RAFU STAFF REPORT
The 94th Academy Awards ceremony, held Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, included some Asian/Asian American representation.
Presenters included Youn Yuh-jung, who was named best supporting actress last year for her role in “Parasite.” She presented the Oscar to this year’s best supporting actor, Troy Kotsur of “CODA,” who became the second deaf actor to receive an Academy Award. The first was his “CODA” co-star Marlee Matlin, who won in 1987.
Youn, the first Korean actor to win an Oscar, said “Congratulations” in American Sign Language when she announced Kotsur’s name.
The Oscar for Best International Feature was presented by Simu Liu, star of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” and comedian/actress Tiffany Haddish. Liu joked that presenting the award in this category was “particularly exciting” because “I come from a country that for many Americans may seem exotic and different — Canada.”
Best Picture — “Drive My Car” was the first Japanese film to be nominated in this category. The award went to “CODA.” Also nominated: “Belfast,” “Don’t Look Up,” “Dune,” “King Richard,” “Licorice Pizza,” “Nightmare Alley,” “The Power of the Dog,” “West Side Story.”
Best Director — “Drive My Car” director Ryusuke Hamaguchi was nominated. The award went to Jane Campion for “The Power of the Dog.” She is the third woman to win in this category (Chloe Zhao won last year for “Nomadland”) and the first woman to be nominated twice. Also nominated: Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”), Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”), Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”).
Best Adapted Screenplay — Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe were nominated for adapting “Drive My Car” from a short story by Haruki Murakami in his collection “Men Without Women.” The Oscar went to Siân Heder for “CODA.” Also nominated: Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth (“Dune”), Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Lost Daughter”), Campion (“The Power of the Dog”).
Best Animated Feature — Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho were nominated for Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon,” which is set in Southeast Asia. The Oscar went to “Encanto.” Also nominated: “Flee,” “Luca,” “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.”
Best Documentary Feature — Indian filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh were nominated for “Writing With Fire,” which is about India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. The Oscar went to Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein for “Summer of Soul.” Also nominated: Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell for “Ascension”; Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry for “Attica”; Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie for “Flee.”
The win for “Summer of Soul” was overshadowed by the incident between Will Smith and presenter Chris Rock. Patel, who is Indian American, later said he was also insulted by the fact that Rock introduced the producers as Thompson “and four white guys.”
Best Documentary Short — Elizabeth and Gulistan Mirzaei were nominated for “Three Songs for Benazir,” which is about a newly married couple living in a camp for displaced people in Kabul. The Oscar went to Ben Proudfoot for “The Queen of Basketball.” Also nominated: Pedro Kos and John Shenk for “Lead Me Home,” Jay Rosenblatt for “When We Were Bullies,” Matt Ogens and Geoff McLean for “Audible.”
Best International Feature — “Drive My Car” became the fifth Japanese film to win in this category after Yojiro Takita’s “Departures” in 2009, Hiroshi Inagaki’s “Miyamoto Musashi” in 1956, Teinosuke Kinugasa’s “Gate of Hell” in 1955, and Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon” in 1952. Also nominated this year: “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom,” the first-ever Oscar nominee from Bhutan; “Flee” (Denmark); “The Hand of God” (Italy); “The Worst Person in the World” (Norway).
Best Short Film (Live Action) — British Asian filmmakers Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed won for “The Long Goodbye,” which is about the rise of far-right political groups and anti-immigration rhetoric in the U.K. Ahmed was nominated for best actor last year for “Sound of Metal.” Also nominated for best live-action short film: Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger for “Ala Kachuu — Take and Run”; Tadeusz Łysiak and Maciej Ślesicki for “The Dress”; Martin Strange-Hansen and Kim Magnusson for “On My Mind”; K.D. Dávila and Levin Menekse for “Please Hold.”
Best Visual Effects — Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker and Dan Oliver were nominated for Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” The Oscar went to Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer for “Dune.” Also nominated: Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis, and Dan Sudick for “Free Guy”; Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner and Chris Corbould for “No Time to Die”; Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick for “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”