Oscars 2023 Takeaways: Anne Thompson Analysis of Gentler Show

As expected, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” took home the lion’s share of the Oscars, while the show was classy and uneventful. We’ll take it.

On his way to the Governor’s Ball, Darren Aronofsky happily accepted congratulations on his two Oscar wins for “The Whale,” best actor and makeup makeover for comeback kid Brendan Fraser. “All Quiet on the Western Front” star Felix Kammerer was delighted with the German film’s four wins, even though Germany and his home country of Austria were unable to celebrate the best picture trophy. (Netflix came scarily close.) And the A24 team, led by co-founder David Fenkel, broadcast, even if it’s true that they weren’t willing to pose for a celebratory group photo.

Finally, the night meant a changing of the guard. Yes, A24 has won an Oscar before, even for Best Picture (“Moonlight”). But “Everything Everywhere All at Once” dominated Oscar season, eventually winning seven of a possible 11 Oscars, the most wins among best picture winners since Searchlight’s “Slumdog Millionaire” took home eight. (The last film to win seven was Warner Bros.’s “Gravity” in 2014.) “You saw our weirdness, it supported us for a year and kept us in theaters,” said producer Jonathan Wang, who won the best picture Oscar recommended for his film. father.

In recent years, specialty theatrical distributors Searchlight and Focus have been major Oscar distributors (see Searchlight’s “Nomadland,” “12 Years a Slave,” The Shape of Water” and “Birdman,” and Focus’s “Brokeback Mountain,” ” Milk, ” and “Belfast”). But this year, their art pieces “The Banshees of Inisherin” (nine nominations) and “TAR” (six nominations) went home empty-handed, even though they won big at the BAFTAs. Both played the fall festivals and peaked too soon.

Also breathtaking were Steven Spielberg’s underachieving “The Fabelmans,” Baz Luhrmann’s blockbuster “Elvis,” Ruben Ostlund’s arthouse hit “Triangle of Sadness,” and Damien Chazelle’s noble failure “Babylon,” which drew loud boos from the theater when Kimmel . he suggested that unlike “Babylon,” a TV show cannot lose $100 million.

Netflix’s Lisa Taback and Albert Tello with “All Quiet on the Western Front” director Edward Berger at the Governor’s Ball.

Anne Thompson

As Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos pointed out at the Governors’ Ball afterparty, BAFTA has been more willing to give Best Picture to hard-hitting art films like Netflix’s “Roma” and “Roma” than the Academy. , as it expanded, awarded Best Film to a series of crowd pleasers. (In the pandemic year of 2021, the BAFTAs and Oscars have been dubbed with “Nomadland.”) The Academy’s 10,000 members may be more diverse and international, but these days they vote for films that entertain them in the Best Picture category. This includes the studio entry ‘Green Book’ which beat ‘Roma’, ‘Parasite’ which beat 1917, ‘CODA’ which beat ‘The Power of the Dog’ , and A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” beat World War I challenger All Quiet on the Western Front. Director Edward Berger accepted the Academy Award for Best International Film as he embraced exhausted Netflix presenters Lisa Taback and Albert Tello. They did it: Netflix won a total of six Oscars — four for “All Quiet,” plus the live-action short “The Elephant Whisperers” and the animated feature “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.” And “All Quiet” has won the most Oscars for any Netflix movie ever, with four.

Finally, BAFTA is no longer a reliable bellwether for the Oscars. The two groups are not synchronized this year. BAFTA voters gave “Elvis” four awards, including Austin Butler for best actor, while the Oscars completely snubbed it.

In the year since A24 chose to show the film at SXSW, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has proven that modern and new can stay strong: the raucous but poignant multiverse action-comedy outscored all of its competitors, earning 107 million hit $ on the global box. office, and is slowly but surely building on a growing tide of goodwill, forcing many detractors to rewatch and rethink the film. It started with the actors. Much like NEON for “Parasite” and Apple for “CODA,” A24 followed the awards playbook, emphasizing the close family ties between actors and filmmakers Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan. Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu talked about the emotional impact of seeing and hearing them after years of struggle at each of their winning speeches and awards events. And Hollywood native Jamie Lee Curtis brought an authentic voice to finally cement her legacy at the late, well-timed SAG Awards and Oscars. “Everything Everywhere” joins 1951’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” and 1976’s “Network” with three acting wins.

On Oscar night, several winners raised their Oscars to the sky and thanked their parents, living and deceased. “Mom, I just won an Oscar!” Quan told his 84-year-old mother, who was watching at home. “We just won an Oscar,” he told Curtis’ late father and mother, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, who were both nominated for an Oscar but never won.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” directors Scheinert and Kwan, a rare directing team that has won an Academy Award, took to the podium multiple times to accept original screenplay, direction and best picture. Instead of his agents, Scheinert thanked his roster of teachers: “You have educated me and inspired me.” His more modest co-director Kwan cited a lack of self-esteem and thanked Scheinert and his wife for keeping him on track. Their Oscar-winning editor, Paul Rogers, said: “We’re not here for incredible, wonderful, weird, beautiful movies, we’re here because you’re incredible, kind, generous, weird, sexy people.”

The relief was palpable at the Governor’s Ball, where an entire section of the hall is closed off – to the governors of the 54 Academies. Academy CEO Bill Kramer beamed after the first Oscars show. He knew that handing out Best Animated Feature before Supporting Actor and Actress would upset the rhythm of the telecast (it was his comment that “we love animation”), but the Academy is looking to beloved Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro. , tired after a long campaign season, was able to take the stage straight from the wings to accept his inevitable Oscar for his stop-motion adventure “Pinocchio,” a rare win for a non-Disney or Pixar film. “Animation is ready for the next step,” del Toro said.

Then came the euphoria of Ke Huy Quan’s winning supporting role. “This is the American dream,” said the Vietnamese immigrant. Host Ariana DeBose wiped away a tear. “I’m soft,” he said.

See all the winners here.

Oscars 2023, Donkey Jenny Jimmy Kimmel Oscars

“Jenny” and Jimmy at the 2023 Oscars

Courtesy of ABC

From there, the performance was as comfortable as an old sweater. Third-time host Jimmy Kimmel kept things running smoothly; Kramer and AMPAS President Janet Yang thought of their jokes ahead of time, making sure to smooth out the roughest edges to make the night festive and fun. And this year, the Oscars targeted three hours and thirty minutes and clocked in at 3:33. That made Kramer very happy, even though James Cameron (“Avatar: The Way of the Water”) and Tom Cruise (“Top Gun: Maverick”), the powers behind the year’s biggest billion-dollar blockbusters, whose films are a craft Oscar- they won a prize. all of them (VFX and Sound) were never released. “You know a show is too long when even James Cameron can’t sit through it,” Kimmel said.

He upped the ante with a bare-bones rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick,” which he held back from performing (it was never announced) but decided to sing anyway at the last minute. Naturally, producers Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner inserted it into the show. Performances of nominated songs were arguably the night’s strong suit, from pregnant Rihanna (“Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) to hot-dog-fingered David Byrne and Stephanie Hsu (“This Is a Life”) is “Everything everywhere at once”). But of course the winning song from ‘RRR’ brought the house down, an exuberant (if controversial) performance of ‘Naatu Naatu’.

Another telecast extender: Disney Advertising Sales sold several integrated promotions that stuck out like a sore thumb from the show, including a first look at Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and Warner Bros.’s centennial tribute. But in the end, if it sparked the most controversy on Oscar night, along with Hugh Grant’s completely authentic answers Champagne carpet interviewer Ashley Graham, who didn’t give her any work, had a good night.

Questlove at the Governor’s Ball

Anne Thompson

At the ball, veteran first-time nominee Yeoh and Fraser met and hugged on the podium where their Oscars were engraved. Documentary host Questlove admitted he was more nervous about getting the nominees right this year than last year at the Oscars for “Summer of Soul,” which was drowned out by everyone at the Dolby Theater checking their phones to watch Slap. He was totally unaware of it at the time, he said, as he went out into the night to another party. While Kimmel made good jokes about The Slap, the show was classy, ​​emotional (see John Travolta’s cry for his late actress Olivia Newton-John) and blissfully uneventful. When the winning director of “Navalny,” Daniel Rohrer, brought out Navalny’s wife, Yulia, a pin could be heard. “My husband is in prison because he told the truth,” she said. “I dream of the day when you will be free and our country will be free.”

The producers created indelible moments, as Halle Berry, the only best actress of color to win an Oscar (for “Monster’s Ball”), handed the best actress Oscar to Yeoh, the second woman of color ( under 95). the first Asian. And of course, Best Picture host Harrison Ford presented the Best Picture Oscar to “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” star Quan as the camera cut to Steven Spielberg’s shit-eating grin. Unforgettable.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Sarah Polley accepts the award for Best Adapted Screenplay "Talking women" on stage at the 95th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Sarah Polley accepts the award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Women Talking.”

Getty Images

One person making the most of their endless campaigns is adapted screenplay winner Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”), who used her newfound knowledge of the inner workings of the awards ecosystem to write a screenplay about it, she told Variety. “It’s about what I’ve learned and witnessed; it was a wonderful and creative time, he said. “I learned that when people cry when they win an Oscar, what they’re crying about is not what they did in the movie. 80 percent of them cry about how hard they worked in the eight or nine months before the Oscars. All the cocktails worked! Some of them were exhausted and had a nervous breakdown.”

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