{image via Warner Bros.}

A casual observer might think the major outcome of this year’s Academy Awards was Will Smith (Captain Steven Hiller in Independence Day, Agent J in Men in Black) giving Chris Rock a powerful profantity-fueled open-hand slap for mocking his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith. However, It was first and foremost an awards show: the 94th Annual Academy Awards convened to judge the best movies of the year.

Not that many of the movies stood a chance against the juggernaut that was director Denis Villeneuve’s take on Frank Herbert’s classic SF novel Dune.

The remake of Dune won an impressive six Academy Awards and four nominations, in ten separate categories, including Best Picture. It’s unusual for science fiction films to win the major awards, like Best Picture and Best Screenplay. Normally “our sort” of movies sweep the technical awards but don’t douch the major awards. Dune managed to do both.

Six Golden Statues

It’s an incredible list of wins:

  • Best Original Score – Hans Zimmer
  • Best Cinematography – Greig Fraser
  • Best Film Editing – Joe Walker
  • Best Sound – Mac Ruth, Mark A. Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill, Ron Bartlett
  • Best Production Design – Patrice Vermette, ZsuZsanna Sipos
  • Best Achievement in Visual Effects – Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor, Gerd Nefzer

It could have been ten wins if everything had gone their way. Dune was additionally nominated for the following categories:

  • Best Motion Picture of the Year – Mary Parent (producer), Denis Villeneuve (produer), Cale Boyter (producer)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay – Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth
  • Best Costume Design – Jacqueline West, Bob Morgan
  • Best Makeup and Hair Styling – Donald Mowat, Love Larson, Eva Von Bahr

More About Dune

The 2021 version of Dune was directed by Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, who directed Bladerunner 2049 in 2017.

The movie stared Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides; he played Laurie in Little Women (2019) and Young Tom in Interstellar (2014). SaturnAward winner Zendaya (MJ in the MCU’s Spider-Man movies) co-starred as Chani. Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens) played Paul’s father, Duke Leto Atreides. Rebecca Ferguson (Ilsa Faust in the Mission Impossible franchise), played Paul’s mother, the Bene Gesserit Lady Jessica Atreides.

Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård, best known as Dr. Erik Selvig in the MCU, played the villainous Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy) played Rabban Harkonnen, the baron’s nephew. Jason Momoa (Aquaman) played Duncan Idaho,

German composer Hans Zimmer won his second Academy Award for Best Original Score. He won previously in 1995 for Disney’s The Lion King.

The screenplay was written by Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth {The Curious Case of Benjamin Button}, and Jon Spaights {Dr. Strange}, based of course, on the classic science fiction novel Dune, by Frank Herbert.

Australian cinematographer Greig Fraser, who previously won an Emmy for The Mandalorian, won the Oscar for Best Cinematography.

Our compliments and clongratulations to Denis Villeneuve and the richly deserving cast and crew of Dune.

We can hardly wait for Part Two.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.