Some of Hollywood’s biggest names have been showing their support for Ukraine on the red carpet at the Oscars.
As the 94th Annual Academy Awards opened for business, following several years hampered by COVID restrictions, some actors took their moment in the spotlight to highlight the plight of those affected by the Russian invasion.
The conflict in Ukraine has been ongoing for more than a month as Russia continues its bombardment of its neighbour.
Image: Jason Momoa wears a blue and yellow pocket square in solidarity. Pic: AP
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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 24 February.
Russian forces have continuously shelled key cities including Kharkiv, Mariupol and Kyiv, and have targeted civilian infrastructure including hospitals, schools and apartment buildings.
A quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people have been driven from their homes, with many fleeing to the west of the country or neighbouring nations such as Poland and Romania.
During the three-hour ceremony there was a moment of silence in honour of those fighting for their country and their lives.
During the 30 seconds of quiet, slides on screen said: “We’d 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 film is an important avenue for us to express our humanity in times of conflict, the reality is 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 are able #standwithukraine.”
Image: Ashton Kutcher, left, and Mila Kunis have raised tens of millions for Ukraine. Pic: AP
Who won what at this year’s Oscars – full list of winners
Actress Mila Kunis referenced the crisis as she announced singer Reba McEntire to the stage.
The 38-year-old star said: “Recent global events have left us feeling gutted yet when you witness the strength and dignity of those facing such devastation it’s impossible not to be moved by their resilience.
“One cannot help but be in awe of those who find strength to keep fighting through unimaginable darkness.”
Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, in western Ukraine, and lived there until she was seven when her family moved to LA in search of a better life.
Along with her actor husband Ashton Kutcher, Kunis has raised around $35 million (£26.5m) after setting up a fund to support refugees. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has personally thanked the pair for their efforts.
Image: Hosts Amy Schumer, from left, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall
Fifty years after making the movie The Godfather, director Francis Ford Coppola and actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro were reunited on stage.
Marking the film’s anniversary, Coppola concluded his speech, in which he paid tribute to two of his collaborators on the iconic crime drama about the Corleone mafia family, by saying “Viva Ukraine!” as the trio left the stage.
Prior to the ceremony, several stars used fashion to mark their support for the people of Ukraine on the red carpet.
Image: (R-L) Al Pacino, Francis Ford Coppola and and Robert De Niro reunited. Pic: AP
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 of 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 hosted by three female presenters – Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall.
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2:19 Minutes before winning Best Actor, Will Smith had marched on to the stage and smacked comedian Chris Rock in the face
The most talked about moment of the evening came about when Will Smith took to the stage and slapped Chris Rock, after the comedian made an ill-judged joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
Smith went on to win best actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams (the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena) in biopic King Richard.
History was made several times over, with Apple TV Plus’s coming of age drama CODA (which stands for child of deaf adult) taking best picture – marking the first time a streaming platform offering has taken the top prize.
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One of the movie’s stars – Troy Kotsur – also made history, becoming the first deaf actor to take home a gong, winning best supporting actor.
He gave a moving tribute to his father, who he described as “the best signer in our family, but he was in a car accident and he became paralysed from the neck down and he was no longer able to sign”.
Image: Coda got the biggest prize of the night – best picture – reinforcing the importance of authentic casting
Jessica Chastain took best actress for her role of the titular televangelist in The Eyes Of Tammy Faye, while Ariana DeBose took best supporting actress for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story.
Jane Campion took best director for gothic western Power Of The Dog, becoming only 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 black and white biopic Belfast – dedicating the prize to the city.
Dune mopped up all the early technical awards, nabbing four of the eight craft categories which had been pushed out of the main show and pre-recorded an hour before curtain up.
It took the biggest haul of the night, winning six of the ten awards it was up for, including sound, cinematography, editing and visual effects.