Unpacking 'Oscar' Glitz and Glamour
A Comprehensive Look at the Oscars
95th ACADEMY AWARDS
On March 12, 2023, the 95th Academy Awards ceremony took place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, showcasing the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Jimmy Kimmel hosted the event, which featured laughter, tears, and unforgettable moments. The film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” stole the show, winning seven awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Michelle Yeoh), Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan), Best Supporting Actress (Jamie Lee Curtis), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Editing. Brendan Fraser’s moving portrayal of a morbidly obese man trying to reconnect with his daughter in “The Whale” won him Best Actor and marked his triumphant return to Hollywood after years of absence.
“All Quiet on the Western Front”, a German film, was also a big winner, taking home four Oscars for Best International Feature Film, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, and Best Production Design. “Pinocchio”, directed by Guillermo del Toro, won Best Animated Feature Film, while “Navalny” won Best Documentary Feature Film, “The Elephant Whisperers” won Best Documentary Short Subject Film, and Naatu Naatu from “RRR”, originally a South Indian film from India won Best Original Song. Mesmerizing musical performances from Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Sofia Carson, as well as a stirring performance by Lenny Kravitz during the In Memoriam segment, added to the night’s festivities. Hollywood’s finest gathered to celebrate the magic of cinema and honor those who have made a significant impact on the industry, making it a night to remember.
- Best Picture: Everything Everywhere All at Once
- Best Director: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
- Best Actor: Brendan Fraser (The Whale)
- Best Actress: Michelle Yeoh
- (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
- Best Supporting Actor: Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
- Best Supporting Actress: Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
- Best Original Screenplay: Everything Everywhere All at Once
- Best Adapted Screenplay: Women Talking
- Best Animated Feature Film: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
- Best International Feature Film: All Quiet on the Western Front
- Best Documentary Feature Film: Navalny
- Best Documentary Short Subject Film: The Elephant Whisperers
- Best Live Action Short Film: An Irish Goodbye
- Best Animated Short Film: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
- Best Original Score: All Quiet on the Western Front.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) holds the esteemed awards ceremony known as the Oscars annually to acknowledge excellence in the film industry. The film industry has seen several changes in this event’s rich history that spans nearly a century.
In 1929, the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California, inaugurated the Academy Awards. Only 270 guests attended this modest event, and the announcement of all the winners took just fifteen minutes. William A. Wellman’s silent film “Wings” won the initial Best Picture award.
Initially, members of the AMPAS chose the winners of the Oscars as it was planned as an industry event. The ceremony was not aired initially, and it was only in 1953 that it first broadcasted on television.
Over the years, the Oscars have evolved into a grand spectacle watched by millions of people worldwide. The ceremony has become a showcase for the film industry, and the number of categories has significantly increased. Today, the Oscars feature more than twenty categories, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor and Actress.
The Oscars underwent significant changes, such as the inclusion of international films. The Academy introduced the Best Foreign Language Film category in 1956 to recognize outstanding films made outside the United States. In 2020, the category was renamed Best International Feature Film to reflect the Academy’s new approach to recognizing international cinema.
Defining Moments and Major Winners in the History of the Oscars
The Oscars have shaped the history of the film industry significantly. In this article, we will explore some defining moments and major winners of the prestigious awards.
Hattie McDaniel – Breaking Barriers as the First African American Oscar Winner
In 1939, Hattie McDaniel broke barriers when she won an Oscar for her role in “Gone with the Wind.” Her win was a significant milestone for black actors and actresses who the film industry had underrepresented for decades.
Charlie Chaplin’s Honorary Oscar
In 1969, the Academy recognized Charlie Chaplin’s contribution to the film industry by awarding him an honorary Oscar. Chaplin had been blacklisted during the McCarthy era, which had prevented him from entering the United States for almost two decades.
The Oscars have had their share of unforgettable moments. In 1973, Marlon Brando refused to accept his Best Actor award for “The Godfather” and sent Sacheen Little Feather, a Native American activist, to deliver a speech protesting against Hollywood’s treatment of Native Americans. In 2017, the ceremony made a significant mistake when they announced the wrong winner for Best Picture.
Major Oscar Winners (Films)
Over the years, some films have won multiple Oscars, including “Gone with the Wind” (1940) and “Ben-Hur” (1960). More recently, films such as “The Shape of Water” (2017), “Moonlight” (2016), and “Birdman” (2014) have won Best Picture.
Major Award Categories
The Oscars have several major award categories, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. These awards recognize outstanding performances and achievements in various aspects of filmmaking.
Best Picture is the most prestigious award, recognizing the overall quality of a film. Best Director recognizes the excellence of a film’s director. Best Actor and Best Actress recognize outstanding performances by lead actors and actresses in a film. Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress recognize outstanding performances by actors and actresses in supporting roles.
Oscar Winners (actors)
Some of the world’s most talented actors and actresses have won these awards, including Meryl Streep, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Hanks, Heath Ledger, Viola Davis, and Mahershala Ali.
Controversies Surrounding the Oscars
Throughout their history, the Oscars have faced several controversies. One of the most significant was the #OscarsSoWhite movement, which drew attention to the underrepresentation of people of color in the film industry. From 2015 to 2016, all twenty nominees for acting awards were white, leading to widespread criticism of the Academy’s lack of diversity. In response, the Academy introduced several reforms aimed at increasing diversity, including adding new members from underrepresented groups and expanding the number of members.
Another controversy was the 2019 boycott of the Oscars by several Hollywood figures in protest of the lack of a host. Initially, comedian Kevin Hart was chosen to host the ceremony, but he stepped down after homophobic tweets from his past resurfaced. The Academy then decided to go without a host, which received mixed reactions. Some praised the move, while others criticized it for making the ceremony feel disjointed and unfocused.
The Oscars Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
In 2021, the Oscars were held amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a significantly scaled-back ceremony with limited attendance and strict safety protocols in place. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the ceremony received widespread praise for its innovative approach and its recognition of some of the most outstanding films and performances of the year.
International Participation in the Oscars
International participation in the Oscars has helped to highlight the importance of global cinema and the role it plays in shaping our understanding of the world. The Oscars have helped to promote international films and filmmakers, giving them a platform to showcase their work and reach a wider audience. As the film industry continues to evolve, the Oscars will undoubtedly continue to play a vital role in promoting and celebrating international films and filmmakers.
The Oscars have come a long way since their inception almost a century ago. The awards have evolved and grown into a grand spectacle that celebrates the best of the film industry. Over the years, the Oscars have recognized some of the most iconic films, directors, actors, and actresses in cinema history. Despite controversies, the Academy has shown a willingness to adapt and change in response to criticism. As the film industry continues to evolve, the Oscars will undoubtedly continue to play a vital role in recognizing and celebrating the best in cinema, both domestically and internationally.
Story behind the name " Oscar"
The Academy Awards, commonly known as the “Oscars,” has a interesting tale behind the origin of its name. Uncertain though, a widely accepted theory is that Margaret Herrick, the Academy’s executive secretary in the early 1930s, referred to the statuette as “my little Oscar” because it resembled her uncle Oscar. The name caught on and was officially adopted by the Academy in 1939. While some have suggested alternative theories that tie the name to Oscar Wilde or a vaudeville comedian named Oscar, Herrick’s account is the most commonly accepted explanation.