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Oscars 2022: Few historical moments, many memorable wins- Cinema express

Oscars 2022: A surprise Best Picture winner, an expected sweep, and a shocking slap

Dune dominated this year’s Oscars with as many as six awards

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Published: 28th March 2022

When Denis Villeneuve's space opera Dune earned 10 Oscar nominations earlier this year, it hinted at resounding wins, at least in the technical categories. With the Oscar's evening now past us, the predictions have come true with the sci-fi actioner winning six awards (the most won by a single film this year), and sweeping most of the technical categories, including sound (Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett), original score (Hans Zimmer's second win in the category), editing (Joe Walker), production design (Patrice Vermette and Zsuzsanna Sipos), cinematography (Greig Fraser's first) and finally, the lifeline of modern blockbusters, visual effects (Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer).

The big surprise of the evening came in the form CODA bagging the coveted Best Picture prize. While it remains one of the most celebrated films of 2021, award pundits did not deem it to be a front-runner in a category that was populated by dominant titles such as DuneThe Power of the Dog (which led the pack with twelve nominations), West Side Story (the Steven Speilberg directorial earned seven nominations) and Belfast (once again, seven)Interestingly, CODA won in all the three categories it received nominations in. Troy Kotsur made Oscars history as the first deaf man to win an acting award following his win in the Best Supporting Actor category for CODA. Kotsur's acceptance speech in sign language, where he cited his father, "the best signer in the family," as his primary inspiration, was undoubtedly the most profound moment from the ceremony and his address was met with a delightful reception, with the film's team applauding in sign language. Furthermore, Sian Heder, the film's director, won the Best Adapted Screenplay award.

While The Power of the Dog didn't bag as many awards as expected, the film did win in one of the most important categories, with Jane Campion receiving the Best Director award. Campion, who made history by becoming the first woman to be nominated twice in the Best Director category, become the third woman in the Oscars history to win the coveted award. She is also the second woman in a row to walk away with the best director trophy following Chloe Zhao's win for Nomadland last year.

In another significant win, Drive My Car, which became the first Japanese film to score a nomination in the Best Picture category, won the Best International Feature film. Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell won Best Original Song for 'No Time To Die' from the eponymous Bond movie, while Jenny Beaven won her third Oscar award in the Best Costume Design category for Cruella.

As the evening seemed to be heading towards a fairly sedate end, things took an ugly turn when an incensed Will Smith slapped Chris Rock for a joke the latter made on the appearance of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith, who went on to win his first Oscar for his performance as an ambitious father in King Richard, later apologised for his misbehaviour in his acceptance speech. A teary-eyed Smith said, "I want to apologise to the Academy, I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment, and I am not crying for winning an award. It's not about winning an award for me. Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”

Though West Side Story didn't leave a strong impact, Ariana DeBose took the Best Supporting Actress trophy home for her portrayal of Anita in the period musical. On a similar vein, Jessica Chastain earned her first Oscar for her performance as the later singer and evangelist, Tammy Faye, in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Notably, Chastain was among the few stars to vocally express their disappointment at The Academy's decision to present awards for eight categories (Documentary short, Film editing, Makeup and hairstyling, Original Score, Production Design, Animated short, Live-action short, Sound) offline, in order to make the show ‘more accessible’ for TV viewers. While The Academy has stood by its new decision this year, it remains to be seen whether the practice will continue or cease to exist next year, considering the flak it has drawn.

India came quite close to Oscars glory as Writing with Fire by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas was nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category, but the film ultimately lost to Summer of Soul.

Ultimately and unfortunately, the evening may well be remembered for Will Smith’s hot temper, and not the Academy’s recognition of his terrific performance in King Richard.

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