The 95th Academy Awards have officially passed by, and a lot happened. Some of the best films of the previous year have been honored and we all are looking forward to the next ceremony. Although much happened in between each of the awards, there is too much to talk about. So, for this article I will just keep it to the awards and wins. Here is a brief recap of every category and every winner from the 2023 Oscar award show.
2023 Oscar Winners by Category
Best Animated Feature
Wasting no time getting into a category I have been long awaiting the answer to- Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is the official winner of the Best Animated Feature Award and it is very well deserved. Mark Gustafson and Guillermo Del Toro were full of gratitude for their families and support. Del Toro’s acceptance speech was a touching motion to keep Stop-Motion films alive and to keep supporting animation films. The speech was lovely and well deserved for a film of equal beauty and passion. It also made my night to see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a shiny peach-colored jacket presenting the award.
Guillermo Del Toro’s Oscar winning animated film Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio. | Image provided courtesy of Netflix Studios.
Best Supporting Actor
“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.” If you did not get a chance to see the full acceptance speech from Everything Everywhere All at Once winner Ke Huy Quan, then let those words show you how amazing this win truly is.
Quan’s performance as Waymond Wang was a uniquely beautiful and hilarious role that, even without a win, should still be acknowledged for its power. Quan’s acceptance speech immediately brought the full range of emotions, making it impossible to not tear up watching that moment.
Ke Huy Quan hold the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Quan won the award for his performance as Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All At Once. | Image provided courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Best Supporting Actress
Jamie Lee Curtis is a titan of the industry and one of the greatest human beings currently alive. She is now officially the Academy Award winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis. Accompanied by her equally talented husband, Christopher Guest, Curtis was endlessly grateful to everyone in her life. In her emotional acceptance speech, she made it clear that she was sharing that win with every individual she worked with on the film, as well as her day-to-day support team. Her instantly recognizable look as Tax Auditor Deidre Beaubeirdre in Everything Everywhere All at Once will be in the character design hall of fame forever.
Best Documentary Feature
Kings of their craft, Riz Ahmed and Amir ‘Questlove’ Thompson have an ability to make everything they do cool. The two men presented the award for Best Documentary Feature and made it possibly the coolest presentation of the night. The award went to the documentary Navalny, a fly-on-the-wall documentary thriller about anti-authoritarian Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. After being nearly poisoned to death, he makes discoveries about his assassination attempt and decides to return home.
Best Live Action Short Film
Ahmed and Questlove remained on stage for the next award as well. I could have watched an entire show of just these two talking about movies. The award for Best Live Action Short Film was given to An Irish Goodbye. Despite the title of the film, there were no silent exits. The final moments of the speech were spent singing Happy Birthday to a man with Down syndrome named James.
The Academy chose the greatest presenters of all time for this night. Creed III co-stars Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors presented the award to James Friend for his work on All is Quiet on the Western Front. When Friend reached the stage, he joked that it was unfortunately not his birthday like James from the previous category. All Quiet on the Western Front is not a film I have seen yet. However, it looks to be a harrowing and vile story that is only enhanced through its cinematography. Congratulations, Mr. Friend.
The Academy Award winning film All Quiet on the Western Front. | Image provided courtesy of Netflix Studios.
Makeup and Hairstyling
Sam Jackson and Jennifer Connolly presented the award and had some genuinely good lines. “They are our therapists,” is such a fantastic perspective on these actors’ relationships with their artists. The award went to Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale and its makeup team. The film follows Brendan Fraser as a severely overweight English teacher looking to rekindle his relationship with his estranged daughter.
As sweet as the win was, and as deserved as it was, winner Judy Chin didn’t get a chance to thank anybody. That made me sad. She won an Oscar though, so that is nice and I think is okay.
Best Costume Design
Saying that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was the most correct choice to win this award is like saying Julia Louis-Dreyfus is funny. This is something everyone knows and agrees on. Speaking of JLD, she appeared alongside Paul Dano to present the award for Best Costume Design. The award went to Ruth Carter for her work on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, making her the first Black woman to not only take home a statuette for her costume design, but to be a two-time Oscar winner in any category.
One of the most interesting bits of information from the night was when the over-head announcer stated that Carter had used 3-D printed materials in her designs. That blows me away and is so fascinating.
Multi-time Oscar winner Ruth Carter accepting the award for Best Costume Design. Image provided courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Best International Film
What should not come as too big of a surprise is the award for Best International Film went to All Quiet on the Western Front. That may have sounded harsh, but every bit of critical acclaim that goes towards any movie from 2022, went towards this film. Presented by Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, the award was given to the film’s director Edward Berger. The speech was simple and lovely.
Best Documentary Short Film
Although there was no Riz Ahmed or Questlove presenting, there was Elizabeth Olson and a young up-and-coming actor Pedro Pascal. The award for Best Documentary Short Film went to The Elephant Whisperers, a Netflix original film. Director Kartiki Gonsalves and producer Guneet Munga were given the award and accepted it on behalf of India, with love of their families, and as connectors of the natural world.
As someone who has a passion for the natural world and everything that lives there, I am especially ecstatic over this win. Congratulations to the Gonsalves and Munga for their work and achievement.
Best Animated Short Film
A gorgeously styled short film, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox & The Horse won the achievement for Best Animated Short FIlm. The award was given to Charles Macksey and Matthew Freud, the film’s original writer and producer, respectively. When the two men arrived on stage, rather than thank everyone they apologized. In their charming British humor, they apologized to everyone who should have been up there on stage. They then proceeded to thank everyone for their efforts and support.
Image of the Academy Award winning short film The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, & The Horse provided by BBC Studios.
Best Original Score
All Quiet on the Western Front won the award, and I can’t say that I am surprised. The theme that is played when the film wins is haunting. The foreboding horns that play in their sequence genuinely sound like a tank is headed towards you. Congratulations to composer Volker Bertlemann on the achievement and for creating such an intense score.
Best Production Design
The Academy is a sucker for war movies, as evident by yet another win for All Quiet on the Western Front. Production designers Christian M. Goldbeck and Ernestine Hipper accepted the Oscar.
Best Visual Effects
Enough about Earth wars. Let’s talk about space wars. Not the ones with lasers, but the ones with blue people and American ideals. The award for Best Visual Effects went to James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water. Effects supervisors Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon, and Daniel Barrett accepted the award. The film is currently the third highest grossing film of all time and that is due in no small part to the visual effects of the film.
Best Original Screenplay / Best Adapted Screenplay
Women Talking was awarded the 2023 Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. The award was given to screenwriter Sarah Polley. This category was a close one. Although some were closer choices than others, this should not detract from how fantastic this win is for Sarah Polley. On the other hand, the award for Best Original Screenplay went to The Daniels for Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Women Talking screenwriter Sarah Polley accepting the award for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards. | Image provided courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Speaking of the Daniels, the pair would later go on to win the award for Best Director, beating out a slew of other wildly talented directors. The Daniels are the first pair to win the award since The Coen Brothers in 2007. The Daniels won for their direction on Everything Everywhere All at Once. When the pair reached the stage, the emotions were as high as the high and both men were thankful and dedicated it to all of the mommies out there. Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan were thankful to their parents, the cast and made note how dressing in drag is harmless. This is true, by the way, but regardless, their speech was sweet.
Best Original Song
A film that I personally have pure adoration for and hoped would have gotten more nominations is the film RRR. It is long, epic, incredible, and an entire experience in itself. Although it did not pick up many nominations, RRR did manage to win the award for Best Original Song. The song “Naatu Naatu” is possibly the most epic part of the whole film and showcases the explosive song writing and musical prowesses of Indian filmmaking.
Image of Oscar Winners M.M. Keeravani (Right) and Chandrabose (Left) provided courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Best Film Editing
Everything Everywhere All at Once was the correct choice to win the award for Best Film Editing. The other films in this category were great, don’t get me wrong, but think about the scene with all of the Michelle Yeohs pasted onto each other and tell me it was not one of the best scenes of the year. The award was accepted by the film’s editor Paul Rogers.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Brendan Fraser is back baby! Through tears and a shaky voice, Brendan Fraser was endlessly thankful to everyone, particularly his family. As a lover of The Mummy, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Fraser as a person, this is amazing.
When good people win good things for good work it’s undeniable to give them their flowers. I wish all of the love and congratulations in the world to Brendan Fraser. The award could not have gone to a more genuine person.
Image of Oscar winning actor Brendan Fraser at the 95th annual Academy Awards provided courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
2023 marks the year that some much beloved actors finally achieve the Academy Award Winner status. Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Branden Fraser have all finally achieved the status they have all deserved. However, none are as exciting, to me at least, as Michelle Yeoh finally winning the award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Her performance as Evelyn Wang from Everything Everywhere All at Once makes Michelle Yeoh an Oscar winner. This has been an amazing year so far.
Congratulations to Michelle Yeoh.
Best Motion Picture of the Year
And finally for the moment you and I have all been waiting for- the winner of the Best Picture category. By this point the news is everywhere, but for those that are unaware, Everything Everywhere All at Once is the winner of The Best Motion Picture of the Year. As the night went on this became less of an unlikelihood, but the threat of another big winner was always on its heels.
The Daniels, and Michelle Yeoh came out on top. Many people will look at this win and call it wrong, but I think those people are actually wrong. This is a story about love. The Academy tends to pick films that are nice and have good messages, but they don’t quite capture what Everything Everywhere does. This is right.
The multi-Oscar Award winning cast of the Best Motion Picture of the Year film Everything Everywhere All at Once. Image provided courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
The 2023 Academy Awards are officially over. Do you agree with these winners? What would you have chosen winning for each category? Let me know and below.