Global Review – 28th March

Oscar 2022: “Coda” wins Best Film

“Coda – The signs of the heart” and “ Dune” are the rulers of the 94th edition of the Night of the Oscars, divided between a “reborn” desire for cinema after the pandemic and fears related to the war in Ukraine. The statuette for the Best Film went to “Coda” – a dramatic comedy directed by Sian Hederand (a remake of the 2014 French film), starring in sign language, about a family of mute fishermen in which only one daughter is able to speak. On the night dedicated to Ukraine with the heartfelt message of Mila Kunis and the stars wearing a yellow and blue ribbon, “Coda “ won three awards out of three nominations (film, Troy Kotsur supporting actor and non-original screenplay) with the Dolby Theatre audience standing up in jubilation. With his best supporting actor win, the film’s Troy Kotsur became only the second deaf person ever to win an Oscar, following in the footsteps of his co-star Marlee Matlin, who won in 1987 for ‘Children of a Lesser God’.

Best Director went to Jane Campion for the movie “The Power of the Dog”, becoming the third woman in Oscar history to win Best Director, after Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 and Chloé Zhao last year. Will Smith was named best leading actor for King Richard. The actor had previously taken the stage to slap presenter Chris Rock after the latter had made a joke about the radical haircut of Jada Pinkett Smith, Will’s wife, who suffers from alopecia. He used his speech to apologise. Jessica Chastain was named best actress for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Ariana DeBose won best supporting actress for West Side Story, becoming the first openly queer woman of colour to win any category. Belfast was named best original screenplay, scoring a win for Kenneth Branagh. Encanto was named best animated feature, while Japan’s Drive My Car won best international feature. Summer of Soul won best documentary feature. Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell won the Oscar for best original song for “No Time to Die” from the James Bond movie of the same name. “Dunes” got six awards: Best Editing, Best Special Effects, Best Photography, Best Set Design, Best Soundtrack, Best Sound.

Ukraine: Zelensky eyeing Russia neutrality demand

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday his government was “carefully” considering a Russian demand of Ukrainian neutrality – a key point of contention as negotiators for both sides prepare for a fresh round of talks aimed at ending the month-long war. In a 90-minute interview with four independent Russian news organisations, released by Meduza despite the Moscow ban, Zelensky said such neutrality would, however, have “to be guaranted by third parties and put to a referendum”. He then went back to whipping the West by calling for more military support, accusing the allies of not having enough “courage” when it came to defending Ukraine. He asked for the urgent dispatch of fighters and heavy artillery, without which the war cannot be won.

‘Moscow wiping Russian-speaking cities in Ukraine’

President Zelensky has also accused Moscow of “wiping Russian-speaking cities in Ukraine off the face of the earth” since it invaded a month ago. Ukraine’s top humanitarian officials said 40,000 Ukrainian civilians had been trafficked to camps in Russia and Belarus. Zelensky said Russian forces had taken 2,000 children from the city, “which means they have been kidnapped”, adding that the Russians were keeping them as a “bargaining chip”.

‘Moscow trying to split Ukraine’

Reuters quotes the head of Ukrainian military intelligence saying  Russia was trying to split Ukraine in two to create a Moscow-controlled region after failing to take over the whole country. Kyrylo Budanov said in a statement it was “an attempt to create North and South Korea in Ukraine”, adding that Ukraine would soon launch guerrilla warfare in Russian-occupied territory. 

More talks in Turkey today

The next round of talks between Ukraine and Russian will take place in Turkey between today and Wednesday, according to David Arahamiya, one of the members of the Ukrainian delegation. The talks come after the Russian army said it would begin focusing on eastern Ukraine in a move some analysts saw as a scaling back of Moscow’s ambitions.

Biden again says he is not calling for regime change in Russia

US President Joe Biden clarified on Sunday that the United States did not have a policy of regime change in Russia, after his declaration that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power”. Top American diplomats on Sunday played down his declaration, and Biden, asked by a reporter as he departed a church service in Washington if he was calling for regime change in Russia, gave a one-word reply: “No”. The ad-libbed remark sparked outrage in Moscow and sowed widespread concern in Washington and abroad. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that was “not the objective of NATO, nor that of the US president”. But France’s President Emmanuel Macron warned that any escalation “in words or action” could harm his efforts in talks with Putin to agree on evacuating civilians from the devastated port city of Mariupol.

Pope calls Ukraine war ‘bestial, barbaric and sacrilegious act

Pope Francis returned to the Angelus on Sunday to pray for the end of the war in Ukraine. He spoke of the “bestiality of war”, a “barbaric and sacrilegious act”. The Pontiff underlined that “war cannot be something inevitable. It not only devastates the present but also the future of a society… and cause dramatic traumas in the smallest innocents.”

Phil Collins says goodbye to fans

Phil Collins said goodbye to his fans: the Genesis concert on Saturday in London at the 02 Arena was his last. The 71-year-old music legend said he was  no longer able to play after back surgery. Phil Collins’s health problems date back to at least 2009, when the musician suffered a crushing of the vertebrae due to the position in which he played the drums: hence a first surgery, followed by another in 2015.

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