It wouldn’t be an Oscars night without some snubs and surprises. While most of the awards tonight (March 27) were handed out to who you would expect to win, a few of the trophies did go surprising ways, whether they were in the biggest categories or fields that were a little further down the billing.
CODA wins the biggest award of the night
The Best Picture category at this year’s Oscars could have gone several ways. There was Dune, which was lauded for its technical aspects like visual effects and sound. Then there was the heartwarming Licorice Pizza, or Will Smith’s triumphant King Richard, or the stunning Japanese film Drive My Car and Kenneth Branagh’s acclaimed Belfast. Yet it was CODA, a film about a young girl who is the only hearing member of her family, that took home the award in an unexpected but very deserved win. It was a touching moment that showed there can still be some big surprises at even the biggest awards shows.
Frontrunner The Power Of The Dog limps home with only one award
Going into the Oscars 2022 tonight, Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog seemed the most likely to sweep the awards, if just because it was nominated for the most categories with 12 nods. Yet that wasn’t the case by the end of the night, with only a solitary victory for the film in its Best Director win. Instead, it was Dune that dominated, picking up six trophies, while CODA surprised with three wins, including Best Picture.
Lin-Manuel Miranda misses out on an EGOT-winning moment
Since 2018, Lin-Manuel Miranda has been one award short of an EGOT – an elusive Oscar. Many thought this year would be his year to complete the elite rack of prizes, with his song ‘Dos Oruguitas’ – from the film Encanto – up for Best Original Song. Unfortunately for the playwright and composer, though, the category also featured some towering competition – Beyoncé, Diane Warren, Van Morrison and Billie Eilish and Finneas. It was the latter sibling duo who ended up collecting the prize, marking their first-ever Oscar, leaving Miranda to wait another year to try again.
Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast takes home Best Original Screenplay
Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast winning Best Original Screenplay is not necessarily a surprise in itself, given how much love has been shown to the film since its release. But looking at it in the context of its competitors, it seemed like taking home the trophy could be a tall order. One of the favourites for the category was Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza, while it also had to fend off competition from King Richard, Don’t Look Up and The Worst Person In The World. Yet Branagh did just that, coming out on top thanks to his moving storytelling to pull off a pleasant surprise tonight.
Licorice Pizza continues Paul Thomas Anderson’s zero-win streak at the Oscars
Speaking of Licorice Pizza, the movie’s lack of wins at the Oscars this year continued a streak PTA will likely hope to break soon. In his career, the director and writer has been nominated for the Oscars 12 times across different categories but is still waiting to be given one of the golden statuettes. Licorice Pizza did seem like it had a good chance of being the movie to break his duck, thanks to great performances from Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman that reel you into their world of ‘70s SoCal youth. It wasn’t to be, though – better luck next time, Paul.