lack any supports for audience members. Not only did CODA’s win point to how easy it is having ASL translators at the ceremony, but it brought awareness to the etiquette and practices that can be implemented to support and welcome deaf community members. When the Best Picture award was given to the cast and crew of CODA, the audience erupting in a round of celebratory hand-waving instead of clapping, again highlighting how easy it is to embrace accessible forms of applause and communication to include everyone!

A Juno Reunion at the Oscars

One of the best moments (in my humble opinion) came when Jennifer Garner, Elliot Page, and J.K. Simmons took to the stage and brought back some of the iconic memories of the indie cult classic that launched Elliot Page into stardom. Juno, the quirky teen dramedy about teen pregnancy, family and love came out 15 years ago and some of the cast reunited to share hilarious anecdotes and memories from the set. Reminding us of hilarious phrases like “Your Eggo is Preggo” and endearing moments of love and family, this Oscars moment could only get better if Paul Bleeker himself showed up!

Lady Gaga and Liza Minelli Present Together

Whether you love her music or not, Lady Gaga continues to be an absolute stand-up class act.  While presenting with the celebrated Liza Minelli, Lady Gaga was heard whispering, “Don’t worry, I’ve got you,” to calm Liza’s nerves onstage without being condescending or drawing attention her nervousness. If that wasn’t enough, the pair clasped hands and presented the award together!

This year’s awards seemed to be a nod towards a more progressive direction where representation and celebrity status are no longer reserved exclusively for the white, cis-het, able-bodied members of Hollywood’s greatest artists and creators. Let’s hope this promising and hopeful change continues.

Hi, I'm Kailey, a fourth-year student studying Biomedical Sciences and English at the University of Ottawa. I'm an avid traveller, Starbucks dependent life-form, book lover, a devout fan of 80s music, wine addict, movie guru and a proud supporter of sweatpants and messy buns.