The Best and Worst Moments from the 2023 Oscars

From miniature donkeys and cocaine bears to Florence Pugh and Andrew Garfield, the 2023 Oscars ceremony saw its share of highs and lows.

It’s been one year since the infamous Will Smith/Chris Rock debacle known as The Slap, and the industry-wide mission for a smooth, if uneventful Oscars night in 2023 seems to have been a success.

Whether it was Ke Huy Quan honoring his mom or Charlie Mackesy missing his dog, the 95th Academy Awards were generally pleasant. Host Jimmy Kimmel marked the occasion at the show’s end by updating a sign backstage to read “Number of Oscar Telecasts Without Incident: 1.” (Notably, Kimmel has hosted three times, first in 2017 when “La La Land” was mistakenly announced as Best Picture over “Moonlight” by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.)

But just because no one got smacked doesn’t mean the biggest night in Hollywood went off without a hitch. The drama of last year inevitably impacted how audiences perceived Sunday’s ceremony, as IndieWire’s Ben Travers explains in his review of ABC’s telecast.

“In 2023, with plenty of feel-good winners predicted to win (many of whom did, in fact, take the stage), it makes some degree of sense for producers to go all-in on an average telecast; for a night meant to honor artistic achievement to simply honor artistic achievements,” Travers said.

“Mainly, they pulled it off. Scanning Twitter during the telecast and thinking back on the events now, it’s nice to get back to nit-picking choices, rather than breaking down an unexpected act of violence. The 2023 Academy Awards did a lot right (they awarded all the categories, live!), and it got plenty of things wrong.”

Travers praised Kimmel for creating a “relaxed vibe from the outset,” but criticized the ceremony’s awkward direction, uneven pacing, and strange digital displays, which “provided cool frameworks for some speeches” but “haunting choices” for others. (See Frances McDormand’s disapproving face glowering behind “Women Talking” writer/director Sarah Polley, and the meme that quickly became.)

Listed in no particular order, the following highlight the best, worst, and otherwise memorable moments from the 2023 Oscars. From miniature donkeys and cocaine bears to Florence Pugh and Andrew Garfield to “Everything Everywhere All at Once” snagging Best Picture, this is what you did — and didn’t — miss at the 95th Academy Awards.

See all of the 2023 Oscar winners.

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