The 95th Academy Awards Recap – An Oscars Night Filled With Memorable Comebacks, Reunions, and Historic Wins All At Once! 

The 95th Academy Awards on Sunday was, without a doubt, the biggest night for the cast and crew of Everything Everywhere All at Once as the movie took home some of the biggest awards, including Best Picture

Michelle Yeoh being almost everyone’s favorite for the Best Actress award, made Oscars history as the first Asian Lead Actress Winner for her role as Evelyn Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once. During her empowering speech, Yeoh said, “Ladies, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are past your prime,” as the standing proof of her statement.

The Best Actor Oscar found its way to Brendan Fraser for his heartbreaking performance as Charlie in The Whale, whose big win and emotional return to Hollywood was not only a celebratory moment for him, but also for his devoted fans and supporters over the years– especially during this awards season.  

As predicted by many, Everything Everywhere All at Once won Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Both wins were not at all surprising but hoped for, especially considering the most defining element of the movie is its authentically weird and bold originality. The writing and directing duo behind A24’s highest-grossing film ever, The Daniels, also won Best Director against nominees like Steven Spielberg and Martin McDonagh. Dedicating their award to all the “mommies in the world”, the pair, both Emerson College grads, became the third directing duo to win Best Director in Oscars history.

Ke Huy Quan also won Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once. As a former child actor, Quan starred in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Goonies earlier in his career, but had taken a 20-year break from acting due to a lack of Asian representation in Hollywood. After years of thinking he would be a forgotten child actor, Quan had the most humble and grateful reaction to yet another win this year. He had everyone watching his speech feeling his genuine joy for his unforgettable comeback and said, They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me”.

One of the most memorable Hollywood reunions from the night was between Fraser and Quan, winners of Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. The winning pair are old friends from when they both starred in the 1992 cult comedy Encino Man and Sunday night was the night of both of their long-awaited dreams to take the Oscar stage as winners– making it the ultimate full-circle reunion. 

Sunday night’s ceremony was not only a historic Oscars with significant firsts, but also a classy and notably calm one, safe from chaotic incidents like the previous years. The third-time host, Jimmy Kimmell even took advantage of the presence of many fictional heroes and fighters in the crowd, like Andrew Garfield, Michelle Yeoh, and Pedro Pascal. He jokingly warned everyone, in reference to the Will Smith-Chris Rock incident, that if someone doesn’t agree with a joke and attempts to get to him, they first need to beat The Mandalorian portrayed by Pascal or tangle with Spiderman (Andrew Garfield).

Among the few shocking moments from the night, alongside all the predicted wins, was Jamie Lee Curtis winning Best Supporting Actress, beating fellow nominees like her  Everything Everywhere All at Once costar Stephanie Hsu and Angela Bassett (as Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever). Curtis’s win created a division on the internet. Some saw this as her long-time in-the-making, well-deserved career win, and some people strongly defended that Hsu deserved to win for her crucial role as Joy Wang / Jobu Tupaki in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Besides the historic and memorable wins of the night, there were also noteworthy performances from artists like Rihanna, who delivered a dazzling performance of “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, and Lady Gaga with a raw, stripped-down performance of her song, “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick. Both singers were nominated in the Best Original Song category and the Oscar went to “Naatu Naatu” from RRR, arguably the most show-stopping performance of the night with epic choreography. 

Even with all of Hollywood’s biggest stars and filmmakers in one room, the most jaw-dropping attendee of the night was thought to be Jenny the Donkey, the star of The Banshees of Inisherin, who appeared on stage with Kimmell during the ceremony. However, Kimmel later admitted that the real Jenny couldn’t make it to Dolby Theatre, and that was actually Dominic the Donkey.

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