The 2022 Oscars: A Night Of High Highs And Low Lows

Ariana DeBose And CODA Historic Win Is Overshadowed By Will Smith

The Academy wanted to shake things up for the 93rd Oscars and boy did they get their wish.

After having the lowest ratings in the show’s history last year, ABC, the Academy, and show producer Will Packer made major changes to the ceremony starting with presenting eight technical awards off-air. Snippets of speeches for the Best Sound (Dune), Best Documentary Short Subject (The Queen of Basketball), Best Animated Short (The Windshield Wiper), Best Live Action Short (The Long Goodbye), Best Original Score (Dune), Best Film Editing (Dune), Best Production Design (Dune), and Best Makeup and Hairstyling (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) were shown throughout the broadcast.

The 2022 ceremony also marked the return of the Oscar host. This time Wanda Sykes, Regina Hall, and Amy Schumer led the festivities with biting humor and grace, tackling subjects such as Florida’s Don’t Say Gay Bill and Texas’ Restrictive Voting practices.

They took aim at many of this year’s controversies including The Power of the Dog’s slow pacing, the lack of critical acclaim for Don’t Look Up, and writer/director Aaron Sorkin failing to capture Lucille Ball’s comedic brilliance in Being The Ricardos. “If you’re Aaron Sorkin, how you make a movie about the most iconic female comedian and not one laugh… It’s like making a biopic about Michael Jordan and just showing the bus trips between games,” Schumer joked.

Once the awards started to get underway, the hosts disappeared rather quickly, showing back up occasionally with bits that were actually funny, contrasting to past Oscar ceremonies.

Dune won 6 awards tonight, winning four before the show even officially started. CODA also had a great run, becoming the first Sundance film to win Best Picture. Its win gives Apple TV the coveted title as the first streaming service to produce a Best Picture winner.

The film continued its Oscar success with Troy Kotsur winning Best Supporting Actor. Ariana DeBose won in the Best Supporting Actress category for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story. As the first openly queer woman of color to win the award, she thanked her predecessor Rita Moreno and triumphantly ended her speech saying ‘There is a place for us. Jessica Chastain expectedly took home the Oscar for Best Actress for her role as Tammy Faye Baker in The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

Will Smith finally won an Academy Award for his role in King Richard, where he was the frontrunner for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams’ father. This came after what is sure to be the night’s most talked about moment. Chris Rock came out to present the award for Best Documentary, where he commented that Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett looked like “G.I. Jane” with a nearly shaved head. The actress suffers from alopecia. Needless to say, the comment did not go over well with Smith. The actor has had a contentious history with Rock on past Oscar broadcasts took out his frustrations by slapping the comedian then proceeding to yell, “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth.”

The moment was confusing for audiences both at home and in the Dolby theater, the full uncensored clip being pulled from the Australian and Japanese broadcasts. Smith used his acceptance speech not 15 minutes later to justify his actions, calling himself a “protector” of the women on King Richard and in his personal life. He did apologize to the Academy and to the audience for his behavior. He ended his speech saying, “I hope the Academy invites me back.”

The night’s entire vibe was slightly off after that. A moment that should have been one of triumph for Smith, whose long career has had ups and downs on and off the Oscar stage, ended in a complicated mess. Schumer, Sykes, and Halls lack of screen time and the already long broadcast prevent anything from righting the ship.

Here is the full list of winners and nominees for the 93rd Academy Awards:

Best Picture

“Belfast”
“CODA” (Winner)
“Don’t Look Up”
“Drive My Car”
“Dune”
“King Richard”
“Licorice Pizza”
“Nightmare Alley”
“The Power of the Dog”
“West Side Story”

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (Winner)
Olivia Colman, “The Lost Daughter”
Penelope Cruz, “Parallel Mothers”
Nicole Kidman, “Being the Ricardos”
Kristen Stewart, “Spencer”

Best Actor

Javier Bardem, “Being the Ricardos”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog”
Andrew Garfield, “Tick, Tick, Boom”
Will Smith, “King Richard” (Winner)
Denzel Washington, “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Best Director

Kenneth Branagh, “Belfast”
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, “Drive My Car”
Paul Thomas Anderson, “Licorice Pizza”
Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog” (Winner)
Steven Spielberg, “West Side Story”

Best Original Song

“Be Alive” from “King Richard”
“Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto”
“Down to Joy” from “Belfast”
“No Time to Die” from “No Time to Die” (Winner)
“Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days”

Best Documentary Feature

“Ascension”
“Attica”
“Flee”
“Summer of Soul” (Winner)
“Writing with Fire”

Best Adapted Screenplay

“CODA,” Sian Heder (Winner)
“Drive My Car,” Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
“Dune,” Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth
“The Lost Daughter,” Maggie Gyllenhaal
“The Power of the Dog,” Jane Campion

Best Original Screenplay

“Belfast,” Kenneth Branagh (Winner)
“Don’t Look Up,” Adam McKay, Story by McKay and David Sirota
“King Richard,” Zack Baylin
“Licorice Pizza,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Worst Person in the World,” Eskil Vogt and Joachim Trier

Best Costume Design

“Cruella” (Winner)
“Cyrano”
“Dune”
“Nightmare Alley”
“West Side Story”

Best International Feature Film

“Drive My Car” (Winner)
“Flee”
“The Hand of God”
“Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom”
“The Worst Person in the World”

Best Supporting Actor

Ciarán Hinds, “Belfast”
Troy Kotsur, “CODA” (Winner)
Jesse Plemons, “The Power of the Dog”
JK Simmons, “Being the Ricardos”
Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Power of the Dog”

Best Animated Feature

“Encanto” (Winner)
“Flee”
“Luca”
“The Mitchells vs. the Machines”
“Raya and the Last Dragon”

Best Visual Effects

“Dune” (Winner)
“Free Guy”
“No Time to Die”
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”
“Spider-Man: No Way Home”

Best Cinematography

“Dune” (Winner)
“Nightmare Alley”
“The Power of the Dog”
“The Tragedy of Macbeth”
“West Side Story”

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley, “The Lost Daughter”
Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story” (Winner)
Judi Dench, “Belfast”
Kirsten Dunst, “The Power of the Dog”
Aunjanue Ellis, “King Richard”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

“Coming 2 America”
“Cruella”
“Dune”
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (Winner)
“House of Gucci”

Best Production Design

“Dune” (Winner)
“Nightmare Alley”
“The Power of the Dog”
“The Tragedy of Macbeth”
“West Side Story”

Best Editing

“Don’t Look Up”
“Dune” (Winner)
“King Richard”
“The Power of the Dog”
“Tick, Tick, Boom”

Best Original Score

“Don’t Look Up”
“Dune” (Winner)
“Encanto”
“Parallel Mothers”
“The Power of the Dog

Best Live Action Short

“Ala Kachuu – Take and Run”
“The Dress”
“The Long Goodbye” (Winner)
“On My Mind”
“Please Hold”

Best Animated Short

“Affairs of the Art”
“Bestia”
“Boxballet”
“Robin Robin”
“The Windshield Wiper” (Winner)

Best Documentary Short Subject

“Audible”
“Lead Me Home”
“The Queen of Basketball” (Winner)
“Three Songs for Benazir”
“When We Were Bullies”

Best Sound

“Belfast”
“Dune” (Winner)
“No Time to Die”
“The Power of the Dog”
“West Side Story”

A D.C area native, Cortland has been interested in media since birth. Taking film classes in high school and watching the classics with family instilled a love of film in Cortland’s formative years. Before graduating with a degree in English and minoring in Film Study from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Cortland ran the college’s radio station, where she frequently reviewed films on air. She then wrote for another D.C area publication before landing at Punch Drunk Critics. Aside from writing and interviewing, she enjoys podcasts, knitting, and talking about representation in media.