The Academy Awards 2022: Celebrating the Winners

Yes, Will Smith’s behavior “rocked” the show, but there was too much to celebrate to let one man’s pride ruin the Oscars


Isaias Escobar, Staff Writer

STOCKTON: On Sunday, March 27th, inside the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles the 94th Academy Awards were held once again in-person. The Academy Awards, often referred to as, The Oscars, is considered one of the most prestigious award shows in the entertainment industry. The best films, directors, writers, and actors are recognized for their hard work, dedication, and how their work left an impact on our society. This year the show was co-hosted by comedians Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Sykes as 16.3 million people turned on their television sets to watch Hollywood’s special night. The show recorded a 58% bump from last year’s record low viewership of 10.5 million viewers. However, a jubilant evening turned sour when actor Will Smith walked up on stage and slapped presenter, comedian Chris Rock across the face on stage. Smith was upset that Rock made a comical joke at the expense of Will Smith’s wife (Jada Pinkett Smith) by referring to her hairstyle as “G.I. Jane.” This happened right before Chris Rock was to announce the winner for best lead actor which Will Smith ended up winning. The shocking turn of events overshadowed the entire award ceremony, as social media platforms exploded to keep up with the “live” entertainment. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has since revoked Smith’s membership for 10 years because of his ugly behavior. As unexpected and unpleasant as Will Smith’s behavior was, we must recognize the incredible winners of the 2022 Academy Awards for their outstanding contributions to film for the year 2021.


CODA took home three Oscars this year. It won best adapted screenplay, best supporting actor (Troy Kotsur, who is the second deaf actor to win an acting award), and best feature film. CODA was the English adaptation of the French-Belgium film La Famille Belier. It was directed by Sian Heder and starred Emilia Jones with supporting roles from Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin. The film follows a girl named Ruby, who is the only hearing member of an all deaf family. Throughout the film, Ruby attempts to balance helping with her family’s struggling fishing business while pursuing her dream of becoming a singer. The film is currently streaming on Apple TV+.


Dune took everyone by surprise by winning a total of six Oscars. The sci-fi film won best visual effects, best original score, best cinematography, best film editing, best production design, and best sound.  The film was directed by Denis Villenueve and stars Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. The film is based on the novel by Frank Herbert. Dune follows the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant young man, who must embark on a journey to travel through the most dangerous planet in the universe in order to ensure the future of his family and his people. Dune is currently streaming on HBO Max.

King Richard

Will Smith’s portrayal as Richard Williams, father of tennis sensations Venus and Serena Williams, won Smith the Oscar for best lead actor in the biographical drama King Richard. The film, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, follows the story of Serena Williams played by Demi Singleton and Venus Williams played by Saniyya Sidney, as the two girls from Compton become tennis royalty coached by their father. King Richard is currently streaming on Hulu.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

The Eyes of Tammy Faye won an Oscar for best makeup and hairstyling. Jessica Chastain also won for best lead actress for her role as Tammy Faye Baker in the film. The film, directed by Michael Showalter, is a biographical drama based on a documentary of the same name. It follows the life of televangelist Tammy Faye, and viewers can get a look into the rise, fall, and redemption of this woman. The Eyes of Tammy Faye is currently streaming on HBO Max.


Encanto won an Oscar for best animated feature. This Disney animated film was directed by Byron Howard and Jared Bush and follows the story of Mirabel, voiced by Stephaine Beatriz, a young girl that’s part of the magical Madrigal familia in Colombia. However, she is the only one in her family without magical powers, and yet when her family is in danger she might be her family’s last hope. The film also features music written by Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda. Encanto is currently streaming on Disney+.

The Power of the Dog

Jane Campion won best director for her work on The Power of the Dog. This western drama follows Phil Burbank, played by Benedict Cumberbacth,  a charismatic but fearsome rancher who torments his brother’s new wife and her son until the unexpected happens. The Power of the Dog is currently streaming on Netflix.

Drive My Car

Drive My Car won an Oscar for best international feature film. This Japanese film was directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi and follows the story of Yusuke Kafuku, played by Hidetoshi Nishijima, a widowed renowned stage actor and director who needs a chauffeur and finds a 20-year old woman to be his chauffeur. The two characters develop a special relationship despite initial misgivings. Drive My Car is currently streaming on HBO Max.

West Side Story (2021)

Ariana DeBose won best supporting actress for her role as Anita in Stephen Speilberg’s remake of the 1961 musical West Side Story. DeBose became the first Afro-Latina and the first openly queer woman of color to win an Oscar trophy. The musical is a modern take on Romeo and Juliet set in 1957 New York where two gangs, the Jets, formed by white teens, and the Sharks, formed by Puerto Rican teens, are constantly at odds. In the midst of everything Tony, played by Ansel Elgort, a member of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, played by Rachel Zegler, the sister of one of the members of the Sharks. West Side Story (2021) is currently streaming on Disney+ and HBO Max.


Belfast won the Oscar for best original screenplay. The film was written and directed by Kevin Branagh and is a semi-biographical film which follows a working class family experiencing the turmoil of the late 1960’s in Northern Ireland.  Belfast is currently available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.