The 95th Academy Awards

Will SorgMovies Guy

This is my first published article covering the Oscars. I wrote one last year but it ended up being derailed by Will Smith and I was unsatisfied with the final product so I did not publish it. Seeing as Jimmy Kimmel already made about five or six unfunny jokes relating to last year’s big incident I will now never bring up ‘the slap’ ever again. Anyways this was probably the most watchable Oscars I’ve seen in years. 

It feels like The Academy finally tried listening to everyone this year. There were no intensely unfunny SNL-type sketches, they didn’t mistreat the technical awards like last year, there weren’t too many unnecessary clips shown, and they didn’t even draw out the opening segment too long. It was a simple, unproblematic, safe ceremony, and I appreciated that. There were plenty of groan-worthy jokes and a few awkward patches, but the ceremony itself was unremarkable, which is perhaps the best compliment I can give to an Oscars ceremony. Now, I’m going to talk about the winners of this year in quite a bit of detail because I want to make watching 46 out of the 54 nominated movies this year feel like I didn’t waste my time. 

Obviously, I cannot go very far through the ceremony without mentioning the big winner. Everything Everywhere All at Once absolutely swept through the Oscars this year. I was overjoyed to see my favorite film of this year get as many awards as it did. Besides Best Picture, Best Directors, and Best Original Screenplay, the film picked up almost every acting award, including a much-deserved win for the film’s show stealer, supporting actor Ke Huy Quan. The other two winners, the always wonderful Jamie Lee Curtis and the fantastic Michelle Yeoh gave fantastic speeches, but Quan was especially great to see on stage. His acceptance speech was beautiful, and his story as a refugee turned child star, turned Oscar-winning actor is undoubtedly compelling. The whole cast and crew of the film were a delight to watch in their celebration, as they seem to be genuine, humble, incredibly creative people. 

Another huge moment for the ceremony was Brendan Fraser’s Best Actor win for The Whale. In the last few years, Fraser has received an outpouring of love and sympathy from his fans as he’s begun to return to Hollywood. After his unfair blacklisting due to him calling out sexual misconduct perpetrated against him, it is great to see the 90’s star back on top with this award. His performance in The Whale is heartbreaking to watch and his win is well deserved, even with the other nominees bringing equally as incredible performances this year. 

As always, the Best International Feature Film award was unsurprising at best. All Quiet On The Western Front won, which was essentially assumed as it was the only film up for Best International that was also up for Best Picture. In my opinion, one of All Quiet’s fellow nominees for the category, EO, Jerzy Skolimowski’s film told through the perspective of a donkey, was one of the best films of this year. However, The Academy clearly loved All Quiet as the film took home four Oscars. I personally find that the film misses many of the essential details of the novel it adapts, but it is definitely a well-made film, and I am glad the filmmakers who worked hard on the film were able to be honored for their work. 

Best Animated Feature went to Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, a great win that stands in direct contrast to the winner of Best Animated Short Film, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. I say it is contrasted with the feature winner because while Pinocchio is a good choice in a category filled with mostly great films, the Short Film winner this year is an absolutely baffling choice. It is beautifully animated, but the film itself is completely substanceless and far too long. I would recommend you check out all of the animated shorts this year besides this one. It is terrible. 

To quickly summarize a few of the less talked about awards from this ceremony: Top Gun won for best sound because it’s very loud and the academy likes when loud movies win best sound. Avatar 2 won for best visual effects because it had already won that award by default when it was announced that Avatar 2 was coming out. RRR won the best original song because “Naatu Naatu” is an amazing song in a movie filled with amazing songs. Navalny won Best Documentary because it’s about Russia, which is current these days. It’s also a great documentary, but I would have preferred Fire of Love or All The Beauty and The Bloodshed. Finally, Women Talking took home a well-earned Best Adapted Screenplay win for Sarah Polley’s incredible adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel.

It definitely wasn’t a perfect Oscar night. Nope was completely snubbed because award ceremonies have something against horror films, and I would have picked any of the other Best Original Score nominees over All Quiet On The Western Front, but I think this year’s Oscars was the best I’ve seen in a long time. For me, it was not because of the Cocaine Bear jokes, or the grand dresses, or even who won or didn’t win. I liked it because a lot of the winnersFraser, Quan, even the Everything Everywhere all at Once directors Danielswere first-time nominees who came up on stage and poured their hearts out. There was a passion on stage that rarely is felt during the Oscars, but it was felt this time around.