The 95th Academy Awards: Heartbreaking and heartwarming moments


Anna Frost

The 95th Academy Awards was a ceremony held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. It honored films released in 2022.

The Academy Awards, commonly known as the Oscars, took place on March 12. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, fans and actors alike looked forward to finding out which films would bring home the most awards. The show is presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and aims to recognize artistic and technical talent in the industry. But like any award show, certain moments could bring a tear to just about any one’s eyes while others left the whole audience cringing. 

One movie that swept just about every nomination they received was “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” This movie had a stacked cast full of experienced actors: Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Quan, Key Huy Quan as Waymond Wang, Stephanie Hsu as Joy Wang, and Jamie Lee Curtis as Deirdre Beaubeirdre. In addition to the complex scientific fiction storyline filled with twists and turns, ultimately describing struggles with generation trauma, many people suspected that this movie would be a home run in awards. One of the most emotion-filled moments of the night was when Key Huy Quan accepted his nomination for Best Supporting Actor. After retiring in the early 2000s, Quan was inspired to reenter the industry. He left some inspiring words in the closing, remarking “Dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine. To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive.” 

Another “Everything Everywhere All At Once” award was met with less excitement and more backlash. Jamie Lee Curtis, renowned actress who has starred in the likes of “Halloween”, “Freaky Friday,” and “Knives Out” and a proclaimed “Nepotism Baby” received the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Some fans of the movie retaliated on Twitter, stating that fellow nominee Stephanie Hsu was much more deserving of the award for her wide range of emotions given for her character Joy Wang. As someone who watched the movie, while I think both of the actors delivered their roles amazingly, I agree with some of the fans. Stephanie Hsu had a much more complex part in the movie and had to play multiple different roles all together. 

Only a handful of stages are bigger than the Oscars and the cast of short film “An Irish Goodbye” took that advantage fully. After winning Best Live Action Short Film, the cast asked the audience to sing Happy Birthday to the star of the film, James Martin. As the camera panned to the audience, multiple people started tearing up and everybody was beaming. This heartfelt, exciting moment for Martin is something he will never forget and was a fun way to change up the same copy and paste speech. 

Another big win during the night was Brendan Fraser winning Best Actor. Just like Key Huy Quan, Brendan Fraser had an action-packed beginning of his career in the early 90s’. Many articles claimed him as a “90’s heart-throb” starring in “George of the Jungle,” “Gods and Monsters” and “The Mummy.” Since then he has only played a few roles in rather lackluster movies. However, his career was revived thanks to his audition for “The Whale.” “The Whale” tells a story about a morbidly obese English teacher, Charlie (played by Ben Fraser), who is desperate to reconnect with his teenage daughter. Brendan Fraser teared up on stage as he thanked the producers for throwing a “creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship ‘The Whale.’”

Overall the Oscars were like they are every year: bittersweet. Some people celebrated their wins and other people mourned their loss, but ultimately it’s a time of celebration for the actors and all their hard work.