Some Of The Biggest Winners At The 94th Oscars Ceremony

By: Keilany Ligons

This year’s Oscar ceremony was momentous for many people in the film industry (in positive and unfortunate ways). From films like Coda and Drive My Car, to actors like Ariana Debose and Troy Kotsur, this year made history in several categories.

Best Actress In A Supporting Role – Ariana Debose

   After winning a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, a Critics’ Choice Award, and a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for her breakout role as Anita in Steven Speilberg’s remake of “West Side Story”, Ariana Debose continued to make more history at the Oscars. Just as Rita Moreno did for her role as Anita in the original film in 1961, Ariana has won an Oscar in the same category for the same role, making this the third time to ever happen. This has also made Debose the second Latina to ever win an acting Oscar, and the first Afro-Latina and openly queer woman to win an acting Oscar.

“Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus. When you look into her eyes, you see an openly queer woman of color, an Afro-Latina, who found her strength in life through art. And that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate. So to anybody who’s ever questioned your identity ever, ever, ever or you find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this: There is indeed a place for us.”

~Nominees~

 Judi Dench (Belfast

Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)

Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)

Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)

Best Actor In A Supporting Role – Troy Kotsur

   35 years after his co-star, Marlee Matlin became the first deaf actor to ever win an Oscar for his role in “Children of a Lesser God”, Troy Kotsur made his mark in history by becoming the second deaf actor to win an Oscar, and the first deaf actor to be nominated and win in this category for his role in “CODA”. Kotsur had also previously won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for this role.

“I really want to thank all of the wonderful deaf theater stages where I was able to develop my craft as an actor. My dad, he was the best signer in our family but he was in a car accident and he became paralyzed from the neck down and was no longer able to sign … you are my hero.”

~Nominees~

Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog)

J.K. Simmons (Being the Ricardos)

Kodi Smit McPhee (The Power of the Dog)

Ciarán Hinds (Belfast)

Best Documentary Feature – Summer of Soul

   After spinning music at last year’s ceremony, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson now has an award of his own for directorial debut for this documentary. Questlove accepted this award along with producers Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent, and David Dinerstein.

“It’s not lost on me that the story of the Harlem Cultural Festival should have been something that my beautiful mother, my dad, should have taken me to when I was five years old, and… this is such a stunning moment for me right now.”

Best Visual Effects – Dune

   Another award won by “Dune”, the VFX team for this film each took their own Oscars home. This was Paul Lambert’s third win and nomination, Tristan Myles, and Gerd Nefzer’s second wins and nominations, and Brian Connor’s first win and nomination. 

“VFX is a team effort of hundreds of people around the world, so huge congratulations to all the artists and production.”

~Nominees~

Free Guy

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Spider-Man: No Way Home

No Time to Die

Best Animated Feature – Encanto

   One of the biggest animated movies to be released in theaters last year, “Encanto” has been on everyone’s minds since Thanksgiving. Despite not winning in the Original Song category, the popular film took home the award for Best Animated Feature, and it was made more memorable as the presenters were actresses who are previous and upcoming live-action Disney Princesses. The award was presented by Lily James, who played the title role in “Cinderella”, Naomi Scott, who played Jasmine in “Aladdin”, and Halle Bailey, who is playing Ariel in the upcoming adaptation of “The Little Mermaid”.

“I am so proud to be a part of a film that puts beautiful, diverse characters in front and center, and that people everywhere are seeing themselves in the film.”

~Nominees~

Luca

Raya and the Last Dragon

Flee

Mitchels vs. the Machines

Best Original Song – Billie Eilish & FINNEAS

   The Grammy-winning sibling duo has returned to the Oscars, this time taking home awards of their own for their song “No Time to Die” from the James Bond film of the same name. The two have definitely made their mark in this category as this is the third time a James Bond film has won in the category; the first written by American songwriters. They are also the first sibling duo to win the award in 1964, and Billie is the second youngest winner in the category at 20 years old.

“Lastly, we want to thank our parents who have always been our biggest inspirations and heroes, and we love you as our parents and we love you as real people too. Thank you so much to the academy, we promise not to lose these.”

~Nominees~

Be Alive – Beyoncé Knowles-Carter & Darius Scott (King Richard)

Dos Orugitas – Lin Manuel Miranda (Encanto)

Down to Joy – Van Morrison (Belfast)

Somehow You Do – Dianne Warren (Four Good Days)

Best Costume Design – Jenny Beavan

    After winning in 2016 for “Mad Max: Fury Road”, Jenny Beavan won her second win and eleventh nomination in costume design for her work in the live-action Disney film “Cruella”, an origin story for the iconic “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella De Vil.

“I have to say, when Kristin Burr and Craig Gillespie asked me to do this movie, I truly didn’t think we had time. I mean, I actually nearly said no. Glad I didn’t. The only reason I didn’t was because Clare Spragge, who’s just sitting there sparkling, said she would come on board as costume supervisor and bring the team, the team of the most phenomenal, creative, clever, generous, amazing people without whom obviously it wouldn’t have happened.”

~Nominees~

Massimo Cantini Parrini (Cyrano)

Jacqueline West (Dune)

Luis Sequeira (Nightmare Alley)

Paul Tazewell (West Side Story)

Best International Film Feature – Drive My Car

   Another mark in Oscar history, “Drive My Car” became the second Japanese film to win in this category, along with being the first Japanese film to be nominated for Best Picture. Based on the short story of the same name, this film gave director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi his first two nominations and first win.

“I think this story about loss and then also about how to live on after this loss, I think this story somehow resonated with a lot of people here.” 

~Nominees~

Flee

Hand of God

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

The Worst Person in the World

Best Original Score – Dune

   This was Hans Zimmer’s second win, the last being for “The Lion King” in 1995, and his eleventh nomination. He, unfortunately, wasn’t in attendance, so Jason Mamoa, who played Duncan in the winning film, accepted the award on his behalf.

~Nominees~

Nicholas Britell (Don’t Look Up)

Germaine Franco (Encanto)

Jonny Greenwood (The Power of the Dog)

Alberto Iglesias (Parallel Mothers)

Best Directing – Jane Campion

   In her second nomination, Campion won her first Oscar for directing the western drama “The Power of the Dog”. This has made her the third woman to win the Best Director in Oscar history, and the first woman to be in the category twice.

“I’m very proud to have won tonight for my film and my crew and my cast, but also just to be another woman who’s going to be followed by a 6th, 7th, 8th. Very excited that this is moving fast now. We need it. Equality matters.”

~Nominees~

Paul Thoman Anderson (Licorice Pizza)

Steven Speilberg (West Side Story)

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car)

Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)

Best Actor In A Leading Role – Will Smith

  Not even thirty minutes after he smacked Chris Rock in the face before the Best Documentary Feature was announced, Will Smith became the fifth Black man in Oscar history to win in this category for playing the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams in “King Richard”. This came just two months after the passing of Sidney Poitier, the first Black man to win.

“I’m being called on in my life to love people, and to protect people, and to be a river to my people. And I know we do what we do, and you gotta be able to take abuse and have people talk crazy about you. In this business, people abuse you, and you gotta smile and pretend like that’s ok.”

~Nominees~

Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos)

Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick… Boom!)

Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)

Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)

Best Actress In A Leading – Jessica Chastain 

   Chastain can now add an Oscar for the numerous awards she has won for her role as Tammy Faye Bakker in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”. While this is her first-ever win, this is her second nomination in the category and third overall.

“We’re faced with discriminatory and bigoted legislation that is sweeping our country with the only goal of further dividing us. In times like this, I think of Tammy, and I’m inspired by her radical acts of love.”

~Nominees~

Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter)

Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos)

Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers)

Best Picture – CODA

   Originally released at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, then on Apple+, “CODA” became the first film distributed by a streaming service to win the most anticipated award of the ceremony. The film also is the first with a largely deaf cast to win the award. 

“I want to thank also the incredible crew that we had, including the fishermen community in Gloucester, the incredible team at Apple TV. They’ve been absolutely amazing from day one and really were able to basically put this movie everywhere in the world. Really thank you, all of you. All of you and the most amazing team.”

~Nominees~

West Side Story

Drive My Car

King Richard

Belfast

The Power of the Dog

Dune

Licorice Pizza

Don’t Look Up

Nightmare Alley

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