The Oscars: 2023 – Emi S

On Sunday 12th March, leading actors and filmmakers of 2022 gathered together in one room to celebrate the biggest and best achievements in film of the last year. Let’s see if they gave me something to complain about…

BEST PICTURE

Everything Everywhere All At Once

(other nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, The Fabelmans, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, Triangle of Sadness, Women Talking)

I enjoyed the intro sequence of the film, but 30 mins in and I was just waiting for it to end. It had cool ideas, but maybe I’m just not a fan of the whole quirky marvel dialogue/structure. Frankly, against all of the other nominees, I hate this choice. I do not think it deserved (spoiler) seven Oscars, especially not Best Picture – arguably the most prestigious Oscar of the lot.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Brendan Fraser – The Whale

(other nominees: Austin Butler – Elvis, Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin, Paul Mescal – Aftersun, Bill Nighy – Living)

I’m sure Ms Stone will be happy Paul Mescal didn’t win as he’s the prime reason our English class can’t go to see Streetcar Named Desire (tickets are £300, thanks Paul). Honestly, very happy that Brendan Fraser won an Oscar; he’s been shafted at every opportunity for the last few years and he’s made a great comeback. Plus, now we get a version of the Brendan-Fraser-crying meme irl.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once

(other nominees: Cate Blanchett – Tár, Ana de Armas – Blonde, Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie, Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans)

Personally, I’m more of a Cate Banchett fan but Michelle Yeoh pulled it out the bag for her performance in Everything Everywhere. In spite of hating the film, I thought she was great, and I’m at peace with this decision.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once

(other nominees: Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin, Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway, Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans, Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin)

Ke Huy Quan was a great supporting actor for Everything Everywhere, the perfect counterpart for Michelle Yeoh. Personally, I think I rate Barry Keoghan more as an actor, but Quan’s performance was still commendable.

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All at Once

(other nominees: Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Hong Chau – The Whale, Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin, Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Everything Everywhere, again. To be honest, I only agree with about 3 of the 7 total Oscars this film won, but this Oscar is one of the most frustrating for me. Jamie Lee Curtis is an iconic final girl from the Halloween film franchise, but her performance as a supporting actress in Everything Everywhere was mediocre at best. There were simply so many better options, and how many more Oscars did this film really need? Bit of a wasted decision.

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

(other nominees: Marcel The Shell With Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Sea Beast, Turning Red)

Let’s be honest: it’s a travesty that ‘Lyle, Lyle Crocodile’ didn’t even get nominated for best animated feature film; Shawn Mendes’ singing as the animated crocodile was simply the best thing the big screen has ever seen – as I’m sure Mr Hodson will agree!!

On a real note, I haven’t watched any of this year’s animated films, but according to various sources (my mother), Pinocchio’s win was fully deserved.

COSTUME DESIGN

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Ruth Carter

(other nominees: Babylon – Mary Sophres, Elvis – Catherine Martin, Everything Everywhere All at Once – Shirley Kurata, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris – Jenny Beavan)

I haven’t actually seen Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but from my extensive google searches this one appears to be fully deserved – the costume design was stunning in every still I saw.

EDITING

Everything Everywhere All At Once

(other nominees: The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick)

Despite the feeling of increasing hatred for the film each time it won another Oscar, one thing I can agree on is that the editing in Everything Everywhere was fantastic. The only other competitor for this would probably have to be Elvis, but even that was blown out of the water with the execution of various sequences in Everything Everywhere.

SOUND

Top Gun: Maverick

(other nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Elvis)

I think we were all expecting this one – the second highest grossing film of 2022 had be up here for something, and the sound design was certainly a well-achieved feat.

VISUAL EFFECTS

Avatar: The Way of Water

(other nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)

Again, I don’t think any of the other nominees come close to the amount of work put into Avatar: The Way of Water – the literal definition of a cinematic experience.

To conclude, this year’s Oscars were largely a success, and more bearable than the stagnancy and cringe of the last few years’. Everything Everywhere is overrated in my opinion, but I was glad to see nominations for films and actors I actually enjoyed watching. Until the next year!

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