2023 Oscars Review

Alexa Muñoz, Staff Writer, Assistant Arts & Life Editor

A year after Will Smith’s infamous slap, the 95th Academy Awards prepared for another eventful night, equipped with a crisis team to handle any unexpected incidents. Luckily, the Oscars lacked an act of unexpected violence, and while it may not have been the most memorable, the producers pulled off a successful night of honoring artistic achievement.

Host Jimmy Kimmel opened by setting a relaxed ambiance from the get-go, cracking jokes about the slap and Nicole Kidman’s AMC theaters ads. While his other jokes were not as harmless, sneaking in some relatively misogynistic comments along with a chancy jab at Scientology, Kimmel cultivated a solid, uncontroversial performance. 

During his sporadic appearances throughout the show, he generally kept up his admirable act — with the exception of his unnecessary “La La Land” rendition of Malala Yousafzai’s first name.

For the production “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” the night was more than successful. Taking home 10 Oscars in total, the film won big, proving wrong the initially scant expectations of Oscar glory. The movie took home the awards for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress x2, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Costume Design.

Taking the award for her acting in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win best actress. She dedicated her award to her own mother and all other mothers in the world, claiming “they are the superheroes of today.” 

Winning Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” actor Ke Huy Quan made an extraordinary comeback after being “locked out of Hollywood” due to a lack of available roles deemed suitable for an Asian man in the industry. Beloved for his roles as Short Round in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and Data in “Goonies,” he had basically given up on acting before being cast for the movie. In his moving speech, he first thanked his mother and then told his version of the “American Dream” as a Vietnamese immigrant. 


Jamie Lee Curtis, taking home Best Supporting Actress for “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” triumphed in one of the most competitive categories of this year’s show. Had nominee Angela Bassett taken home the award for her performance in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” she would have been the first performer to win an Oscar for a Marvel movie. 


Following the passing of Chadwick Boseman, the Black Panther community yearned for – and expected – Bassett’s win in this category. From January to March before the awards show, people of the Oscars community rack up votes by hosting extravagant campaign parties. Here, Bassett gained extreme momentum, winning precursor after precursor. However, Jamie Lee Curtis had the last surge of the season, taking home the award. 

I believe that Angela Bassett should have won the award for her work in “Black Panther.” Jamie Lee Curtis, who had a whopping 17 minutes of screen time in “Everything Everywhere All At Once” and is the daughter of two actors, argues that her win is not for being a “nepotism baby” but for her outstanding background in acting. 


The night was successful for smaller films as well, who completely shut out bigger movies like “The Fablemans” and “Banshees of Inishirin.” “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” each took home one award. “Elvis,” nominated for eight awards and expected to take home all, won none.


Last year’s Academy Awards telecast was recorded at 16 million viewers, while this year’s was 18 million. While the numbers seem to be increasing, they fail to trump the 45th Academy Awards’ 85 million viewers. Over the years, the overwhelming decrease in Oscar’s telecast viewers shows that the show has lots of places for improvement in keeping larger audiences entertained.