What was billed as a return to normal for the Oscars, after the pandemic forced a smaller ceremony last year, proved anything but when a beef developed, live and on stage, between presenter Chris Rock and acting nominee (and eventual winner) Will Smith.

Rock, presenting the documentary prize, made a joke that seemed to make light of Jada Pinkett Smith's hair loss from alopecia, and Smith mounted the stage to hit Rock and swear at him. That overshadowed Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson's speech when he accepted the documentary prize for "Summer of Soul," moments later, and it seemed to be the focus of Smith's speech when he won best actor for "King Richard" three categories later.

"In this business, you hear people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and pretend like that is OK," a weeping Smith said, perhaps recalling another joke Rock told about his wife when he hosted in 2016.

In one of the rawest — and longest — speeches in Oscar history, Smith spoke about how his character, Richard Williams, protected his family and how he feels called to protect others. In a speech that fell somewhere between a defense and an apology to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Smith insisted, "I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world."

The audience probably was relieved when the remaining awards went smoothly, including the presentation of the actress trophy to Jessica Chastain, who addressed her speech to those who feel "hopeless and alone." Chastain is at least the third best actress winner who played a Minnesotan; her Tammy Faye Bakker, from International Falls, was preceded by Frances McDormand's "Fargo" character, Brainerd's Marge Gunderson, and Renee Zellweger's "Judy" Garland.

Before and after the Smith/Rock incident, the theme of many speeches, including Chastain's, was healing. Riz Ahmed, who coproduced the winning short film "The Long Goodbye," said its message is, "There is no us and them. There's just us." And Questlove, trying to move past the incident, wept as he told viewers "Summer of Soul," about a huge 1969 music festival, was a tribute to "marginalized people in Harlem who needed to heal."

"CODA," which premiered in January 2021 at the virtual Sundance Film Festival, took the best picture prize, as well as those for supporting actor Troy Kotsur and screenwriter Sian Heder. The film about a hearing girl who comes from a deaf family is the sort of inspirational crowd-pleaser Oscar voters often love. Its win brought Duluth resident Daniel Durant to the stage. He plays the deaf brother of the lead character in "CODA."

Ariana DeBose won the sole award for "West Side Story" but it was a historic win. She earned her supporting actress Oscar for her portrayal of singing, dancing and grieving Anita, the same role that earned Rita Moreno that trophy 60 years ago. DeBose saluted Moreno, who's also in the remake, who was in the audience clapping for her and who is the only other Latina to have won an acting Oscar.

DeBose, who identifies as both queer and Afro-Latina, saluted those communities in her speech, quoting a Stephen Sondheim lyric she sang in "West Side Story," "I like to be in America."

"Even in this weary world we live in, dreams do come true and that's really a heartening thing right now," said DeBose, adding another lyric by Sondheim, who died last November, "There's a place for us."

'CODA" supporting actor winner Troy Kotsur also saluted his communities. The actor, who is deaf, gave his speech in American Sign Language. He paid tribute to the deaf, CODA (Children of Deaf Adults) and disabled communities that have nurtured him, as well as the deaf theaters in which he has mostly practiced his art.

Accepting the award from last year's "Minari" supporting actress recipient, Yuh-Jung Youn (who signed his name in announcing him as the winner), Kotsur promised costar and fellow deaf Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, "Don't worry, Marlee. I won't drop any f-bombs."

The big winner of the night was "Dune," which earned many of its six trophies in the craft categories presented just before the Oscar telecast. In video highlights from the pre-ceremony, winner after winner thanked the film's grinning (but un-nominated himself) director Denis Villeneuve. "CODA," with three Oscars, was the runner-up.

Jane Campion became the second female director in a row to win (and only the third ever). Following Chloé Zhao's "Nomadland" trophy in 2021, Campion won for "The Power of the Dog," a contender for most of the major awards that went home with just one.

The producers of animation winner "Encanto" acknowledged something presenters had joked about earlier in the evening, that parents of young children have seen the Disney movie that came out in November dozens of times by now.

The Japanese "Drive My Car," which had a chance to pull a "Parasite" — that is, win not just international feature but also higher-profile awards such as picture and director — had to be content with taking home Japan's fifth trophy for a foreign-language film.

Some records were not necessarily happy ones. "Flee," which broke records by being nominated for international feature (it's Danish), documentary feature and animated featured, lost in all three categories. And only one of the year's top 10 box office hits took home an award; James Bond thriller "No Time to Die" won for its song, written by the surprisingly bubbly brother-and-sister team of Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell.