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Ariana DeBose wins Best Supporting Actress at 2022 Oscars Awards

Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) beat Jessie Buckley, Judi Dench, Kirsten Dunst and Aunjanue Ellis to the award for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars.

US actress Ariana DeBose accepts the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in "West Side Story" onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

Ariana DeBose, the hot favourite, won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story, in Spielberg’s reimagining of the 1957 musical.

DeBose had already won a Bafta, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for the role.

DeBose's Oscar will go down in history as the first Afro Latina, openly queer actor of color to win an Academy Award for acting.

The other nominees were:

Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)

Rising star Buckley shot to fame for her role in Tom Harper’s 2018 drama Wild Rose, which earned her a Bafta nomination, and cemented her status as a star-in-waiting a year later in HBO miniseries Chernobyl and then with a co-starring role in series four of Fargo. The 32-year-old is probably considered an outlier for the award on the night – her co-star, Olivia Colman, is up for Best Actress for The Lost Daughter – given the weight of competition in the category, and after missing out at the Baftas.

Judi Dench (Belfast)

Dame Judi is up for her second Oscar after a screen-stealing performance in Shakespeare in Love. The 87-year-old’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I enraptured critics despite Dench being on screen for only eight minutes, a measure of the star quality that has seen her established as one of the finest actors in cinematic history. In total, the multi-garlanded Dench has eight Oscar nominations to her name, five as Best Actress and three in supporting roles, and it will be little surprise if she finally lands a second win for her role in Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast.

Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)

Jane Campion’s dark western psychological drama is forecast to be the winner on the night, having swept the Best Picture and Best Director awards at the Baftas, the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Golden Globes. However, the overall success of the picture may work against Dunst here, with only Kodi-Smitt McPhee among the cast picking up an acting award at any of the traditional pre-Oscars hustings. Dunst is no stranger to the acceptance speech, having landed numerous film and television awards during her career, including a Screen Actors Guild and Best Actress at Cannes for Melancholia, but she has yet to win a major award despite four Golden Globe nominations.

Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)

Although a biographical movie about the formative years and rise to stardom of the Williams sisters, executive produced by Venus and Serena themselves, was never likely to delve too deeply into the often problematical relationship between sporting prodigies and those driving them to success, King Richard succeeded in at least hinting at Richard Williams’ personality flaws while taking the time to make plain that the eventual superstardom of the two young players was driven as much by themselves and their mother than by their father’s well-documented struggles to gain acceptance in the rarified world of tennis while dodging gang members on the public courts of Compton. Much of the film’s credibility lies in a nuanced performance from Aunjanue Ellis, who plays the girls’ mother Oracene "Brandy" Price - opposite an exceptional Will Smith - and whose role in Venus and Serena’s success is rightly given its due. In one memorable scene, she cuts one of her husband’s self-aggrandizing diatribes short with a pithy: “I fixed Serena's serve because you messed that up.”

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