There are shocking moments at every Academy Awards ceremony, though no one could have predicted just how dramatic things would get this year after Will Smith took umbrage to a joke Chris Rock made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
But in the end, there were very few surprises throughout the night, with most of the top awards going to the predicted frontrunners, particularly in the acting categories, which matched the SAG Awards wins. Apple made history by being the first streaming service to win best picture with “CODA,” which also won best adapted screenplay and best supporting actor for Troy Kotsur — who goes into the record books as the first deaf winner in the category.
Here are some of the surprises and snubs throughout the night:
SNUB: “The Power of the Dog”
Jane Campion’s Western went into the evening with 12 nominations, more than any other film. And while it scored a history-making win for Campion in director, that was its sole win. Most of the below-the-line love went to “Dune.” And while it wasn’t a shocker to see Greig Fraser take cinematography for his stunning work on that film, particularly as he just triumphed at the ASC Awards, there was also a lot of support for Ari Wegner’s gorgeous work on “The Power of the Dog.” Wegner still made history — she’s only the second woman nominated in the category.
SURPRISE: Kenneth Branagh, Best Original Screenplay, “Belfast”
One of the most uncertain categories of the night, it looked like original screenplay could be anyone’s game — Paul Thomas Anderson won the BAFTA for “Licorice Pizza” while Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up” took the WGA Award. But in the end, it was eight-time Oscar nominee Branagh who took home the prize for his autobiographical “Belfast.”
SNUB: “Flee” in Three Categories
The Danish animated doc made history for being nominated in three categories — documentary feature, animated feature film and international feature film. While it ultimately failed to score a win in any category, it’s still an impressive accomplishment that won’t be soon forgotten.
SURPRISE: The James Bond Tribute That Wasn’t
We’ve known for some time that there would be a tribute to 60 years of James Bond on the Oscars and the possibilities seemed endless: What former Bonds or Bond girls or Bond villains would appear? Would Adele or Paul McCartney show up to sing their Oscar-winning Bond songs? Maybe they could even announce the new James Bond? Instead, there were no special guests, less than two minutes of clips, and it was presented by no one connected to the franchise, but by extreme sports athletes Tony Hawk, Kelly Slater and Shaun White.
SURPRISE: Zack Snyder Rules the Audience Awards
Never underestimate the filmmaker’s passionate fan base; they assured that Snyder films scored the top ranking in two categories voted on via Twitter. First, Snyder’s cut of “Justice League” (a film not eligible for this year’s Academy Awards) won #OscarsCheerMoment, besting the likes of the “Avengers Assemble” moment in “Avengers: Endgame” and the Spider-Men teaming up in “Spider -Man: No Way Home.” Then, the #OscarsFanFavorite award went to Snyder’s “Army of the Dead,” besting the likes of “Cinderella” and “Spider-Man” once again.
SNUB: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Best Original Song, “Dos Oruguitas”
The original song category had a lot of heavy hitters, including Beyonce’s “King Richard” number “Be Alive,” which epically opened the broadcast. But many were expecting Lin-Manuel Miranda to EGOT with “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto.” But it was Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas who ultimately triumphed with their title theme from the latest James Bond film, making her the second youngest person to win this category.