'Everything Everywhere' emotional wins, a Disney commercial, Colin Farrell and 'Naatu, Naatu': Highs, lows and head-scratchers of the 2023 Oscars
If there's a universe where Everything Everywhere All at Once didn't dominate the 95th Academy Awards, we wouldn't want to live there. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert's madcap multiversal adventure took home seven statues on Hollywood's big night, including Best Picture, Best Director and a history-making Best Actress win by Michelle Yeoh — the first Asian actress ever to take home that prize.
Expertly emceed by returning host Jimmy Kimmel, the 2023 ceremony wasn't exactly filled with surprises — Everything Everywhere was the odds-on favorite in virtually every category it won — but it didn't lack for moving speeches and great reunions... like seeing the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom gang in the same room again nearly four decades after that 1984 blockbuster. Moments like that made up for occasional missteps like the part of the night where the Oscars suddenly morphed into a Little Mermaid commercial. Here's our recap of the highs, lows and head-scratchers of the 2023 Oscars.
HIGH: The Everything Everywhere All at Once cast were everywhere
Talk about accuracy in movie titles. The Everything Everywhere All at Once cast won almost every acting award in sight with Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis and Michelle Yeoh all taking home statues for their performances in the indie blockbuster. And they each delivered memorable acceptance speeches to boot, with Quan calling his win "the American Dream" and Curtis memorably shouting out her Scream Queen origins on the same weekend that Scream VI dominated the box-office charts. Meanwhile, Yeoh's "dream big" message in her moving speech really was our everything.
Last tweet about the #Oscars - Ke Huy Quan won the Oscar's! His win, his speech and running up to Harrison Ford while Spielberg looked on- my childhood flashed in front of my eyes! Well deserved!
— Recruiter Christy (@ChristyRecruit) March 13, 2023
@jamieleecurtis Congratulations Academy Award Winner Jamie Lee Curtis!! So we’ll deserved, and what a beautiful speech. So kind to acknowledge all your long time fans. We loved watching you win.
— Tara R (@Taraleigh99) March 13, 2023
Thank you Michelle Yeoh, such a beautiful speech. Gave us all a good cry #Oscars pic.twitter.com/UTaip7vfji
— Nic Austin (@NicAustinTKTK) March 13, 2023
HIGH: Jimmy Kimmel really mastered those ceremonies
Third time was the charm for Jimmy Kimmel, who put memories of Envelopegate to rest at last with a steady turn as the host of the 95th edition of the Oscars. Smoothly moving past last year's Slap in his opening monologue, the late-night host kept the patter light and funny — with the exception of an ill-advised Robert Blake joke — and the evening moving, even during the now-standard mid-show slowdown. Somewhere, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway are smiling.
Overall the #Oscars was throughly entertaining tonight! #JimmyKimmel was awesome and hilarious. The performances were great! Also, I am quite impressed with all the winners tonight! Fun time! 😃
— Jessycka (@Jessycka86) March 13, 2023
@jimmykimmel #Oscars You did a great job hosting tonight.
— Darlene (@Darlenemarie222) March 13, 2023
@jimmykimmel #Oscars You did a great job hosting tonight.
— Darlene (@Darlenemarie222) March 13, 2023
LOW: The Little Mermaid commercial wasn't part of our world
You may have forgotten that ABC is owned by the Walt Disney Company... but the Mouse House sure didn't. Disney took advantage of being the home of the Academy Awards by interrupting the ceremony with an extended bit of promotion for the upcoming live action adaptation of the 1989 animated classic The Little Mermaid. First, stars Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy took the stage to talk up the Rob Marshall-directed movie, and then introduced an all-new trailer that featured familiar tunes paired with special effects that were notably less than special. Personally, we prefer it when the commercials are saved for the commercial breaks.
Sincerely though, bleak is the only word both for that Little Mermaid trailer and also for using stage time at the Oscars to literally have actors from a Disney movie introduce a Disney commercial at the start of the commercial break
— March Is Eric Month Al Ghul (I-MA) (@EricLocked) March 13, 2023
Or…you could just…show The Little Mermaid trailer during a commercial break without making it part of the show! #Oscars
— Garrett Stiger (@Gar_Stiger) March 13, 2023
HIGH: The musical performances had us singing and dancing
Alexa, play "Naatu Naatu." The breakout musical number from the breakout Tollywood hit RRR electrified the Oscars with a performance that got the crowd clapping in time with the performers. But that wasn't the only memorable music moment from the ceremony: former Talking Head David Byrne and his hot dog fingers took the stage alongside Stephanie Hsu and Son Lux for "This Is a Life," from Everything Everywhere All at Once; Lady Gaga returned to the Oscar stage for the first time since her barnstormer Bradley Cooper duet to belt her Top Gun: Maverick anthem, "Hold My Hand"; and Rihanna brought the house down with the Chadwick Boseman-dedicated Wakanda Forever song "Lift Me Up."
What a high energy performance for Naatu Naatu 👏 #Oscars
— Insertnamehere (@youmeandtea) March 13, 2023
Rihanna delivered in her performance.The vocals,the pitch and the pure concentration on her face says it all.She dedicated everything into that song and she gave what she was supposed to give I loved it,Lift me up has a special place in my heart forever.#Oscars
— Johnathan Majors is babygirl (@iloveelupita) March 13, 2023
A little late here, but @ladygaga gave an outrageous, raw performance. No theatrics. Just pure voice and music making. #Oscars
— Daniel Mendelson (@DannyMendelson) March 13, 2023
LOW: Winners of color didn't always get to finish their thoughts
All Oscar winners are theoretically granted 45 seconds to accept their statues and thank their collaborators. But Twitter noticed that some winners eked out more time than others. Case in point: The Indian women behind the Best Documentary Short winner, The Elephant Whisperers, were hurriedly played offstage by the Oscar orchestra, while the white British directors of the Best Animated Short champ, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse, were able to wrap up their speeches uninterrupted. At least Yeoh wasn't played off during her speech — we know what happens if you try to do that.
I am still in shock at how LONG that acceptance speech for “the boy the mole the fox and the horse” was, especially after JUST having played off the winners for “The Elephant Whisperers”
— michaela (@michaelaedson) March 13, 2023
I cannot help but notice that the white nominees taking a long speech (genuinely happy for them too) are being allowed super long speeches but the POC nominees are being played off… #Oscar #Oscar2023 #Oscars
— Ricky (@rickydvl) March 13, 2023
the way they’re giving all these white winners all the time in the world for their speeches but played the elephant whisperers team off in like 10 seconds isn’t sitting right with me
— tae’s bandana (@taetae17_v) March 13, 2023
HIGH: Colin Farrell was this year's Jack Nicholson
For years, Jack Nicholson reigned as the Oscar king from his front row seat at ceremony after ceremony. But with the veteran actor out of the public eye, other performers have taken over that role. This year, the crown passed to Colin Farrell, who was front and center throughout the whole night and gamely played along with everything and everyone who came his way. Whether fielding fan questions or greeting his (fake) donkey co-star from The Banshees of Inisherin, the Irish actor was the feckin' life of the party.
i want what they have #Oscars pic.twitter.com/pkueoEsQMo
— William Yu 유규호 (@its_willyu) March 13, 2023
Find yourself someone who looks at you the way Colin Farrell looks at Jenny The Donkey #Oscars pic.twitter.com/RZrUCyP4u9
— Rubén (@RubCas12) March 13, 2023
Remember when Colin Farrell used to be a bad boy? Now he acts with donkeys. Still has the earrings though. Hott.
— Charla4Mayor (@Charla4Mayor) March 13, 2023
LOW: Hugh Grant was in a mood
Hugh Grant is known for having a prickly personality, but he was pricklier than ever during his time at the Oscars — starting with a divisive pre-show appearance where he had a frosty exchange with model Ashley Graham, who was anchoring the white carpet for ABC. Later on, he took the stage with his Four Weddings and a Funeral co-star Andie MacDowell to present the Best Production Design Oscar and compared his appearance to a "scrotum." Are we sure he wasn't doing a Method performance to prepare for Paddington 3?
Ashley Graham a professional through and through. Handled Hugh Grant's rudeness gracefully. #Oscars #AcademyAwards https://t.co/RkAjzkqTQx
— That Pop This Life (@ThatPopThisLife) March 13, 2023
Oh that Ashley Graham and Hugh Grant interview was painful. His reaction afterwards OMG pic.twitter.com/N5VHVwJU8W
— Vanessa Vega-Rivera (@MizzVanieV) March 13, 2023
Hugh Grant used to be this cute, funny guy. Now he’s just rude and bitter. Also apparently a scrotum. #Oscars2023
— Robs (@RobsTinFoilHat) March 13, 2023
HIGH: A big-screen Indiana Jones and Short Round reunion feels like Destiny
Call it (the dial of) destiny: Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford, presented his former kid sidekick Quan and the rest of the Everything Everywhere All at Once crew with their Best Picture statue. Meanwhile, the director who put the dynamic duo together for their Temple of Doom adventure — Steven Spielberg — watched them proudly from the crowd. Quan shared backstage that during one of the commercial breaks, the just-crowned winner "ran up to Steven Spielberg, and he gave me a big hug. He put his arms around me, and he says, 'Ke, you are now an Oscar-winning actor.' And hearing him say that meant the world to me, and I still could not believe it." We're making our prediction now: Short Round will be in the fifth Indiana Jones movie... through the magic of reshoots.
The best part of the Oscars was the Indiana Jones and Short Round reunion!! Steven Spielberg reaction was great because he directed them all those years ago #Oscar pic.twitter.com/h0zMIZJYCr
— Domenick Musolino (@Draven2327) March 13, 2023
Someone PLEASE make a gif of Ke hugging Harrison onstage for winning Best Picture for #EverythingEverywhereAllAtOnce #Oscars they look so happy. It's the Indiana Jones reunion I've always wanted...I wish he would be in the new movie
— Connie (@conallen) March 13, 2023
Indiana Jones and Short Round reunion was my favorite moment of the Oscars. https://t.co/5NeQkmIv6m pic.twitter.com/34MvnNk4HH
— Jill Riley (@JillRileyRadio) March 13, 2023
LOW: Angela Bassett forever
The Wakanda Forever star came this close to doing the thing — i.e., winning the Best Supporting Actress statue — only to hear Curtis's name called instead. In that moment, Bassett's disappointment was both palpable and understandable, and Twitter felt the loss right along with her. Fortunately, her Black Panther co-star Michael B. Jordan made a point of lifting her up as both he and Jonathan Majors called out their "auntie" from the stage while presenting the Best Cinematography award. At times like these, it's a shame that all the nominees can't be winners.
Angela Bassett’s reaction hurts me #Oscars 🙁 pic.twitter.com/wUgwJ5TWBA
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) March 13, 2023
Angela Bassett’s reaction to Jamie Lee Curtis’ name being called…you can tell how much that Oscar would have meant to her. she is, was, and always will be incredible. I better see her on that stage SOON pic.twitter.com/oHDfuDUksG
— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) March 13, 2023
Me stealing the oscar to give it to Angela Bassett🤣 #oscars
— ƬΉ3 FЯ3ƧΉ PЯIПᄃ3 ӨF BK (@FreshPrinc3ofBk) March 13, 2023
“Hey Auntie, we love you”.
They know Angela Bassett got robbed. #Oscars pic.twitter.com/DuTc5Uy6Ka
— Austin (@AustinPlanet) March 13, 2023
HEAD-SCRATCHER: A gone-too-soon star was omitted from the In Memoriam segment
The sudden death of Triangle of Sadness star Charlbi Dean last August made international headlines ahead of the film's release. Apparently, the Oscar producers didn't read those headlines as the 32-year-old actress was notably absent from the annual "In Memoriam" reel highlighting talented performers and artisans that passed away in the last year. Dean's absence was all the stranger given that her movie was up for multiple nominations, including Best Picture. Someone at the Academy has some explaining to do.
Pretty wild how Charlbi Dean from best picture nominee TRIANGLE OF SADNESS was missing from the In Memoriam segment: pic.twitter.com/Eqk2oCJJ6g
— Reyna Cervantes (@Jfcdoomblade) March 13, 2023
sweet charlbi dean was left out of the in memoriam tribute at the oscars but we remember her forever ❤️ pic.twitter.com/mjfChWmQZG
— louka (@butterflylouka) March 13, 2023
did the in memoriam really forget charlbi dean
— iana murray (@ianamurray) March 13, 2023