The 95th Academy Awards


Carlos Barria via Reuters

Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert and Jonathan Wang win the Oscar for Best Picture for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” during the Oscars show at the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 12, 2023. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Paolo Acob, Photo Editor

Celebrating a new year of inclusivity and diversity in the Academy… or are we?
After an eventful 94th Academy Awards, the Oscars returned on Mar. 12, 2023, with plenty of entertaining moments to cover.
The wonderful world of cinema, from production to set & costume design; from ensemble casts to sound designers; from editors to executive producers, all gather for the Oscars to celebrate cinematic achievements, as 2022 is the first full year, free from production altercations deriving from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Host’s Monologue
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the ceremony celebrated twenty-four categories with highlights in every presentation. From comedic gags such as the male donkey on stage to a “cocaine bear” presenting with Elizabeth Banks, the night was full of surprises.
The late-night host was a comedic yet safe choice for the Oscars, considering the viral “slap” incident between actors Chris Rock and Will Smith at the previous ceremony in 2022. 
Kimmel utilized the situation humorously, stating “…if anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for best actor, and permitted to give a nineteen-minute-long speech,” taking a jab at Will Smith last year for slapping comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke offending Jada Pinkett-Smith during his presentation.
Unlike the 94th Academy Awards host Amy Schumer, Kimmel was able to convey to audiences that he actually watched the films, asking for protection from actors who played popular characters; “If any of you get mad at a joke and decide to come up here and get jiggy with it it’s not going to be easy, there are a few of my friends that you’re going to have to get through first, you’ll have to get through the heavyweight champ, Adonis Creed before you get to me; you’re going to have to do battle with Michelle Yeoh before you get to me, you’re going to have to beat the Mandalorian before you get to me, you are going to have to tangle with Spiderman…”
The First Few Awards
Beginning with “Best Supporting Actor”, the nominees included Barry Keoghan, Judd Hirsch, Brian Tyree Henry, Brendan Gleeson, and Ke Huy Quan. The award was given to Quan for his role as Waymond Wong in “Everything Everywhere, All At Once” which marked Quan’s first Academy Award. Prior to the Academy Awards, Quan received plenty of awards and accolades from previous ceremonies such as the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, and at Critics Choice Awards. 
“Best Supporting Actress” was awarded to Jamie Lee Curtis, winning amongst nominees such as Hong Chau, Angela Bassett, Kerry Condon, and co-star Stephanie Hsu. This award was a bit surprising for audiences, considering the performances stacked against Curtis. 
Instead of Angela Bassett’s character, “Ramonda” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” Hong Chau from “The Whale,” or even Stephanie Hsu from the same film, it seems like the Academy intends on repeating the same pattern of not giving POC actors and actresses their awards.
Despite the magical performance of anybody in the category, including Kerry Condon from “Banshees of Inisherin,” the Academy found Curtis’s portrayal of an IRS the most compelling and deserving. 
The Award for Best Documentary Short Film
Amongst the nominees “The Martha Mitchell Effect,” “Stranger At The Gate,” “Haulout,” and “How Do You Measure A Year,” the award went to Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga.
As the two proceeded to the stage to accept their award, Gonsalves was able to provide a captivating speech about our relationship with indigenous species, sharing compassion with others, and coexistence, which took about 45 seconds.
Assuming she would be given the same amount of time, Monga steps forward to present her speech, until she was cut off by music during the program.
This seemed intentional by the program, which may have been because of time management until the award for “Best Animated Short Film” was awarded to “The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse,” which was received by Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud, who both proceeded to present a 45-second speech without interruption.
The Academy, amidst making plenty of progressions this award season, still has a lot to work on in terms of inclusivity.
The Rest of The Award Show
“All Quiet in The Western Front” took home four awards including; “Best Cinematography, Best International Feature Film, Best Music (Original Score), and Best Production design.” This is a big win for Netflix, although some of these categories had tough competition. 
“Best Cinematography” not awarded to “Tár” was a missed opportunity and “Best Music for Original Score” could have been awarded for Justin Hurwitz’s work on “Babylon” is that the program used “Voodoo Mama” for the opening montage, recognizing its bombastic celebration of Hollywood.< Even “Best Production Design” could have been awarded to films like; “Babylon,” “Elvis,” “The Fabelmans,” or even “Avatar: The Way of Water,” though the Academy had other plans by awarding another war film. James Cameron, despite his absence at the Oscars this year, did receive an award for “Avatar: The Way of Water,” as it took home “Best Visual Effects.” This award recognized the hard work of their VFX team; Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon, and Daniel Barrett. “Best Writing for Adapted Screenplay” was awarded to Sarah Polley for “Women Talking,” while “Best Music for Original Song” was given to “Naatu Naatu” from the film “RRR,” another win for Netflix, but also a great push for inclusion as M.M. Keeravaani takes home this award.  Guillermo del Toro receives the achievement for “Best Animated Feature Film” for Netflix’s “Pinocchio” in which his award speech advocated that, “Animation is Cinema, the animation is not a genre, the animation is ready to be taken to the next step, we are all ready for it, please help us keep the animation in the conversation” referring to a recent surplus of layoffs made by HBO and Netflix in their animation departments.  Ruth E. Carter rightfully took home the award for “Best Costume Design” for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” After winning in 2019 for “Black Panther’s,” best costume design, Carter thanks Coogler and Boseman for the way they are currently changing representation. Surprisingly “Tár,” “Triangle of Sadness,” and “Banshees of Inisherin” went home with mentions and references, and did not receive any awards for the night. The Final Awards 
Brenden Frasier took home the award for “Best Picture” for his role in “The Whale.” Since his hiatus from acting, this is a big accomplishment for him as well as Ke Huy Quan for “Best Supporting Actor,” both have been in the acting world for decades now. 
Presented by Halle Berry and Jessica Chastain, former winners of the same category, “Best Actress” was awarded to the wonderful Michelle Yeoh for her role as “Evelyn Wang” in “Everything Everywhere, All At Once.” After years of filmmaking, Michelle has finally received her highest achievement, after which she admirably expressed; “For the little boys and girls that look like me, watching tonight. This [Oscar] is a beacon of hype, this is proof that dreams dream big, and that dreams come true, and ladies, never let anyone tell you, ‘you’re past your
Despite the snub for “Best Supporting Actress” from Stephanie Hsu, “Everything Everywhere, All At Once” took home seven awards which also include; Best Film Editing, Best Directing, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture.
Directors Daniel Kwan & Daniel Schienart have provided an amazing narrative of existentialism and appreciation for the mundane in this picture, ushering in a new wave of opportunity and inclusion for anyone to receive the highest achievement in film. 
As we slowly creep up on the 100th Academy Awards, the 96th award ceremony will have big shoes to fill, as 2022 truly delivered some remarkable cinema.