A deep dive into the night of history-making wins, not-so-funny jokes, and unfortunate snubs.
The 95th Academy Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 12, 2023. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the night was chock full of bittersweet wins, performances from Lady Gaga and Rihanna and a total of four quips on last year's Oscar slap debacle. Let’s jump right in!
The night kicked off with a monologue from Jimmy Kimmel, who began by acknowledging “Till” and “Woman King,” two movies that went completely unacknowledged in the nomination list. Disappointingly, the nominees were mostly movies with majority white casts. This doesn’t come as a surprise, but it is still important to note that every year films that tell stories similar to the ones in “Till” and “Woman King” go unrecognized.
History Making Wins
But there were still some important, history-making moments that made this Oscars one to remember. Ruth E. Carter won best costume design for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” becoming the first Black woman to ever win two Oscars. Ke Huy Quan won best supporting actor, making him the first Vietnamese-born actor to win an Oscar. Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win the Best Actress award, and the second woman of color to win it. The award was presented by Halle Berry, the first woman of color to win the award in 2002 for her performance in “Monster’s Ball.”
These history-making moments are always bittersweet. While it is amazing to see people of color being recognized for their contributions to the film industry, it is still sad to see that they are only now being recognized in 2023.
There were two big surprise wins at the Oscars. The first of which was in the first award of the night presented by Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for Best Animated Feature Film. “Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio” won, which was unexpected. Much more likely winners would have been “Puss and Boots: The Last Wish” or “Turning Red,” which quickly gained admiration for the unique stories they told and for their beautiful animation.
The biggest surprise and snub of the night was in the category of Best Supporting Actress. From the beginning of the night, viewers seemed to be rooting for Angela Bassett for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” or Stephaine Hsu for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
Instead, Jamie Lee Curtis ended up winning for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” It was a snap back to reality of the Oscars. In a movie with a majority Asian cast, one of the only white actors ended up winning. Jamie Lee Curtis’s role was largely comical and background in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” The movie would have survived without her role. The movie would not have survived without Stephaine Hsu’s emotional, wonderfully acted performance. On top of that, Angela Bassett’s heart wrenching performance in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” was also pushed to the wayside. Overall, this win left a sour tone for the rest of the night.
Jamie Lee Curtis’s win for “Everything Everywhere All At Once” was not the last of the awards for the movie. “Everything Everywhere All At Once” completely swept this year's awards, winning a total of seven Oscars, making it the movie with the most Oscars ever. And it was well deserved -- from the emotional acting performances in it by Michelle Yeoh and Stephaine Hsu, to the heartfelt, honest and hilarious writing, and masterful editing and cinematography, this movie was peak cinema at its core. It won best original screenplay, lead actress, supporting actress, supporting actor, editing, director and best picture, a total sweep of all the major awards.
And of course, it’s not the Oscars without a couple cheesy, awkward jokes. With Jimmy Kimmel as the host, there was no hesitation. Kimmel made a total of four references to last year's historic slap between Will Smith and Chris Rock, which felt like low-hanging fruit after a while. Not only that, he also brought a donkey up on stage in reference to the best picture nominee film “Banshee’s of Insherin” and a person dressed as the “cocaine bear” from the 2023 film of the same name.
Not to mention, he asked Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani education activist, whether or not Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine, which came off as tone deaf at best. This situation became even more awkward when the “cocaine bear” went up to the activist to pester her.
This Oscar’s was an interesting one to say the least, with a good dose of awkwardly funny, impactful, and disappointing moments. This year was big for the comeback of movies, specifically movie theaters. After two years of being stuck at home, the Oscars recognized their beauty, especially the beauty of being able to watch them in person, in the theater.
Lillian Paterson. Hey, I'm Lillian (she/her) and I'm a co-sports and co-op-ed editor for SCO. When I'm not being totally consumed by school work I like to play guitar and read! More »