Image Credit Whattowatch.com
It is important to recognize the overlooked achievements of the 2022 Oscar winners. The much-anticipated 94th Academy Awards took place on March 27th at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. The Academy Awards, held annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, began back on May 16th, 1929. This year’s films were considered eligible if they were released between March 1st and December 31st, 2021. The hosts were actress Regina Hall and comedians Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer. Controversy has been the focus of the awards ceremony, drawing attention away from the success of films like Coda.
Coda, a film by Apple TV+, focuses on Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones) who is the hearing child of deaf adults. Coda ended up winning its three nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Troy Kostur was the recipient of Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Frank Rossi. This is a milestone moment in movie history as he is the first deaf man to have won an acting Oscar. This film not only made waves by including a primarily deaf cast, but was also the lowest-grossing Best Picture film due to being free on a streaming service. Sian Heder won Best Adapted Screenplay as writer and director for Coda and also won the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The screenplay was based on the French-Belgian coming-of-age film La Famille Bélier.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dune managed to get the most awards. It had ten nominations and won six awards; Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Visual Effects. This is composer Hans Zimmer’s second Oscar for Best Original Score (his other being The Lion King in 1994). It is also film editor Joe Walker’s first Oscar after being nominated for Best Film Editing two other times, once with 12 Years a Slave in 2013 and then again with Arrival in 2016.
Netflix’s The Power of the Dog exceeded Dune’s nominations, placing in a total of twelve categories, but only managed to win one Oscar for Best Director. The director, Jane Campion, is the third woman to win this category and the first to receive multiple nominations for it. There are other notable achievements this year, such as the Best Live-Action Short Film, The Long Goodbye, which was written by Riz Ahmed and Aneil Karia. While Aneil directed the short, Ahmen was the lead in it, who is the first Muslim and person of Asian descent to win this award.
While it has been publicized that Will Smith has now resigned from the Academy, he was also the fifth Black man to win the Best Actor award. He starred as Richard Williams, who was the father of massively successful tennis players Serena and Venus Williams, in the biographical film King Richard.
In his acceptance speech for The Long Goodbye, Riz Ahmed said, “In such divided times, we believe that the role of the story is to remind us there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’. There’s just ‘us’.” This truly speaks as to what the purpose of film is- the ability to share stories of representation and connect people of different backgrounds and cultures.