Some of Hollywood’s biggest names showed their support for Ukraine on the Oscars red carpet.
As the 94th Annual Academy Awards open for business, after several years hampered by COVID restrictions, some actors used their moment in the spotlight to highlight the plight of those affected by the Russian invasion.
The conflict in Ukraine has been going on for more than a month as Russia continues its bombardment of its neighbour.
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More than 1,000 civilians have been killed since President Vladimir Putin announced what he called a “special military operation” on February 24.
Russian forces continuously shelled key cities including Kharkiv, Mariupol and Kyiv, and targeted civilian infrastructure including hospitals, schools and apartment buildings.
A quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people have been driven from their homes, and many have fled to the west of the country or to neighboring countries such as Poland and Romania.
During the three-hour ceremony, there was a minute of silence in honor of those who fight for their country and their lives.
During the 30 seconds of silence, slides on the screen read: “We would like to have a moment of silence to show our support for the people of Ukraine currently facing invasion, conflict and prejudice within their own borders. .
“While cinema is an important way for us to express our humanity in times of conflict, the reality is that millions of families in Ukraine need food, medical care, clean water and emergency services. .
“Resources are scarce and we, collectively as a global community, can do more.
“We ask you to support Ukraine in any way you can #standwithukraine.”
Who won what at this year’s Oscars – full list of winners
Actress Mila Kunis referenced the crisis when announcing singer Reba McEntire on stage.
The 38-year-old star said: “Recent world events have left us empty, but when you witness the strength and dignity of those facing such devastation, it’s impossible not to be moved by their resilience.
“One can’t help but be impressed by those who find the strength to keep fighting in unimaginable darkness.”
Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, western Ukraine, and lived there until she was seven, when her family moved to Los Angeles in search of a better life.
With her actor husband Ashton Kutcher, Kunis has raised approximately $35 million (£26.5million) after setting up a fund to support refugees. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy personally thanked the two men for their efforts.
Fifty years after making The Godfather, director Francis Ford Coppola and actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro have reunited on stage.
On the film‘s anniversary, Coppola concluded his speech, in which he paid tribute to two of his collaborators in the iconic mafia family crime drama Corleone, saying “Viva Ukraine!” as the trio left the stage.
Ahead of the ceremony, several stars used fashion to show their support for the Ukrainian people on the red carpet.
Aquaman star Jason Momoa wore a blue and yellow pocket square and told Sky News on the red carpet: “It’s absolutely important to raise awareness about the refugee crisis… I just wanted to show solidarity .”
Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis wore a blue refugee ribbon on her finger, which read ‘with refugees’.
This year’s awards were presented by three presenters – Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall.
The most talked about moment of the evening came when Will Smith took the stage and slapped Chris Rockafter the comedian made a misguided joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
Black-smith went on to win Best Actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams (the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena) in the biopic King Richard.
History has been written many times over, with Apple TV Plus coming-of-age drama CODA (which stands for Deaf Adult’s Child) taking the best shot – marking the first time a platform offering streaming wins first prize.
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One of the film’s stars – Troy Kotsur – also made history by becoming the first deaf actor to bring home a gong, winning the Best Supporting Actor award.
He paid a moving tribute to his father, whom he described as ‘the best signer in our family, but he was in a car accident and he became paralyzed from the neck down and he was no longer able to sign “.
Jessica Chastain won Best Actress for her role as the titular televangelist in The Eyes Of Tammy Faye, while Ariana DeBose won Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story.
Jane Campion won Best Director for the gothic western Power Of The Dog, becoming the third woman to win the award in the show’s 94-year history. She follows Kathryn Bigelow 14 years ago and Chloe Zhao last year.
Sir Kenneth Branagh won Best Original Screenplay for the black-and-white biopic Belfast – dedicating the award to the city.
Dune mopped up all the early tech awards, winning four of the eight craft categories that had been excluded from the main show and pre-recorded one hour before the curtain goes up.
It took the biggest hit of the night, winning six of the ten awards it was up for, including sound, cinematography, editing and visual effects.