Photo: Will Smith/Oscars 2022/ABC
If there is one way to describe the 2022 Academy Awards it would be quite simply, jaw-dropping. From the winning filmmakers, actors/actresses, and musicians walking away as champions, to the overall content and events that transpired through the night, this year’s awards show will definitely stand out as a memorable year for multiple reasons. With some shocking victories and other unexplainable losses, the Academy Awards continues to hang its entire premise on inexplicable nominations for this year’s categories.
While the show clearly intends to remain ever-present in its relation to societal representation, a number of its selections for this year’s winners seemingly contradict themselves when examining the victors of opposing brackets. This indeterminable aspect of the awards show seemingly undermines the entire ceremony. Although the private selections and judgments by the Motion Picture Academy determine the winners of the night; frequently, it leaves the viewers at home wondering once again, what is the level of bias, and will the Oscars ever represent the opinions of the public?
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Oscars 2022 Winners And Unexpected Surprises
One of the most memorable winners of this year’s Oscars was Jane Champion, earning Best Director for her work with her widely acclaimed film, ‘Power of The Dog.’ Though shockingly enough, this film went into tonight’s ceremonies with twelve Oscar nods and she was the film’s sole victor of the night. “Jane Campion is the first woman to be nominated twice for Best Director,” and her win tonight marks the second year in a row that a female director has won this particular award. Another outstanding moment of the night includes Troy Kotsur taking home the award for (Best) Actor in A Supporting Role. His victory signifies the second time in the Academy’s history that a deaf actor would win. In his speech, Kotsur credited his father as being his hero and inspiration, and concluded by announcing to the crowd, “This is dedicated to the deaf community, the CODA community, and the disabled community; this is our moment!”
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Ariana DeBose was the first openly-queer woman of color to take home an Academy Award, which was for (Best) Actress in A Supporting Role. She stated in her acceptance speech, “So to anybody who’s ever questioned your identity – ever, ever, ever — or find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this: There is, indeed, a place for us.” The film ‘Dune,’ wound up being the overwhelming winner of the night taking home six awards including Best Visual Effects, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, and Best Sound. The film ‘Coda’, took home Best Picture, Will Smith with his portrayal as King Richard won Best Actor, and Jessica Chastain for her role in ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye,’ was awarded Best Actress. Other winners of the night were ‘No Time to Die,’ for Best Original Song, ‘Encanto,’ as Best Animated Feature, ‘Cruella’ for Best Costume Design, ‘The Queen of Basketball,’ as Best Short Documentary, ‘Belfast,’ for Best Original Screenplay, and ‘Drive My Car,’ as (Best) International Feature Film.
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Shocking and Memorable Moments of 2022 Oscars
While this year’s award show was a well-timed and planned affair that started off with a powerful musical show performed by none other than the cultural icon, Beyoncé, it was not free from its unforgettable moments of shock and injustice. Firstly, this injustice was primarily highlighted by the Academy Awards’ intentional decision to remain as politically neutral as possible. When asking for a moment of silence for the war being waged in Ukraine by Vladimir Putin, the show following this silence, made a clear choice not to mention this dictator and tyrant’s name at all. They chose not to identify the true instigator of the war and instead decided to ask for a blanketed and encompassing public support for Ukraine in general. Mila Kunis when she stood up and asked for peace in these times of war, did not even mention the country of Ukraine even though in fact she is Ukrainian herself.
The Academy Awards, while being simply a ceremony to celebrate the best of Cinema, chose to speak on this on-going war but opted to essentially not use its platform for any substantial change. Though the hosts of this year’s 2022 Academy Awards did choose to publicly denounce the new legislation created in Florida that “forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.” This new law which has thusly been labeled the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill, was met by criticism by hosts Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, and Regina Hall who all chanted the word “gay,” together in a literal protest of obstinance against this bill.
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The most shocking part of night, in fact, came from the likes of Best Actor winner, Will Smith. Comedian Chris Rock during a monologue, joked about Jada Smith looking like “G.I. Jane” with her buzzed haircut. This hairstyle is a result of the medical condition alopecia which Jada Smith suffers from. Will Smith immediately took to the stage and directly approached Rock, who continued to smile and jest. Smith proceeded to forcefully slap him across the face in front of the entire awards show. He then returned to his seat as the stunned comedian struggled with awkward laughter as he stumbled over what to say, only to speak the words “Will Smith just slapped the s*** out of me!”
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Chris Rock then attempted to explain himself and his inappropriate joke to Will Smith, but this only seemed to further enrage Smith as he shouted twice to Rock in front of the entire crowd, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f****** mouth!” The crowd after hearing Smith’s expletives in an infuriated tone was hushed to silence, and the show cut to a Gospel Choir’s number, most likely in order to defuse the building tension in the room. When Smith at the end of the night won Best Actor, he apologized to the entire academy and nominees for his behavior while noticeably leaving Chris Rock off of his list of apologies.
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Critical Analysis of The 2022 Academy Awards
This awards show, while well established and seamlessly put together, lacks a fundamental aspect of what once made it great. With the knowledge that the Motion Picture Academy is the one determining the fate of the year’s winning films, there is an understood level of bias and one-sidedness that decides the victors of the Academy Awards. “Stars of ‘The Batman’ admit, favoritism does come into play. ‘Oh yeah definitely! Of course, that’s what the whole thing is, a popularity contest,’ Pattinson and Kravitz said.” This admission by these movie stars highlights the fundamental issue with the Academy Awards and its winning films. The inexplicability of how a film like ‘Dune,’ can walk away with six Academy Awards and yet the director, the very person that is tasked with the fundamental and final creation of the film, is not even nominated is baffling. How can a film like ‘Power of The Dog,’ which was nominated twelve times, more than other films this year, only walk away with a single win, which was for Best Director? How can a film like ‘Spiderman: No Way Home,’ which is now the sixth highest-grossing film of all time, and which made a running $1.8 billion only be nominated for a single category, and not even win in that group.
The answer is utterly clear. This acclaimed awards show which boasts to be the very best and most prestigious of them all is not in fact any of the sort. That is the reason, year after year, its ratings dwindle. The Oscars is rife with bias and prejudice, especially against films it dubs as the superhero genre when in fact it does not bother itself to understand them or their popularity. The only thing now that could save the Oscars is if the entire system of voting and selection for the criteria fitting the nominees of the ceremony be decided by a widespread public majority that captures the beliefs of everyone. In a system like the current one bias would be obvious but at least the decisions would make sense!
Full List of Oscars 2022 Winners:
Winner: ‘CODA’ – Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger, Producers
Nominees: ‘Belfast’, ‘Don’t Look Up’, ‘Drive My Car’, ‘Dune’, ‘King Richard’, ‘Licorice Pizza’, ‘Nightmare Alley’, ‘The Power of the Dog’, ‘West Side Story’
Winner: Jane Campion – ‘The Power of the Dog’
Nominees: Kenneth Branagh (‘Belfast’), Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (‘Drive My Car’), Paul Thomas Anderson (‘Licorice Pizza’), Steven Spielberg (‘West Side Story’)
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Best Lead Actor
Winner: Will Smith (‘King Richard’)
Nominees: Javier Bardem (‘Being the Ricardos’), Benedict Cumberbatch (‘The Power of the Dog’), Andrew Garfield (‘Tick, Tick … Boom!’), Denzel Washington (‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’)
Best Lead Actress
Winner: Jessica Chastain (‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’)
Nominees: Olivia Colman (‘The Lost Daughter’), Penélope Cruz (‘Parallel Mothers’), Nicole Kidman (‘Being the Ricardos’), Kristen Stewart (‘Spencer’)
Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Troy Kotsur (‘CODA’)
Nominees: Ciarán Hinds (‘Belfast’), Jesse Plemons (‘The Power of the Dog’), J.K. Simmons (‘Being the Ricardos’), Kodi Smit-McPhee (‘The Power of the Dog’)
Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Ariana DeBose (‘West Side Story’)
Nominees: Jessie Buckley (‘The Lost Daughter’), Judi Dench (‘Belfast’), Kirsten Dunst (‘The Power of the Dog’), Aunjanue Ellis (‘King Richard’)
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Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: ‘CODA,’ screenplay by Siân Heder
Nominees: ‘Drive My Car’ screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe, ‘Dune’ screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth, ‘The Lost Daughter’ written by Maggie Gyllenhaal, ‘The Power of the Dog’ written by Jane Campion
Best Original Screenplay
Winner: ‘Belfast,’ written by Kenneth Branagh
Nominees: ‘Don’t Look Up’ screenplay by Adam McKay; story by Adam McKay and David Sirota, ‘King Richard’ written by Zach Baylin, ‘Licorice Pizza’ written by Paul Thomas Anderson, ‘The Worst Person in the World’ written by Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier
Winner: ‘Dune’ Greig Fraser
Nominees: ‘Nightmare Alley’ Dan Laustsen, ‘The Power of the Dog’ Ari Wegner, ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’ Bruno Delbonnel, ‘West Side Story’ Janusz Kaminski
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Best Animated Feature Film
Winner: ‘Encanto’ Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer
Nominees: ‘Flee’ Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie, ‘Luca’ Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren, ‘The Mitchells vs. the Machines’ Mike Rianda, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Kurt Albrecht, ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho
Best Animated Short Film
Winner: ‘The Windshield Wiper’ Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez
Nominees: ‘Affairs of the Art’ Joanna Quinn and Les Mills, ‘Bestia’ Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz, ‘Boxballet’ Anton Dyakov, ‘Robin Robin’ Dan Ojari and Mikey Please
Best Costume Design
Winner: ‘Cruella’ Jenny Beavan
Nominees: ‘Cyrano’ Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran, ‘Dune’ Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan, ‘Nightmare Alley’ Luis Sequeira, ‘West Side Story’ Paul Tazewell
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Best Original Score
Winner: ‘Dune’ Hans Zimmer
Nominees: ‘Don’t Look Up’ Nicholas Britell, ‘Encanto’ Germaine Franco, ‘Parallel Mothers’ Alberto Iglesias, ‘The Power of the Dog’ Jonny Greenwood
Winner: ‘Dune,’ Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett
Nominees: ‘Belfast’ Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather and Niv Adiri, ‘No Time to Die’ Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey and Mark Taylor, ‘The Power of the Dog’ Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb, ‘West Side Story’ Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy
Best Original Song
Winner: “No Time To Die” from ‘No Time to Die’ Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
Nominees: “Be Alive” from ‘King Richard’ Music and Lyric by Dixson and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, “Dos Oruguitas” from ‘Encanto’ Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Down To Joy” from ‘Belfast’ Music and Lyric by Van Morrison, “Somehow You Do” from ‘Four Good Days’ Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
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Best Documentary Feature
Winner: ‘Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein
Nominees: ‘Ascension’ Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell, ‘Attica’ Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry, ‘Flee’ Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie, ‘Writing With Fire’ Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh
Best Documentary Short Subject
Winner: ‘The Queen of Basketball,’ Ben Proudfoot
Nominees: ‘Audible’ Matt Ogens and Geoff McLean, ‘Lead Me Home’ Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk, ‘Three Songs for Benazir’ Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei, ‘When We Were Bullies’ Jay Rosenblatt
Best Film Editing
Winner: ‘Dune,’ Joe Walker
Nominees: ‘Don’t Look Up,’ Hank Corwin, ‘King Richard,’ Pamela Martin, ‘The Power of the Dog,’ Peter Sciberras, ‘Tick, Tick…Boom!’ Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum
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Best International Feature Film
Winner: ‘Drive My Car’ (Japan)
Nominees: ‘Flee’ (Denmark), ‘The Hand of God’ (Italy), ‘Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom’ (Bhutan), ‘The Worst Person in the World’ (Norway)
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Winner: ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye,’ Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh
Nominees:‘ Coming 2 America,’ Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer, ‘Cruella,’ Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon, ‘Dune,’ Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr, ‘House of Gucci,’ Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras
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Best Production Design
Winner: ‘Dune,’ production design: Patrice Vermette; set decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos
Nominees: ‘Nightmare Alley,’ production design: Tamara Deverell; set decoration: Shane Vieau, ‘The Power of the Dog,’ production design: Grant Major; set decoration: Amber Richards, ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth,’ production design: Stefan Dechant; set decoration: Nancy Haigh, ‘West Side Story,’ production design: Adam Stockhausen; set decoration: Rena DeAngelo
Best Visual Effects
Winner: ‘Dune,’ Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer
Nominees: ‘Free Guy,’ Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis and Dan Sudick, ‘No Time to Die,’ Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner and Chris Corbould, ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,’ Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker and Dan Oliver, ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home,’ Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick
Best Live Action Short Film
Winner: ‘The Long Goodbye,’ Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed
Nominees: ‘Ala Kachuu – Take and Run,’ Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger, ‘The Dress,’ Tadeusz Łysiak and Maciej Ślesicki, ‘On My Mind,’ Martin Strange-Hansen and Kim Magnusson, ‘Please Hold,’ K.D. Dávila and Levin Menekse
By Thomas Jacobs
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV. media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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Thomas Jacobs is an avid writer, Cinema aficionado, and filmmaker. He graduated with Dean’s Honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a major in Film and Digital Media. His passion is directly tied to the appreciation and creation of film and television, and this fact is reflected in his intent to be a writer for the acclaimed entertainment journal, The Hollywood Insider. His beliefs mirror the core goals and mission statement of The Hollywood Insider by sharing an admiration for quality entertainment as well as bolstering a sense of positivity and equality among all humans. Thomas believes that Cinema is an advantageous promoter of civil and social empowerment, and he shares a mutual societal view with The Hollywood Insider, that people should not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.