We’ve reached the end of an unusual, eventful Oscar season that has produced a number of controversies and already set new historical precedents. So who won, who defied the odds, and what did it all mean? Follow along below for my live blog where I break down all the winners and put them in context. Check out the complete list of winners here.
The central story of these Oscars became the battle for Best Picture between two very different character studies: Jane Campion‘s deconstruction of cowboy masculinity, “The Power of the Dog,” and Sian Heder‘s heartwarming dramedy about a Deaf family, “CODA.” “Power of the Dog” spent most of the season in the driver’s seat, especially when it earned a leading 12 bids on Oscar nominations morning. But while “CODA” only received three bids, it started rising in the ranks as it started winning some of the most prestigious prizes from industry peer groups: the SAG Award for its ensemble cast, the Writers Guild Award for its adapted screenplay, and the Producers Guild Award for Best Picture. If either film won the top Oscar, it would be the first streaming film to do so.
Other stories to watch for tonight included the most wide-open Best Actress race since … well, last year’s. Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”) became the odds-on favorite after winning at the SAG Awards, but there has been little agreement between awards groups throughout the season. In the Best Original Song race there was a chance for two songwriters to make history: Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Encanto”) as the 17th person to achieve EGOT status or Billie Eilish (“No Time to Die”) as the first Oscar winner born in the 21st century.
On a more contentious note, these Oscars are also noteworthy for moving eight categories off of the main ceremony in an effort to shorten the ceremony. Best Animated Short Film, Best Documentary Short Subject, Best Film Editing, Best Live Action Short Film, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, and Best Sound were scheduled for an hour before the ceremony, to be recorded and edited into the telecast. That prompted widespread criticism from media and industry figures including current Best Director nominee Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”) and the aforementioned Chastain. Would presenters or winners address that subject in their time on stage? And would the entertainment value of the ceremony be worth alienating many industry groups?
So there was a lot on the line on Sunday night. Read on to find out how it all shook out (times listed are Eastern).
7:09pm — The Oscars aren’t for almost an hour, but pre-show winner results are already coming in, starting with “The Queen of Basketball” winning Best Documentary Short and “Dune” winning Best Sound. Both winners were predicted in our racetrack odds. “Queen of Basketball” marks the first Oscar and second nomination for Ben Proudfoot, who was nominated last year for “A Concerto is a Conversation.” However, there was an upset in the race for Best Animated Short, which went to “The Windshield Wiper” over Netflix/Aardman favorite “Robin Robin.”
7:17pm — Congratulations are in order for Riz Ahmed, an Oscar nominee last year for “Sound of Metal” and now a winner for Best Live Action Short for “The Long Goodbye.” This makes him only the second person to win Live Action Short after earning an acting nom, following Christine Lahti, an acting nominee for “Swing Shift” and a Live Action Short winner for “Lieberman in Love.” Ahmed shares the victory with the film’s director Aneil Karia.
7:23pm — “Dune” is three-for-three, winning Best Score for composer Hans Zimmer and Best Film Editing for Joe Walker in quick succession. It was the odds-on favorite in both categories. Despite being one of the most celebrated composers in the industry, this is only Zimmer’s second Oscar win out of 12 nominations. His only previous win was for “The Lion King” — the animated one — more than a quarter century ago. This is the first Oscar for Walkerafter bids for “12 Years a Slave” and “Arrival.”
7:31pm — “Dune” takes a fourth: Best Production Design. Now “Dune” has already exceeded the maximum number of awards that could go to Best Picture front-runner “CODA.” This is the first Oscar for both production designer Patrice Vermette and set decorator Zsuzsanna Sipos. But “Dune” was handed its first loss: Best Makeup and Hairstyling for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” Could “Tammy Faye” follow “La Vie en Rose” and “The Iron Lady” as biopics to win Best Actress and Best Makeup and Hairstyling? This is the first win and first nomination for “Eyes of Tammy Faye” team Stephanie Ingram, Linda Dowds, and Justin Raleigh.
8:19pm — Ariana DeBose completes her sweep of awards season by winning Best Supporting Actress for “West Side Story.” She wins for playing Anita, the same role that won an Oscar for Rita Moreno, who’s cheering her on from the audience. That makes this a rare role to win Oscars for multiple actors. But it was no surprise since she had won SAG BAFTA, Critics Choice and more over the course of this season. And with her speech she celebrates being able to represent openly queer, Afro-Latina artists.
8:36pm — Best Cinematography goes to Greig Fraser for “Dune.” This is his first Oscar and second nomination following his bid for “Lion.” He already won at the American Society of Cinematographers Awards for his work on the film. And space has been good to him: he previously won an Emmy for his cinematography in “The Mandalorian.” This is also the fifth Oscar out of six of its categories that have been presented so far. It has almost certainly already clinched the title for the most Oscars won tonight.
8:46pm — “Dune” collects number-six: Best Visual Effects, which was arguably the biggest lock of the night. That’s the same number of Oscars that “Mad Max: Fury Road” won six years ago, though not exactly in the same categories. This is the first Oscar for Brian Connor, the second for Gerd Nefzer, and the third for Tristan Myles and Paul Lambert.
9:01pm — As expected, “Encanto” wins Best Animated Feature, making it the fourth non-Pixar Disney film to win this category, following “Frozen,” “Big Hero 6,” and “Zootopia.” While earlier in the season it looked like this might be a close race between “Luca” and “Flee,” the runaway success of the “Encanto” soundtrack launched it to the top of our odds and victories at the BAFTA and Producers Guild Awards, among other plaudits It’s the first win for Yvett Merino and Jared Bush and the second with for Byron Howard and Clark Spencer, who previously prevailed for “Zootopia.”
9:16pm — Last year’s Best Supporting Actress winner Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”), apologizing in advance for mispronouncing the nominees’ names, presents Best Supporting Actor to Troy Kotsur (“CODA”), the first male Deaf actor to win an Oscar and the second actor overall after his “CODA” costar Marlee Matlin made history more than 30 years ago by winning Best Actress for “Children of a Lesser God.” For much of the season, Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”) was the front-runner to win this after dominating the critics’ awards. The tide turned towards Kotsur when he won at the SAG Awards, then Critics Choice, then the BAFTAs.
9:31pm — “Drive My Car” wins Best International Feature, making this Japan’s fifth victory in the category. Japan has won this award more times than any other country outside of Europe. It’s the third most awarded nation overall, behind only Italy (14) and France (12). This was close to a foregone conclusion since “Drive My Car” was the only film in this category that was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director (Ryusuke Hamaguchi). It also won Best Picture from Los Angeles, New York, and National Society critics groups.
9:44pm — Jenny Beavan wins Best Costume Design for “Cruella,” another victory that seemed fairly assured after she ran the board at the BAFTA, Critics Choice, and Costume Designers Guild Awards. This is Beavan’s third win out of 11 nominations. She previously took home the gold for “A Room with a View” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and it’s hard to imagine a trio of films with aesthetics that are more different than that.
10:00pm — Kenneth Branagh wins Best Original Screenplay for “Belfast.” It’s his first Oscar after eight nominations spanning a record seven different categories over more than 30 years. He was up against another overdue filmmaker, Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”), who still hasn’t won after 11 Oscar nominations. Both of them are nominated twice more tonight for Best Director and Best Picture.
10:04pm — “CODA” wins Best Adapted Screenplay for writer-director Sian Heder. For most of the season this category seemed like Jane Campion would win this for “The Power of the Dog” in a walk. But “CODA” started to surge, winning the SAG Award for its ensemble cast, then the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (despite the film not even being nominated for Best Picture there), and then the Producers Guild and Writers Guild Awards (“Power of the Dog” was ruled ineligible by WGA). This greatly strengthens the case for a “CODA” victory for Best Picture.
10:29pm — “Summer of Soul” wins Best Documentary Feature. It was directed by Questlove, a first-time filmmaker who’s also up for a Grammy for Best Music Film next weekend for the film. The film chronicles the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival and previously won Best Documentary at the BAFTAs and Producers Guild Awards. This follows in the footsteps of other recent music-themed films that have won, including “Searching for Sugar Man,” “Amy,” and “20 Feet from Stardom.”
10:56pm — Billie Eilish and Finneas win their first Oscars on their first nomination: Best Original Song for the title song from “No Time to Die.” This is the third straight Bond theme to win following Adele’s “Skyfall” and Sam Smith’s “The Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre.” Eilish also makes history as the first Oscar winner born in the 21st century (2001 to be exact). Alas, this means Lin-Manuel Miranda will have to wait for his EGOT.
11:01pm — Jane Campion wins Best Director for “The Power of the Dog.” That’s not remotely surprising, but it is a little strange with the way the night has been playing out. As momentum has shifted in the awards season, this might end up being the only Oscar “The Power of the Dog” wins, making it the first film since “The Graduate” to win Best Director as its only Oscar. But time will tell if that actually comes to pass. And it takes nothing away from the achievement of only the third woman ever to win Best director after Kathryn Bigelow and Chloe Zhao, and the first woman ever to be nominated for Best Director twice.
11:10pm — Will Smith wins Best Actor for “King Richard,” which wouldn’t have seemed like a shocking moment earlier tonight since he was the overwhelming favorite to win it, but it’s a little more awkward following his physical altercation with Chris Rock earlier tonight. Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s alopecia, which he is addressing in his speech, apologizing to the academy and to his fellow nominees. He explains that Denzel Washington told him that when you’re at your highest, that’s when the devil comes for you. How this is perceived for the rest of the night and in the coming days when the takes will undoubtedly be all over the interwebs remains to be seen.
11:23pm — The most up-in-the-air acting category of the night, Best Actress, goes to Jessica Chastain for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” This is her first Oscar on her third nomination. She earned bids for “The Help” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” and probably came close to a nom a few other times, including “Miss Sloane” and “Molly’s Game.” Chastain has won the SAG Award for her performance, but this award still seemed uncertain because that was the only industry award she won for her performance. The BAFTAs didn’t include any of Oscar nominees in their Best Actress lineup. Penelope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”) had the critics behind her. Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”) won at the Golden Globes. So this was a wide-open race.
11:33pm — The last award of the night, Best Picture, goes to “CODA.” That’s what our odds were predicting by the time our predictions center closed, but it’s still a rather remarkable feat. It’s the first movie since almost the beginning Oscar history to win Best Picture with no directing or editing nominations. And it’s the first ever film from a streaming service to win Best Picture. It’s surprising after Netflix paved the way that Apple beat them to the punch, but it’s actually similar to what happened at the Emmys, where Hulu and Amazon won top series awards before Netflix, which only won Best Drama Series and Best Limited Series for the first time last fall.