Biggest winners and losers at 2022 Oscars

Steven Watts, Features Editor

Last weekend the 94th Academy Awards were held. Hosted by Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes, a group that produced too many cringe-worthy moments and delivered far too many insensitive jokes to count, headlines were plenty. 

In a night full of broken barriers, surprise winners and controversial actions, here are five winners and losers from last Sunday.


Winner: Dune

Dune won a ceremony-high six awards this year for all of its technical prowess. Taking home awards in editing, visual effects, production design, cinematography and sound. These six wins made it clear that Dune was the most well-made movie of the year. The film also won best score for the music that Hans Zimmer created to accompany the movie. According to The New York Times, Zimmer actually made entirely new instruments for the score, so it came as no surprise that he won an Oscar for his work.

Loser: The Power of the Dog

The Power of the Dog was a masterful movie made by Jane Campion, and earned 12 nominations for its excellence. The film won in only one of the categories in which it was nominated. Campion winning Best Director came as no surprise to me after she won the same award at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. 

After winning Best Picture at both of those award shows, I was shocked that it didn’t secure the Oscar as well. It felt embarrassing hearing The Power of the Dog on almost every list of nominees but only winning once. 

Winner: Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder, director of 300 and Army of the Dead has one of the largest, and most loyal fanbases of any director right now. This year, the Oscars allowed fans to vote on Twitter for two new awards: Best Cheer Moment and Fan Favorite Film. The top cheer moment was given to the Flash turning back time at the end of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and the Fan Favorite Film was won by Army of the Dead, a zombie heist movie that Snyder directed for Netflix this year. 

Loser: Will Smith

On Sunday night Will Smith stormed the stage in a Kanye-esque moment and slapped Chris Rock after he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett. Rock told Smith’s wife that he was looking forward to seeing her in GI Jane 2, a reference to the 1997 film in which Demi Moore shaved her head and joined the military.

Smith’s wife has alopecia. Those who suffer from the condition experience extreme hair loss. Jada Pinkett has been very vocal about her struggle with this disease, but it’s unclear whether or not Rock actually knew of her condition. 

Smith storming the stage will undoubtedly tarnish his reputation for years to come, and some fans are calling for Smith’s Oscar to be revoked. However, Roman Polanski winning an Oscar after being charged with rape by use of drugs of a 13-year-old girl would lead me to believe that Smith’s award will stay in his hands.

Winner: CODA

In a shocking win, CODA took home three awards this year, including Best Picture. I haven’t seen the movie, but it wasn’t incredibly well-received among movie lovers. The win made CODA the first ever movie made by a streaming service to win Best Picture, a truly monumental moment in the shift from theaters to at-home entertainment.

I was happy to see Troy Kotsur win Best Supporting Actor. This was another milestone for inclusivity in Hollywood as Kotsur became the first deaf man to win an Oscar for acting. Kotsur also gave my favorite acceptance speech of the night, signing: “I just wanted to say that this is dedicated to the deaf community, the CODA community, and the disabled community. This is our moment.”

Loser: Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg has not won Best Director since 1999 but has been nominated three times since then. I think that with this year’s loss for West Side Story, it’s finally fair to say that his best days are behind him. Spielberg used to have the reputation of Hollywood’s best director, and now I hardly ever feel the need to see his movies. Spielberg desperately needed a Best Director win this year to prove to moviegoers that he still has something to offer in terms of big budget directing.

Winner: Riz Ahmed

Riz Ahmed’s live action short film The Long Goodbye won the award for its category. After being nominated for Best Actor in his captivating performance in The Sound of Metal, Ahmed won his first Oscar last weekend. This notably made Ahmed the first Muslim to ever win the award for Best Live Action Short Film. 

A win in a directing category is sure to catapult Ahmed’s career in filmmaking, and his work shows great promise moving forward. Ahmed also broke barriers last year after he became the first Muslim to be nominated for Best Actor.

Loser: International Films

The only award that a non-English speaking film won was Best International Feature Film. I expected Flee, an animated documentary about a queer man’s journey as a refugee from Afghanistan, to win Best Animated Feature, but Encanto edged it out. 

I also expected The Worst Person in the World to win Best Original Screenplay. It was beaten by Belfast, a movie that I did enjoy from Kenneth Branagh, but was not very impressed with its writing. 

Drive My Car was definitely a long shot to win Best Picture, but it was my favorite of the nominees. It was disappointing to see the Oscars shift their focus back to mostly English films.

Winner: Jessica Chastain

This year was Jessica Chastain’s third time being nominated for an Oscar. Her first two nominations were for Best Supporting Actress in The Help and Best Actress for Zero Dark Thirty. It was great to see Chastain, an actress that I find incredibly underrated, win her first Oscar. 

That being said, I do not think that this was Chastain’s best performance, or the best of the nominated performances. I’m happy to see Chastain win, but I wish her win felt more deserved than it did.

Loser: tick, tick… BOOM!

Tick, tick… BOOM! was nominated for both Best Actor and Best Editing, and frankly, I think that it should have won in both categories. The editing in tick, tick… BOOM! was fantastic and Garfield’s performance was arguable career defining. Will Smith was great in King Richard, but I think the decision to give him Best Actor will age incredibly poorly. 

I can’t complain about Dune winning Best Editing, as it was a masterclass in technicality. However, giving the Oscar to tick, tick… BOOM! would age well with the editing style that helped shape the mood of the film in contrast to the editing in Dune that, while fantastic, has been done before.


In a year that was crucial for the Academy’s success, the Oscars did not disappoint. While I disagree with a lot of the award winners, there were certainly plenty of surprises. Chris Rock even said “that was the greatest night in the history of television.” I don’t like how much of an influence the Oscars have over movie culture, but the show was definitely worth watching this year.