laundry, taxes. Dreams and Academy Awards.
The “crazy folks” behind the multiverse-hopping awards juggernaut Everything Everywhere All at Once staked their claim in the Oscar-verse on Sunday, dominating the 95th Academy Awards with seven wins, including best picture and best directing.
The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and on a night it revived after Will Smith’s stunning slap in the face during last year’s ceremony, we quote The Whale star and bewitched Lead Actor winner Brendan Fraser: “So this is, what the multiverse looks like?”
Nightly star Jimmy Kimmel hosted the ceremony for the third time, and the ceremony ran at least 30 minutes beyond its planned three-hour runtime — a certainty the host repeatedly referenced throughout the evening as the television show warded off incidents that would necessitate Oscars “Crisis Team”. However, Kimmel ended up resetting the count of his “number of Oscars without incident” counter as the show attempted to return to post-slap and post-pandemic normalcy.
Here’s a look at the key moments of this year:
Jimmy Kimmel hits back – again and again
The host didn’t let go of last year’s slap, targeting 2022 Lead Actor winner Will Smith in his opening monologue and repeatedly throughout the show.
“We want you to feel safe. And most importantly, we want me to feel safe,” Kimmel said during his monologue. “So we have strict guidelines. If someone commits an act of violence in this theater, you get the Oscar for best actor and you get to give a 19-minute speech.”
Course-correcting Oscars past
Questlove, winner of last year’s documentary, presented the category this year after the slap “fight” eclipsed his big win last year. Though the Summer of Soul filmmaker didn’t address the incident directly onstage (he did at last year’s Grammy Awards and on the Oscars red carpet), his appearance was one of the producers’ obvious attempts to set the course to correct.
The Lead Actor Oscar, which is normally presented by the previous year’s Lead Actor winner (Smith in this case), was presented instead by previous winners Jessica Chastain and Halle Berry, who welcomed Michelle Yeoh to their ranks.
Meanwhile, Creed III star director Michael B. Jordan gave Supporting Actress nominee Angela Bassett a shout-out as he and Jonathan Majors co-presented. “Hey, Auntie,” he said, repeating one of his lines from “Black Panther,” giving anyone who felt Bassett was being snubbed again at the Oscars a chance to feel seen. When Wakanda Forever costume designer Ruth E. Carter returned to the stage to accept another Oscar, she thanked the Academy “for recognizing the superhero that is a black woman.” (“She endures. She loves. She overcomes. She is every woman in this film. And she is mine [101-year-old late] Mother.”)
And the “hopelessly devoted” John Travolta – he of the disgrace “Adele Dazeem” – kicked off the In Memoriam segment with a tearful tribute to his “Grease” co-star Olivia Newton-John.
Those “everything, everywhere at once” speeches are still cheerful
After a long awards season and many wins, the cast and crew of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” kept their rousing rhetoric alive. If you didn’t believe the magic of the multiverse, at least let its stars help you believe in slow-burning career magic. (Or see frenetically enveloping Ke Huy Quan his ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ (1984) co-star Harrison Ford when Ford presented him and the team with the Best Picture award.)
Begin with Supporting Actor-winner Quan’s latest emotional speech on the American Dream at the start of the show, volleying to Jamie Lee Curtis’ triumphant “We Just Won an Oscar” supporting actress love fest, Daniels’ multiple pledges, and Yeoh’s words of wisdom, the big winners celebrated mothers, “the genius emerging from the collective” and the “greatness in every human being”.
“This is a beacon of hope and possibility…dreams come true,” Yeoh proclaimed. “Ladies, don’t let anyone tell you you’ve ever passed your prime.”
Pop stars win the live performances
Original song nominee Lady Gaga made it to the Oscars and even performed! The “Hold My Hand” singer-songwriter made headlines earlier this week after producers said she was the only song nominee not to perform during this year’s show because she “didn’t feel like she was a performance of of the caliber that we’re used to with her and that she’s used to at the time.
Then, after walking the champagne-colored red carpet in full glamor, Gaga broke all expectations with an intimate, stripped-down performance of the power ballad “Top Gun: Maverick” while wearing a black t-shirt, ripped jeans and sneakers – with Nary a touch of makeup remained on her face.
Rihanna made her exciting return to live television after appearing at Super Bowl LVI last month to perform her Oscar-nominated song “Life Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The ballad was written as a tribute to the late “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman, and seeing it performed live by the pregnant pop powerhouse was just different, they say.
And David Byrne was joined by Son Lux and Everything Everywhere All at Once star Stephanie Hsu to bring us the hot dog finger cover of This Is a Life we didn’t know we had needed.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” makes noise
For part of the night, Edward Berger’s World War I epic All Quiet on the Western Front seemed poised to edge out Everything Everywhere All at Once as the big winner. The film picked up wins in cinematography, international feature film, production design and original score, and achieved a winning streak midway through the ceremony that made it the second-most winning film of the night, with four Oscars from nine nominations.
The Oscars are becoming a real zoo
We have adjusted to a zoo! Kimmel gleefully brought some wild animals onto the stage when he introduced Jenny, the now-retired donkey sidekick from The Banshees of Inisherin, as — at least that’s what they told the airline — the emotional companion animal for the show. (It wasn’t the real Jenny, however.)
Later, Cocaine Bear director Elizabeth Banks presented the visual effects award, accompanied by a person in a massive bear costume. The furry guest star later made his way into the audience for a tour with Kimmel, who dealt another punch to his longtime nemesis, Matt Damon. The Oscars, man, they’re wild.
Four award ceremonies and a reunion
Angering Oscars viewers at home and going viral with his rude and low-key red carpet interview with On the Red Carpet co-host Ashley Graham, Glass Onion actor Hugh Grant was apparently trying to use his signature self-deprecation Humor during the film rehabilitate ceremony. The British actor reunited on stage with his ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ co-star Andie MacDowell to present the Production Design Award. That’s when he spoke poetically about the power of moisturizing, actually calling himself “basically a scrotum” during the ceremony. (Did you hear that, Ashley?!)