This year’s film awards season has come to a memorable conclusion for Dune: Part One. On March 27, 2022 the Academy announced the winners of their 94th annual awards and—as with the BAFTAs and various other ceremonies—the movie led the night with most wins. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune adaptation shone brightly throughout the crafts categories, taking home six Oscar Awards in total (out of its 10 nominations):
- Film Editing
- Production Design
- Original Score
- Visual Effects
CODA, this year’s Best Picture winner, followed with three wins. The only other movie with more than one award is The Eyes Of Tammy Faye.
Even before the live Oscar awards broadcast started, the cast and crew of Dune had reason to celebrate. During the pre-show, befittingly hosted by Dune actors Jason Momoa and Josh Brolin, the movie’s first four wins were announced. This timing was due to the Academy’s controversial decision, to present eight “below the line” categories during the pre-show and (only showing short clips of these during the live show). Villeneuve criticized that move as “regrettable”, emphasizing that disciplines like editing and sound are “all about art.”
Nevertheless these are all achievements to be proud of. Subsequently, during the live broadcast, Dune was recognized for Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. With these six Oscar Awards in hand, the movie currently stands at a staggering 149 wins and 262 nominations across this year’s reported film awards! This impressive critical reception comes paired with commercial and popular success, with Dune: Part One crossing $400M at global box office last month.
Check out the Dune crew members’ Oscar acceptance speeches below:
Greig Fraser’s photography transported viewers to distant landscapes, capturing both epic scale of the Dune universe and intimate details of the characters’ emotions. This was the first Oscar Award win for the cinematographer, who has been previously nominated for his work on Lion (2016).
Best Film Editing
Joe Walker likewise accepted his first Oscar Award, following previous nominations for Arrival and 12 Years a Slave. The experienced editor, who’s worked on all of Villeneuve’s science fiction movies so far, focused on rhythm and world-building when cutting Dune. The end result is a cinematic experience that captures a lot of the book’s depth, including its complex dream sequences, within a 155 minute runtime.
Best Original Score
Hans Zimmer is no stranger to the Academy with 11 nominations, including his scores for Gladiator and Interstellar. This recognition for Dune: Part One‘s music is only his second Oscar Awards win, following The Lion King (1994). The composer’s Dune soundtrack involved instruments created especially for the movie and ethereal vocals, truly immersing audiences into another world.
Although Zimmer couldn’t attend the ceremony in person (he was on tour in Amsterdam), he took to Twitter in the middle of the night to celebrate the achievement.
Best Production Design
Patrice Vermette (production design) and Zsuzsanna Sipos (set decoration) accepted the award for the Production Design category. The detailed and realistic sets of Dune were created to reflect cultures of the respective houses and their environments, taking inspirations from historical architecture.
Like the previous category, realism was a priority for the sound effects of Dune. These were developed to form a cohesive experience, accompanying both music and visuals. Doug Hemphill, Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Ron Bartlett, and Theo Green received the award.
Best Visual Effects
Many of the shots of Dune were completed with special effects, provided by DNEG, whether creating the expansive vistas of Arrakeen or bringing the gargantuan sandworms to life. The Oscar was accepted by Brian Connor, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, and Tristan Myles.
For more details regarding sound and visual effects of Dune, refer to our earlier Oscars Shortlist deep dive.