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Oscars 2023 Review

"Everything Everywhere All At Once" takes home the gold

This year was the year of correcting past missteps. After last year's Academy Awards, it was surely needed. The Oscars this year featured the return of airing documentary short, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live-action short, and sound. Last year, these categories were presented previous to the ceremony, and were only aired in short clips. This was undoubtedly the Academy's worst mistake, and it was thusly criticized. The previous years’ Oscars felt lackluster and fell short of their true purpose: a celebration of film.

The evening overall felt like a return to tradition. Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue felt classic; Some gentle banter on James Cameron and Tom Cruise skipping the ceremony and of course, a drawn-out joke about The Slap, which let's face it, was expected. There were no long-winded stunts, which felt correct for the ceremony, nothing that tore us too far away from the matters at hand.

This year's ceremony featured many great performances, such as Rhianna with an incredible performance with “Lift Me” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The true stand-out performance however was “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR” which captivated the audience with incredible dancers and was driven by the song’s notable composer M.M. Keeravani, who won the Oscar that night for Best Song. A deserved win for the film which soared through awards season.

Naatu Naatu Performance

There were many deserving winners at the Oscars and a few notable snubs. Nominees such as “Tar”, “Elvis”, “The Fabelmans”, and “Banshees of Inisheer” all went home empty-handed despite their numerous nominations.

One snub which has caused quite the quarrel this year was Jamie Lee Curtis’s win for Best Supporting Actress. This category has been a confusing one this awards season. Angela Bassett was initially the frontrunner with wins from both Critics’ Choice and the Golden Globes while Kerry Condon took home the BAFTA and Jamie Lee Curtis took home the SAG Award. Jamie Lee Curtis ended up taking home the Oscar. Was this undeserved? No, but it is a shock next to Angela Bassett's performance and even the performance of her co-star Stephanie Hsu.

The snub that stood out the most to me, was in the animated short category; the winner of this category was “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse”. This short though beautifully animated is quite generic in its storytelling. Produced by Apple TV, it was one of the few that came from a bigger studio and was also driven by a celebrity voiced cast. I believe both Ice Merchants and My Year of Dicks should've been the frontrunners for this category, and were both vastly more deserving in animation style and overall storytelling. I highly recommend watching both.

Still from “Ice Merchants”

The most important thing about the Oscars, though, and I will always believe they are worth watching, are those magical moments when they get it right.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio took home Best Animated Feature. Easily the most deserving of the bunch, with its immersive storytelling, beautiful animation, and profound appreciation for the art form. “Animation is cinema. Animation is not a genre. Animation is ready to be taken to the next step. Keep animation in the conversation.” stated Del Toro in his acceptance speech, after last year's Oscars deemed animation as a genre simply for children in the presentation for the award.

Still from “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”

This year, Ke Huy Quan’s win for Best Supporting Actor stole the show. His speech was one of the most touching moments in Oscars history. It was truly a year for the underdogs, with Brendan Fraser’s win for Best Actor with his comeback performance in “The Whale”, and Michelle Yeoh’s win for Best Actress with her performance in “Everything Everywhere All At Once”. Yeoh become the first Asian actress to ever win this award, which was so well deserved with her phenomenal performance.

“Everything Everywhere All At Once” took the cake with 7 wins and 11 nominations. This awards season made the film the most awarded film of all time. The film is a triumph in creative storytelling and cinema and deserves every ounce of praise it gets. You can truly feel the love for this film seeping through the screen.

And of course, that hug between Ke Huy Quan and Harrison Ford nearly forty years after “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” has become an instant highlight in Oscars history.

But let's be honest, the real highlight of the night? Had to be Cocaine Bear.

Written by Kylie Nash

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