Crashing the champagne carpet: 95th Oscars review


Public Domain Pictures

The 95th Academy Awards took place on March 12, with “Everything Everywhere All at Once” claiming the award of best picture.

Elizabeth Rose

As a first-time viewer of the Oscars, excluding the occasional YouTube clip, I had only the infamous slap from last year as a base to go off of when tuning in this past Sunday. I employed a trusted friend to bear the three hours with me in the case I found myself no longer engaged, which fortunately wasn’t an issue. Just as the 95th Academy Awards successfully came to a close without incident, I stuck through the entire premiere in all its champagne glory.

Despite being a bit underwhelming, this being no one’s fault but my own for expecting another burst of dramatics, I found this year’s Oscars enjoyable. I wasn’t familiar with many of the film names nominated this year but the clips highlighting each one provided enough to where I was actively making predictions moments before the winner of each category was announced. 

The 2023 host Jimmy Kimmel was a break-even in my book. While the only joke in Kimmel’s opening remarks I understood was a reference to “E.T.,” I respect the careful choice of words he used to avoid offending anyone. His humor might not be for me but I would be lying if I said he hadn’t at least slightly reeled me in as the night continued. Him nonchalantly revealing a score board titled “Number of Oscars Telecasts Without an Incident” and flipping it from ‘00’ to ‘01’ as credits rolled was genius in the sense of poking fun.

A standout throughout the entire event was the fashion. Notable names for their choice of dress include Angela Bassett, who donned a royal purple Moschino gown and elegant snake necklace, Nicole Kidman with a black Armani Privé gown adorned with sequins and roses and Halle Berry, who arrived in a white Tamara Ralph gown coupled with dazzling pink flowers. Honorable mentions go to singer “Tems” for the massive swooping cloud-like sleeve quite literally floating above her dress and Brian Tyree Henry for the sheer amount of detail on his tux.

The performances from each nominee for best original song offered a nice variety, opening with Sofia Carson’s rendition of “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman” and ending with Rihanna serenading the crowd with “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”  While I am partial to the latter, I cannot be upset with “Nattu Nattu” winning due to the energy put into the performance. Son Lux, Stephanie Hsu and David Byrne’s performance of “This Is A Life” from “Everything Everywhere All At Once” was its own sight to behold, from googly eyes on the dancer’s foreheads to the otherworldly nature of the song itself. 

For the awards themselves, I was amazed to see “Everything Everywhere All At Once” take home over half the awards that night, including best picture, lead actress and both best supporting actor and actress. Emotional speeches from Jamie Lee Curtis and Michelle Yeoh for winning best supporting actress and best lead actress had me absolutely enthralled as they thanked their parents with teary eyes and shared how monumental this win was for their careers.

“And ladies,” Yeoh said on stage, holding her award, “don’t let anyone tell you that you’re past your prime.”

Overall, minus overstaying its welcome by half an hour, the 2023 awards show was a success. It broke the mold with its diverse cast of nominees, offered a welcome reprieve from its drama-filled predecessor and even gave us a release date for the live action “The Little Mermaid” (May 26). The largest critique I can offer: bring back the red carpet. It’s a necessity.