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The 95th Academy Awards ceremony, colloquially known as the Oscars, were held in Los Angeles on March 12th. After last year’s front page drama involving Will Smith’s infamous slap, the Academy was seeking a return to normality, focusing on the basics to hopefully survive the night scandal-free.
There were some clear favourites in several categories whilst others seemed to be a close race. For most of the night, it was a two-horse race between Everything Everywhere All at Once (collecting 7 from 11 nominations) and All Quiet on the Western Front (collecting 4 from 9 nominations). The results have given us many interesting options for future movie nights, whether you are a casual movie watcher or a tragic cinephile.
Here are the winners (and, in my opinion, close losers) of some of the key categories:
BEST PICTURE – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Nominated: Top Gun: Maverick, Women Talking, The Banshees of Inisherin, Triangle of Sadness, The Fabelmans, All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, Elvis, Tár
“Everything Everywhere All At Once”, Wikipedia, 30th March 2023
The biggest award of the night fell into the hands of the film’s directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and its producer Jonathan Wang. Everything Everywhere All at Once was easily the frontrunner for this award, receiving both critical and box office success. This science fiction comedy film gained monumental hype and momentum throughout the award season and was positioned as a clear favourite due to its unique use of the ‘metaverse’ outside of the MCU and superhero franchises, precise editing, talented performers, witty writing, balanced comedy and drama within characters and an underrepresented perspective in mainstream American film from small business owning Asian migrant families. The only competition it faced came from the psychological musical drama, Tár, or the German film All Quiet on the Western Front. A dark horse for this category could’ve been the Banshees of Inisherin from seasoned director, Martin McDonagh, with the experienced cast chemistry of Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.
BEST ACTOR – Brendan Fraser (The Whale)
Nominated: Bill Nighy (Living), Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (Banshees of Inisherin), Paul Mescal (Aftersun)
Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, “The Whale”, A24, 30th March 2023
Whilst every performance is notable and worth a watch, this category was a two-horse race between Fraser, an aged action/adventure movie star from the late 90s and 2000s, much-loved by many, and Butler, an up-and-coming star in his breakout role. There was criticism of The Whale around its use of ‘fat-suits’ and its ‘fat shaming’ depiction of morbid obesity. There was also heavy documentation of Butler’s intense preparation and dedication to his biographical role as the ‘King of Rock and Roll’. I’m certain that, despite being a close runner-up on the night, we haven’t seen the last of Austin Butler and his nomination worthy performances. However, Fraser’s return to the big screen was met with the highest acting accolade in Hollywood, rewarding him not only for his recent role but also serving as a testament to his entire career on the silver screen. This award also signifies that Fraser is back and better than ever before after his personal experiences with assault impacted his acting career. He has become an icon for overcoming adversity with the Best Actor award thrusting Fraser’s story even further into the Hollywood spotlight.
BEST ACTRESS – Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
Nominated: Cate Blanchett (Tár), Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), Ana de Armas (Blonde)
Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, NME, 30th March 2023
This category was hotly contested between a number of notable performances this year. Ana de Armas, a Cuban and Spanish actress, continued her rise from having to learn to speak English while filming War Dogs in 2016 to receiving her first Academy nomination for her biographical role as Marilyn Monroe. Cate Blanchett was also poised as a frontrunner to receive her third Oscar (Best Supporting Actress for The Aviator in 2004 and Best Actress for Blue Jasmine in 2013). Similarly to Austin Butler’s intense preparation for his role, Blanchett reportedly learnt how to conduct, speak German and master the piano. However, Yeoh’s captivating performance as an overworked, overstressed small-business owner and mother struggling to keep both her livelihood and family together earnt her the top prize. Michelle Yeoh’s Oscar win also made history as she became the first woman of Asian descent and the second woman of colour to win Best Actress. In her acceptance speech, Yeoh dedicated her triumph to “all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities”. After years of criticism towards the ethnic and gender diversity of both nominees and voters across all award ceremonies, this marks a significant moment in the history of the Oscars and Hollywood more broadly in a time where questions of representation, diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of the entire entertainment industry.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once) (
Nominated: Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans), Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin)
Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, Cinemablend, 30th March 2023
This award was, for me, the highlight of the night. Whilst Best Supporting Actor may not be the biggest or most prestigious Academy award, it certainly was the most wholesome this year. It goes without saying that every performance that is nominated in any category is outstanding and worth mentioning. However, Ke Huy Quan’s performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once hit the ball out of the park and placed him as the clear favourite in this category. Quan matches Michelle Yeoh’s incredible performance, nailing the clumsy and loveable husband who, whilst his heart and intentions are pure in trying to help, fails to alleviate the financial and familial angst that consumes his wife. The versatile role also demands a full display of one’s acting ability and range due to the many different multiversal characters Quan had to portray. His instantaneous shifts from the insecure goofy husband to the karate-kicking hero only emphasise his complete control over character, voice, body and the audience. What adds more to his stellar performance is his background before starting his acting career. In his acceptance speech, Quan revealed “my journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp, and somehow, I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage”. I doubt we have seen the last of Ke Huy Quan, and I sure hope that he will deliver more outstanding performances in future projects.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once) (
Nominated: Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Hong Chau (The Whale)
Jamie Lee Curtis, “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, Indiewire, 30th March 2023
Jamie Lee Curtis’ win in this category had the most contention on the night. Everything Everywhere All at Once was sweeping the floor of competition in every category it was nominated for. Whilst many agree that the stand-out film from 2022 deserved both its many nominations and wins, this victory had the least unanimous support. I will admit that Jamie’s performance understood the assignment, delivering the necessary impact of an antagonist and also not imposing over the more central characters. However, to say it outshone the other performances nominated this year, including fellow Everything Everywhere All at Once star, Stephanie Hsu in a break-out performance, would be a brave stance. Despite many criticisms from cinephiles around the globe that this award was less for her isolated performance in this worldwide phenomenon, but more for her long-standing career producing note-worthy performances in high-quality films. It wouldn’t be an Oscars without a little bit of controversy.
HOT PICKS FOR A GOOD FLICK
Obviously Everything Everywhere All at Once is at the top of the hot pick list, sweeping up the majority of the awards. It’s a prime film for a fun watch with both witty comedy and dynamic action between an array of interesting and quirky characters.
If you’re a fan of the dry Irish dramedy style of Martin McDonagh then The Banshees of Inisherin is a go-to for you.
If you’re looking for a dramatic film centred around a single character and their journey, The Whale and Tár are both good options. If you’re looking for a little more flare, flamboyance and spectacle to the aforementioned character-driven stories, I recommend the musical biopic, Elvis.
In terms of blockbuster films that featured on the night, Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar 2: The Way of Water and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are the big budget highlights from 2022.