The 94th Oscars Ceremony was already problematic before Will Smith struck Chris Rock

A visibly-emotional Will Smith sits down after having slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Dolby Theatre – PHOTO: AMPAS, 2022.

Others may disagree but the Academy Awards ceremony — arguably Hollywood’s biggest night — is never boring to me. Some cinephiles think of it like their Super Bowl, their WrestleMania, but I don’t think anyone expected the ceremony to devolve into a contact sport as it briefly did in the Dolby Theatre at the 94th Academy Awards, when one of Hollywood’s last name-brand movie stars, the almost-always cool Will Smith, lost his temper. It was certainly one of the uglier moments in Oscar history, and it also topped what was previously the craziest moment in Oscar history.

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94th Academy Awards – Nomination Predictions – Mid-January

From Left to Right: Posters for The Power of the Dog (Netflix), Dune (Warner Bros.), West Side Story (20th Century Studios), Belfast (Focus Features / Universal).

The new year just started, and yet it feels like the first month of the year has almost come to an end. So, today, before the final major guilds (and the BAFTAs) share their film award nominations, I am ready to share my own predictions for the upcoming 94th edition of the Oscars (except for the short film categories). The recent SAG nominations really changed my thoughts on Best Actress, but they (and the BAFTA longlists) also focused my thoughts on Best Picture, which I feel pretty good about right now, even though the film I’m predicting to win may not be the most accessible film that I’m predicting to be nominated for the top award. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

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REVIEW: King Richard (2021)

Will Smith as the titular character (right) with the Williams sisters (played by Demi Singleton and Saniyya Sidney) in KING RICHARD — PHOTO: Warner Bros.

Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green — Screenplay by Zach Baylin.

Reinaldo Marcus Green’s King Richard tells the story of how Richard Williams (played by Will Smith) helped to shepherd and develop the Williams sisters — Venus (played by Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (played by Demi Singleton) — on their journey to tennis stardom. His determination to make a better life for his daughters brought them far, but in order for them to take the final steps to superstardom, he had to learn how to step back a bit.

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