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

You may have heard that the Oscars were this past Sunday. I think it’s safe to say this was the most entertaining Academy Awards for years. Let’s get into it: the nominees, the winners, the outfits, the drama, not to mention the ceremony itself.

I sat down to watch the Oscars right from the Red Carpet Pre-Show, all the way to the Vanity Fair After Party. What a day! Personally, I love to hone in on the red carpet outfits and attendees. I don’t claim to be a fashion expert, but, when it comes to judging red carpet style, I turn into Anna Wintour. I’m proud to report most people looked amazing! From Kristen Stewart rocking it in shorts, Lupita Nyong’o dressing up in gold in an Oscar cosplay, Timothée Chalamet deciding to forgo a shirt, to Simu Liu’s red-carpet matching suit. I loved it.

Celebrity interviews at the Oscars always seem a little off.  Maybe it’s the stress and the repetitive “who are you hoping to see tonight?” from the interviewers, but it was a much-needed serotonin boost when the charismatic Andrew Garfield rolled up. In an interview with “Tick Tick…Boom!” co-star Vanessa Hudgens, his winning personality shone through. . Regardless of what the committee thinks, Andrew, you deserve your Oscar one day, even just for being a nice person. 

Personally, I loved seeing TikTok star Emily Uribe take to the red carpet to interview guests. She went viral in 2021 for sketches that manifested her fantasy Hollywood career, and just look at her now- invited to the Oscars. My favourite moment was when she subtly let Timothée Chalamet know that he had something in his teeth- she’s a real one. 

The actual ceremony of the Oscars felt very rushed. Ratings and the number of viewers have been declining steadily for years, and to combat this, the Academy introduced fast-paced cuts and speeches and presented some awards during commercial breaks. Personally, I love the spectacle of the Oscars. I’d be okay with a longer ceremony, especially as it allows more time to appreciate everyone’s talents. At least, let us hear from everyone who won an award! If I ever make it big and win an Oscar, only for the orchestra to play music over my speech, let’s just say, I would never show my face again.

I genuinely loved the hosts, and wish we could have seen more of them. Interjections from Regina Hall, Amy Schumer, and Wanda Sykes made the Oscars more entertaining than just a repetitive cycle of awards, speech, awards, speech. I died when Amy came down from the ceiling in full Spider-Man garb and started spraying silly string at Wanda’s Richard Williams and Hall’s Tammy Faye. 

As for the many clips presented during the ceremony from old movies;  my only question is… why? They may be designed to celebrate cinematic history but in a ceremony that’s already short on time, this was entirely unnecessary. I don’t know who asked for it, but the assumption is that it was to boost audiences’ recognition and appreciation. It almost felt like a spoof, when Cinderella, starring Camila Cabello was voted the Best Movie of 2021. In my opinion, the best movie of the year was surely Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho. Or at least Spider-Man: No Way Home, could have got this recognition.

Generally, the presentation of the awards was up to standard,  nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Of course, until that moment. 

In the twist that everyone, and their mom, are talking about, Chris Rock came onstage to introduce Best Documentary Feature, and the popular comedian decided to do some crowd work. After Rock compared Jada Pinkett-Smith to the 1997 movie G.I. Jane, in reference to her recently shaved head, her husband, Will Smith took it upon himself to storm on stage to give Chris Rock the slap heard around the world. Like a lot of people, I assumed this was another silly Oscars planned bit. However, when my T.V. cut out the audio due to Smith shouting obscenities, it became uncomfortably clear that this was not rehearsed. 

Everyone seems to have an opinion on it. To me, Smith seemed out of line, he could have spoken to Rock during commercials if he wished to confront him. People attending the Oscars have since reflected that the room went so quiet during this altercation, you could hear a pin drop. Unfortunately, so many talented filmmakers had a dark cloud cast over their big night. This includes Smith himself, who was nominated for Best Actor for his work in King Richard. Apparently, after this violent outburst, the Academy asked Smith to leave, but he refused. As a big-time actor, I guess you can just refuse to leave events, even when explicitly asked by the organizers? Even so, Smith’s actions did not seem to have immediate consequences,  as barely twenty minutes later, he won Best Actor and received a standing ovation. A true sign of Hollywood’s loyalty to problematic, egotistical men. Not many people can hit a presenter and win one of the entertainment industry’s most prestigious awards minutes later. I assume we will see these events continue to unravel over the weeks to come. I, for one, am curious to see how it plays out. 

For better or for worse, this was a memorable Oscars. Although viewings are steadily going down, I will remain a loyal watcher of this ceremony. If I don’t have enough drama going on in my life, at least there’s a way to get my fix of tea – from Hollywood’s rich and famous. I hope the producers can bite the bullet and keep the show at a longer length, giving each of the winners their well-deserved moment. Perhaps, in future, everyone could remain in their seats for the whole show. 

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Nicole H

U Vic '24