Last night’s 95th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles didn’t seem to repair last year’s mistakes — the slap heard around the world, low ratings and boring jokes. Celebrities walked the champagne-colored carpet instead of a red carpet for some reason, and deserving winners took home Oscars.
The Academy Awards has made some questionable decisions in the past. This year’s show wasn’t perfect, but the choices made the viewing experience more pleasant compared to years prior.
A collective complaint about the Oscars is the length of the show. This year, the academy chose to give out awards consecutively for a truncated show time — a very smart decision. Rihanna’s performance of “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and Lady Gaga’s rendition of “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick” added liveliness to the show considering their mega-star status.
Jimmy Kimmel hosted the show for a third time — proving to be an ordinary comedian with no individuality. Kimmel poked fun at Will Smith’s slap, Tom Cruise and James Cameron’s lack of attendance and the box office failure of “Babylon.” The late-night host could have been replaced with Jimmy Fallon or Seth Meyers, and the production’s atmosphere wouldn’t have altered.
Kimmel isn’t an inadequate host, he’s just not the host the Oscars needs to boost ratings. One exchange that screamed second-hand embarrassment was when Kimmel asked Malala Yousafzi and Colin Farrell fan questions. The jokes were harmless, but they easily backfired.
The best part of the show was definitely the winners and their acceptance speeches. All four acting Oscar recipients were first-time nominees.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” led with seven wins, including best picture and the monumental Michelle Yeoh for best actress. Jamie Lee Curtis won best supporting actress for the film and thanked her supporters for championing her horror genre roles, namely in the “Halloween” franchise.
Ke Huy Quan won best supporting actor for the film and had an incredible acceptance speech. Quan oozed humility and emotion as he spoke about achieving the American dream following a break from acting for over two decades due to an inability to find roles for Asian Americans. Quan began his career as a child star in the “Indian Jones” films and “The Goonies.” “Everything Everywhere All at Once” was his first film back to Hollywood, and he is now an Oscar winner.
Brendan Fraser received the best actor award for portraying a 600 pound teacher in “The Whale.” He was another actor who displayed touching modestness. Fraser has made a career comeback after leaving the limelight for several years due to personal issues — health problems”, divorce, and his mother’s death. His performance in the film catapulted him to stardom once more after getting a 14-minute standing ovation for the film’s world premiere at the Venice Film festival.
The Academy Awards are a huge honor, but this historical show, which is supposed to be the biggest award ceremony of the year, isn’t meeting the iconic status it used to.