95th Academy Awards: The best Oscars in years


Mirko Fabian

The 2023 Academy Awards were hosted by Jimmy Fallon for the third year in a row.

Max Spiegel, Staff Writer

On Mar. 12,  Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 95th Annual Academy Awards. This was easily the best Academy Awards ceremony that I have watched. So many amazing things happened at this year’s Oscars, as 16 of the 20 acting nominees were all first-time nominations. The speeches were powerful and I don’t think there were any flat out snubs this year. One thing is for sure, I’m just glad that nobody pulled a Will Smith on stage since it really got slapped onto every major news headline last year. With so many incredible films nominated this year, let’s break down all the winners of the most anticipated categories. 

Best Picture

¨Everything Everywhere All At Once¨ took home the awards for best picture which comes as no surprise. From artistically made films to big expensive blockbusters, this year’s nominations for best picture appealed to a wide variety of audiences. I still thought films such as “Top Gun: Maverick” and “The Fabelmans” were slightly better, but I also thought “Everything All At Once” was such a breath of fresh air and had a creative and unique style, filled with great performances.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Brenden Fraser makes his way back into Hollywood, taking home the award for best actor for ¨The Whale.¨ The main aspect of this category for me came down to Austin Butler´s performance in ¨Elvis¨ and Brenden Fraser´s performance in ¨The Whale,¨ since they both have won this award in other award ceremonies. For example, Austin Butler took home this award at the Golden Globes this year, while Brenden Fraser took this award home at the Critics Choice Awards. This was also the first time since 1935 that the category was made of all first time nominees. When it comes to Brendan Fraser´s performance in ¨The Whale,¨ I thought that he did an incredible job. After watching him in movies such as ¨The Mummy¨ and ¨George of the Jungle,¨ his performance further showed just how good of an actor he can be. Especially after his hiatus from Hollywood for over a decade, his win this year proved to be an incredible comeback.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

History has been made, as Michelle Yeoh takes home the award for best actress for her role in ¨Everything Everywhere All At Once.¨ Not only was this her first Oscar win, but she is also the first Asian actress to win an award in this category. I´m a huge fan of Michelle Yeoh as an actress, and I find it crazy that after all her years in the acting industry, this is her first Oscar nomination and win. Her performance in ¨Everything Everywhere All At Once¨ as a mother who is trying to save her daughter, just proves how great of an actress and martial artist she is. The only other performance I have seen in this category was Michelle Williams in ¨The Fabelmans,¨ who I thought also did an amazing job portraying a fictionalized version of Steven Spielberg´s mother, but I personally thought that Michelle Yeoh´s performance was slightly better and I think she totally deserves this award.

Best Supporting Actor

Making his way back into acting again, Ke Huy Quan takes home the award for best supporting actor for his role in ¨Everything Everywhere All At Once.¨ This one comes as no surprise, as he has won this award in all of the other award shows. I think that he totally deserves this award and it made an incredible comeback for him. All of the other nominees gave incredible performances as well, and for me it’s really awesome to see a newer actor in Brian Tyree Henry get nominated for his first Academy Award. I also found it interesting that Judd Hirsch was nominated for ¨The Fabelmans¨ even though he was in the movie for only eight minutes. Going back to Ke Huy Quan, I loved him as Short Round in ¨Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom¨ and his role in ¨The Goonies,¨ but I didn’t realize he retired from acting for a while after I heard about his role in ¨Everything Everywhere All At Once.¨ I think it’s remarkable how he spent over 35 years in retirement and the first role he came back for, he gets nominated and wins an Academy Award. If this isn’t one for the best comebacks in Hollywood, then I don’t know what is. His performance in this film was incredible and I can’t wait to see what else he does next. 

Best Supporting Actress

Probably the most shocking of all the awards at this years Oscars, Jamie Lee Curtis takes home the award for best supporting actress for her role in ¨Everything Everywhere All At Once.¨ Of all of the awards that happened this year, this was by far the most surprising. My prediction for the winner of this category was Angela Bassett for ¨Black Panther: Wakanda Forever¨ since her performance was really hyped up from the film, and deservedly so. But I’m a huge Jamie Lee Curtis, and I was so happy to see her win her first Oscar. Her performance in ¨Everything Everywhere All At Once¨ was amazing, and i’ve loved her as an actress ever since I saw her as Lori Strode in John Carpenter’s ¨Halloween.¨ I know some people might be upset that Angela Bassett didn’t win for her role as Queen Ramonda but with Jamie Lee Curtis winning, I’m not in the slightest bit mad.

Best Director
With all of the talented directors nominated at the Oscars this year, the award for best director when to Daniel Kwan and Deniel Scheinert for ¨Everything Everywhere All At Once.¨ For this category, Steven Spielberg is of course one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Martin McDonagh is a great filmmaker, and it was awesome to see the Daniels get their first Oscars as directors. ¨Everything Everywhere All At Once¨ was one of the most creative and unique films that I have ever seen, and a big part of that was the direction that Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert went with this film and the fresh new style that they brought to the table. As much as I loved ¨The Fabelmans¨ and ¨The Banshees of Inisherin,¨ I´m so happy to see young filmmakers like the Daniels win an award in this category.

Best Original Screenplay

With the exact same people nominated for best director, the award for best original screenplay goes once again to Daniel Kwan and Deniel Scheinert for ¨Everything Everywhere All At Once.¨ With this category, I found it ironic that the exact same nominees from best director were nominated here, even with the same two people winning. As I said previously, I found the film to be such a breath of fresh air and definitely the most bonkers film I have ever seen. The screenplay was very witty and fun, and I think that the Daniel´s deserve the win for this category. 

Best Adapted Screenplay

One of the more underseen movies nominated for best adapted screenplay, the award went to Sarah Polley fro her script for ¨Women Talking.¨ With this category, I haven’t seen ¨Women Talking,¨ but I’m glad that a woman won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay. The only two movies I have seen in this category are ¨Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery¨ and ¨Top Gun: Maverick,¨ and I would say that both are great sequels to their predecessors. I’ve heard great things about all of these scripts and I´m glad Sarah Polley got recognized for her achievement in writing.

Best Animated Feature Film

After a year of highly praised animation, the award for best animated feature went to none other than ¨Guillermo Del Toro´s Pinocchio.¨ This one comes as no surprise to me, as I thought that ¨Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio¨ was one of the best animated films to come out in a while. I haven’t seen ¨The Sea Beast¨ or ¨Marcel the Shell With Shoes On,¨ so I won’t be commenting on those. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really enjoyed ¨Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,¨ however I wasn’t a fan of the film ¨Turning Red.¨ ¨Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio¨ totally deserves this award in my opinion. I thought the film had so much heart and so much emotion and was so much better than I ever thought it would be, making its way onto my top 10 favorite movies that came out in 2022. 

International Feature Film

Winning the award for best international feature film goes to¨All Quiet on the Western Front.¨ Since this was the only film nominated for best picture in this category, this one comes as absolutely no surprise to me. The Academy has done this many times in the past. They take the only international film nominated for best picture and nominate it for best international feature. Most of the time, it ends up being that film that wins this category, and in this case, it’s ¨All Quiet on the Western Front.¨ For me, this was easily one of the least surprising wins that happened at this year’s Oscars.

Best Original Score

Winning the award for best original score, Volker Bertelmann took it home for his score for ¨All Quiet on the Western Front.¨ For me, I thought this award was a bit of a snub. I haven’t seen ¨All Quiet on the Western Front ” or “Babylon,¨  but I have listened to all of the scores for these films. One of the snubs for me that didn’t even get a nomination was the incredible score for ¨The Batman¨ by Michael Giacchino. If that had gotten nominated, that would have been my pick to win. But for the actual nominees, I thought that ¨Babylon¨ had the coolest score that felt like something that had a 1920´s style feel to it. While I still liked the score for ¨All Quiet on the Western Front,¨ I think the award should have gone to Justin Hurwitz for ¨Babylon.¨

Best Original Song

For best original song, the award went to the song ¨Naatu Naatu¨ by M.M. Keeravaani and Chandrabose from the film ¨RRR.¨ This award is not too surprising since ¨Naatu Naatu¨ won this category at the Golden Globes earlier this year, and for me it totally deserved it. From the catchy lyrics, the upbeat vibe of the song, to the incredible dance choreography, there’s a lot in this song to love. Don’t get me wrong, ¨Hold My Hand¨ and ¨Lift Me Up¨ were both beautiful and amazing songs, written by top notch talent in Lady Gaga and Rihanna, but I really appreciated that the Academy recognized Indian musicians as this is the first time anyone in the Indian culture won best original song. As much as I liked all of these songs, as well as their performances at the Oscars, I thought that ¨Naatu Naatu¨ deserved this award. 

Visual Effects

This category shouldn’t even be a competition this year, and ¨Avatar: The Way of Water¨ takes home the award for best visual effects. Honestly for me, this was easily the least surprising category win on this list, in competition with best international feature film. As soon as I saw that “Avatar: The Way of Water” was nominated for best visual effects, there was no way this award was going to any of the other films nominated. Don’t get me wrong, all of the other films nominated had incredible visual effects that I found mesmerizing, but the most praised aspect of both of the Avatar films are the absolutely stunning visuals. ¨Avatar: The Way of Water¨ for me was probably one of if not the most visually stunning movies I have ever seen, and I think that the film totally deserves this award for best visual effects.