The 2022 Academy Awards Recognize Diverse Talent

During the 2022 Academy Awards, history was made in a myriad of ways. On Sunday, March 27, the Oscars took place at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California. The show drew 16.6 million viewers on ABC, rebounding by 58 percent after an all-time low in viewership in 2021. 

The 2021 drama CODA triumphed by becoming the first movie from a major streaming service to win Best Picture. The cast also took home two other awards: Best Supporting Actor for Troy Kotsur and Best Adapted Screenplay for writer-director Sian Heder. The film’s acronymic title stands for “child of deaf adults,” and it tells the story of Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones), a young girl trying to balance her love for singing and her obligation to her family’s fishing business. 

“What our movie has done, I think, it’s brought people together,” Jones said in an interview with BBC at the Vanity Fair Oscars party. “I’m really hoping it opens doors.”

Their win was also monumental due to the largely deaf cast, and Kotsur became the first deaf man to win an Academy Award for acting. During his speech, he thanked his co-star Marlee Matlin, who was the first deaf actor to win an Oscar in 1987. 

“It’s a tough journey as a deaf actor,” Kotsur signed as an interpreter translated. “There’s so few opportunities out there, and she kept on going. She was persistent. And then so was I with my own career as a stage actor. So here I am today.”

The big winner of the night in technical awards was the science fiction film Dune. Starring Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson, the movie took home six awards, including Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects, and Best Production Design. Many of the production designers thanked director Denis Villeneuve during their acceptance speeches.

“Every article or everything that is written about Dune must start with the words ‘Denis Villeneuve’,” Best Cinematography winner Greig Fraser said. “Seeing the sweep that Dune is having tonight makes me very proud for Denis,” sound designer and editor Theo Green said.

Jessica Chastain also earned Best Actress for her performance as Tammy Faye Bakker in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. During her acceptance speech, she recognized Bakker’s support of gay men during a point in history when many evangelists didn’t accept them. 

“We’re faced with discriminatory and bigoted legislation that is sweeping our country with the only goal of further dividing us,” Chastain said. “There’s violence and hate crimes being perpetuated on innocent civilians all over the world. And in times like this, I think of Tammy and I’m inspired by her.”

For a full list of the night’s winners, visit the Academy’s website