As a self-proclaimed “pop-culture knowledge powerhouse,” the Oscars are one of the biggest days of the year for me. I chose to neglect all homework and instead focus on which celebrities would be taking home the coveted gold man statues. My takes on the night are all over the place, so I’m going to divide them up into several categories and we’ll go from there!
Fashion at the Oscars is always elite, especially when it comes to the outfits worn by women. Halle Bailey, who will be portraying Ariel in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, stunned in a beautiful teal-hued tulle dress. On the opposite end of the color spectrum, both Jennifer Connelly and Danai Gurira (stars of Top Gun: Maverick and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, respectively) wore tighter black dresses, accessorized with silver jewels. Gurira’s hair was also extremely cool, as she wore her hair in a high up-do the whole night. As far as the men’s outfits went, many looked good wearing basic suits, although they seemed unstylish next to Lenny Kravitz and Pedro Pascal. Kravitz and Pascal wore loose black suits, although Kravitz opted for the shirtless look while Pascal wore a white turtleneck beneath his jacket. Harvey Guillen was dressed to the nines in a Christian Siriano suit that beautifully complemented the actor’s swirled hair. Overall, a great night for fashion lovers everywhere!
The winners of the night were not shocking to anyone, with the sci-fi/adventure movie Everything Everywhere All At Once and its cast/crew not only taking home Best Picture, but also Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Actress in a Leading Role. The film was highly praised by critics and casual watchers alike due to its Asian representation and storyline that was both thrilling and humorous. Another film that took home many awards was All Quiet on the Western Front, a tale about German soldiers in World War I. The film, which is available for streaming on Netflix, won Best International Film, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score. A heartwarming win was that of Brendan Fraser, who earned Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in The Whale. After years of traumatic Hollywood experiences and taking a break from acting, Fraser returned to the big screen and was, rightfully so, recognized for the incredible skill that he brings to the film industry.
The vast majority of the winners’ speeches were so darn touching that I found tears rolling down my face while I watched the actors and actresses accept their awards. Special shoutout to Ke Huy Quan, who won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance as Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All At Once. He delivered a beautiful and inspiring message that detailed his rise to fame, which started at a refugee camp and led to him being cast in The Goonies and Indiana Jones series. Following the success of those films, Quan was a struggling actor until his big break in this new film. It was also sweet that he could accept Best Picture for EEAAO won from Harrison Ford, the man he worked with as a little boy. Navalny won Best Documentary for its coverage of the poisoning and imprisonment of Russian journalist Alexey Navalny, who Putin attempted to kill for speaking out against the Russian government. While Alexey is still in jail, his wife and children were able to come onstage to speak about the importance of journalistic freedom and fighting for what is right, even if that means being trapped in a cell under harsh treatment.
This year’s live performances were kind of all over the place but did represent the majority of songs nominated for Best Original Song. Rihanna sang “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in honor of the late Chadwick Boseman, and obviously crushed the show with her sultry and soulful voice. Lady Gaga changed out of her fancy dress and makeup to perform a stripped-down version of her Oscar-nominated song from Top Gun: Maverick, “Hold My Hand.” Lady Gaga may have tried to make this song a touch too deep for viewers by sitting on a stool and speaking about what the song meant to her, as many were left wondering how she took away such deep meaning from a song for a movie about planes flying super fast. “Naatu Naatu” from the acclaimed Indian film RRR took home Best Original Song following up a lively performance of the song onstage, complete with bright colors and choreography.
The Oscars this year were pretty great, although I did miss the drama of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. The presenters kept the show moving as well as they could, despite the Academy’s decision to broadcast more of the behind-the-scenes awards, which are extremely fascinating but do add to the already long ceremony. Overall, a great Oscars ceremony!