The Oscars 2023 was the year of the comebacks, starting with a return to seeing all the categories fully live. There was genuine excitement from and for first-time winners in key categories, including first-time nominees.
Everything Everywhere All At Once took the Oscars by storm, winning seven categories. Other films were, regrettably, completely shut out, including Elvis, Tár, The Banshees of Inisherin, Triangle of Sadness, and The Fabelmans. Everything Everywhere proved that comedy itself is making a comeback to be able to sweep the Oscars, with the movie being one of only three films – the other two being 1951’s A Streetcar Named Desire and 1976’s Network – ever to win three of the four acting Oscars.
All three of the winning actors were making their comebacks. Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis, both actors in their 60s who’ve long been relegated to genre pieces, took home the Oscar for Best Actress and Supporting Actress, respectively. Former child actor Ke Huy Quan – who reunited on-stage with his first-ever co-star, Harrison Ford, from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – was awarded Best Supporting Actor.
The award for Best Actor went to Brendan Fraser for his role in The Whale.
Jimmy Kimmel also returned to the Academy Awards, hosting the show for the third time and the first since 2018. The night was successful, with most jokes landing and the audience sated with snack boxes under their seats (a call back to the lunch boxes Kimmel provided last time he hosted).
These awards show also saw live musical performances of the five nominated songs – Applause by Diane Warren, Rhianna’s Lift Me Up, RRR’s Naatu Naatu (which ultimately took the win), and Lady Gaga’s incredible performance of Hold My Hand.
The comeback year included the return of emotionally charged, family-oriented speeches, all sincere and on point and often oriented around moms. Jamie Lee Cutis thanked everyone who graced her life and career, repeating, “we won an Oscar.” Yeoh, Fraser, and Quan all gave inspiring speeches encouraging other creators never to give up, no matter the odds.