CODA triumphs at the Oscars
- Kenneth Branagh, Aneil Karia and Alberto Mielgo were the only European inclusions on a very US-heavy awards list, which also included Jane Campion
It wasn’t until the last few days in the run-up to the Oscars that it became a true frontrunner, but CODA, the US remake of Eric Lartigau's 2014 French hit The Bélier Family [+see also:
film profile], ended up conquering the ceremony for the 94th edition of the Academy Awards. The recent buzz, which was heightened by its win at the Producers Guild of America Awards, led the Sundance-winning film to receive the three statuettes it had been nominated for: Best Adapted Screenplay for director Sian Heder (who wasn’t nominated for Best Director and, maybe because of nerves on the night, didn’t thank the writers of the original screenplay in her speech), Best Supporting Actor for Troy Kotsur and Best Film.
Regarding its European involvement, it is worth noting that the film, while mostly financed by Vendôme Pictures (the US branch of French company Vendôme Production), Patrick Wachsberger and France's Pathé Films, is not an official French-approved film (since it didn’t meet the requirements to attain this status, including language, European cast and crew, and shooting locations, among other factors).
The other frontrunner, The Power of the Dog [+see also:
film profile], which was the most-nominated film of this edition, only received one of 12 statuettes, albeit the second-most-important one of the evening. Helmer Jane Campion took home a well-deserved Best Director gong, making her the third female winner of the category ever, after having been nominated in 1994 for The Piano. As a reminder, she left last year’s Venice Film Festival with the same award.
Another single award went to Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast [+see also:
film profile], which could arguably be labelled as the most European win of the ceremony. The director received the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
Regarding the Best International Feature Film category, as was widely expected, the Japanese title Drive My Car, directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, ended up winning the statuette, closing an unbeatable awards run since its Best Screenplay win at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The European sensations The Worst Person in the World [+see also:
interview: Joachim Trier
film profile] by Joachim Trier and Flee [+see also:
interview: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
film profile] by Jonas Poher Rasmussen as well as The Hand of God [+see also:
interview: Paolo Sorrentino
film profile] by Paolo Sorrentino left the ceremony empty-handed. The first one was also up for Best Original Screenplay, and the second one for Best Documentary and Best Animation Film.
However, the most heavily awarded film of the evening was Denis Villeneuve’s Dune [+see also:
film profile], last year’s quality blockbuster, partly produced by Europe, which swept the technical categories with six statuettes, winning Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Production Design, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects and Best Original Score (for Hans Zimmer’s work).
In the acting categories, despite what the buzz had led us to believe in the last few days, Penélope Cruz didn’t manage to snag her second Oscar for her work in Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers [+see also:
film profile], since the award went to Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Her male counterpart Will Smith also beat the other European favourite, The Power of the Dog’s Benedict Cumberbatch, right after being the protagonist of what could arguably be called the most embarrassing and infuriating moment in the history of the Oscars - hitting Chris Rock live on stage.
Lastly, the short-film categories brought a marked European flavour to the evening (even though they were handed out during the pre-taped part of the ceremony). The Long Goodbye, a British-Dutch co-production directed by Aneil Karia (known for the 2020 Sundance entry Surge [+see also:
interview: Aneil Karia
film profile]), starring Riz Ahmed, won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short, while the Best Animated Short category saw the win of The Windshield Wiper, a Spanish-US co-production directed by Alberto Mielgo and selected last year in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, which marks the first time a film from Spain has won this statuette.
Here is the list of winners:
CODA - Sian Heder (USA/France)
Jane Campion - The Power of the Dog [+see also:
film profile] (UK/New Zealand/Australia/USA/Canada)
Jessica Chastain - The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Will Smith - King Richard
Best Supporting Actress
Ariana DeBose - West Side Story
Best Supporting Actor
Troy Kotsur - CODA
Best Adapted Screenplay
Sian Heder - CODA
Best Original Screenplay
Kenneth Branagh - Belfast [+see also:
film profile] (UK)
Best International Feature Film
Drive My Car - Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Japan)
Best Documentary Feature
Summer of Soul - Questlove
Best Animated Feature
Encanto - Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Charise Castro Smith
Dune [+see also:
film profile] (USA/Hungary/Jordan/United Arab Emirates/Norway/Canada)
Best Production Design
Best Costume Design
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Best Visual Effects
Best Original Score
Best Original Song
“No Time to Die” - No Time to Die [+see also:
film profile] (UK/USA)
Best Live Action Short
The Long Goodbye - Aneil Karia (UK/Netherlands)
Best Documentary Short Subject
The Queen of Basketball - Ben Proudfoot
Best Animated Short
The Windshield Wiper - Alberto Mielgo (Spain/USA)
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