The 2022 Oscars were certainly eventful, to say the least. While the ceremony had its fair share of controversies and scandals, there were also some beautiful, groundbreaking moments of joy and well-earned recognition. Here are the eight most triumphant highlights.
1. Jane Campion wins Best Director
Jane Campion won Best Director for her Netflix drama The Power of the Dog. This makes Campion the third female director to win after Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 for The Hurt Locker and Chloe Zhao for Nomadland last year. Campion is also the only female to ever have been nominated twice, her first being for The Piano in 1994.
2. CODA dominates Oscars
CODA took home the biggest prize of the night, winning the Oscar for Best Picture. It also won several other awards — in every category it was nominated — including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor. CODA’s success is a huge win for the representation of the Deaf community. Troy Kotsur’s speech brought me (and I’m assuming many others) to tears. The film was also written and directed by Siân Héder — another woman making history.
3. Ariana DeBose wins Best Supporting Actress At the Oscars
Ariana DeBose was a frontrunner in this category — and for good reason. The star showed herself to be a true triple-threat in West Side Story, wowing us with her acting, singing, and dancing. DeBose is the first openly queer woman of color to ever accomplish this win. Plus, the fact she won for the same role Rita Moreno did sixty years ago makes it even more special.
4. Jessica Chastain uses her Oscar win platform for good
After two previous nominations for The Help and Zero Dark Thirty, Chastain finally nabbed her first Best Actress win for playing the titular role in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Chastain used her speech to call out discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ laws — exactly what Tammy Faye would have done.
5. Juno cast reunites to present Best Original Screenplay
15 years after Diablo Cody won Best Original Screenplay for Juno, the film’s stars Jennifer Garner, Elliot Page, and J.K. Simmons reunited to present the same award to Belfast. Not only was it a sweet, nostalgic moment, but it was especially great to see Page looking so happy and confident.
6. The Williams sisters introduce Beyoncé’s Oscars Performance
Venus and Serena Williams and Beyoncé are three of the most influential, talented people on earth. Getting a chance to see the tennis legends introduce an icon — who performed an original song from King Richard at their hometown court, no less — was a powerful and perfect way to kick off the ceremony.
7. Questlove wins his first Oscar
Questlove got emotional as he accepted his first Oscar for directing the documentary Summer of Soul: (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) in one of the most moving speeches of the night. He took the moment to thank his parents (his mom was also in the audience, noticeably tearful) and shout out to the people of Harlem who the film centers on.
8. Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli present Best Picture Oscar
Lady Gaga and Liza Minelli both took the stage to present the Oscar for Best Picture. When Minnelli struggled to get her words out, Lady Gaga gracefully kept the presentation moving. She could be heard whispering “I got you” to Minnelli, to which Minnelli responded: “I know.” Regardless of the chaos, it was a heartwarming note to end the night on.
What was your favorite moment of the Oscars? Comment below!