The 95th Academy Awards were held last Sunday at the iconic Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, and as any event attended by the biggest names in the film industry, it was memorable to say the least. With so many stars in one place, monologues, speeches, and musical performances, there was no doubt that the Oscars were going to give us epic moments to look back on. And they certainly did not disappoint!
Here’s 10 moments from the 2023 Oscars that have already made pop culture history.
1. Jimmy Kimmel addressing THE SLAP
What better place to start than from the monologue and the jokes that came with it. Jimmy Kimmel was this year’s Oscars host and made sure that he would end up not like Chris Rock when he presented the award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2022 Academy Awards. Kimmel addressed Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at last year’s Oscars. Joking about ensuring his own safety, the host stated, “if anyone in this auditorium commits an act of violence… you will be given the Best Actor Oscar and allowed to make a 19-minute speech.”
2. Andrew Garfield becoming (once again) a meme
Host Jimmy Kimmel didn’t miss any chances of mentioning ‘the slap’ in the course of the show. Kimmel listed a number of movie characters ready to defend him in case anyone decided to get on stage and slap him. Among others, Spider Man was mentioned as part of the host’s ‘security team’. When the cameras cut over to Andrew Garfield, he smiled awkardly at the crowd’s sudden silence giving us once again another Oscar meme.
3. The Oscars’ audience singing Happy Birthday
An Irish Goodbye star James Martin, was clearly on cloud nine as the audience sang him a Happy Birthday as he collected his Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. The writers and directors of the film, Tom Berkeley and Ross White, who accepted the award alongside protagonists James Martin and Séamus O’Hara, encouraged the Dolby Theatre audience to sing a Happy Birthday to the Belfast actor. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t shed a tear while watching it.
4. John Travolta presenting the In Memoriam segment
As is tradition, the Oscars paid tribute to stars and filmmakers who passed away in the last year. At the 95th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, Lenny Kravitz performed the song “Calling All Angels” for the In Memoriam segment introduced by John Travolta. The actor paid tribute to his late Grease costar Olivia Newton-John who died last August. During his speech John Travolta reminded the audience of the beauty of the industry giving those involved the opportunity to work along with extraordinary people. Travolta ended his speech by adding, “They’ve touched our hearts. They’ve made us smile, and became dear friends who we will always remain hopelessly devoted to.” This last bit left him and everyone else watching in tears.
5. Jenny the Donkey rocking the stage
To everyone’s surprise, especially Colin Farrell’s, Jenny the Donkey from the Irish film The Banshees of Inisherin made a special appearance on the Dolby Theatre stage in Los Angeles. Jenny, who was Colin Farrell’s sidekick in the film, was brought on stage by host Jimmy Kimmel. The actor’s reaction to seeig the donkey was truly wholesome. It turned out that it was not the real Jenny from the film; however, Farrell’s reaction and the meme that came with it were worth the little white lie.
6. Michelle Yeoh making Oscars history
Michelle Yeoh made Oscars history on Sunday as she became the first Asian woman and the second woman of colour to win the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her role in Everything Everywhere All At Once. The 60-year-old actress dedicated the award to her mum and mothers all over the world. She ended her acceptance speech with a reminder for all women, “And ladies, don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re past your prime.”
7. Brendan Fraser getting emotional during his acceptance speech
Brendan Fraser took home the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as an obese teacher in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale. The role marked Fraser’s return to Hollywood after nearly 20 years out of the spotlight and was dubbed as the actor’s ‘Bre-naissance’. The 54-year-old actor was in tears while accepting his award and gave an emotional speech thanking the director, his family, his sons, as well as his costar in The Whale Hong Chau.
8. A$AP Rocky being a supportive partner and cheering for Rihanna
Live performances are a must at the Oscars. This year, a pregnant Rihanna sang “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther and her partner A$AP Rocky’s reaction was everything we could have asked for. Not long after being super-supportive at Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show, Rocky toasted his lady as she performed “Lift Me Up” in honour of the late Chadwick Boseman. We stan a supportive boyfriend.
9. Lady Gaga’s surprise performance
Lady Gaga, who was said not to be performing due to filming commitments, left us all speechless when she stepped on stage and performed “Hold My Hand” from the film Top Gun: Maverick. Other than giving an epic performance, Lady Gaga stunned everyone by wearing no make-up, a simple black T-shirt, and ripped black jeans. The singer showed Hollywood that with a voice like hers there’s no need for a fancy designer dress and a full face makeup. All an artist needs sometimes is their voice and a guitar.
10. Ke Huy Quan’s reunion with Harrison Ford
Last but definitely not least on the list is Ke Huy Quan emotional reunion with his Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom costar Harrison Ford. Ford presented the final award of the night, Best Picture, which went to Everything Everywhere All at Once. As the Everything Everywhere cast took the stage to accept the award, Quan and Ford shared a moving hug. Ke Huy Quan also took home the statuette for Best Supporting Actor and became another Oscars first, as he is the first person from an Asian background to win the category.
I cried seeing Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan winning their awards and listening to their speeches.
And also Rihanna was great, beautiful song that always makes me emotional.
Also great and interesting article!
Thank you Federica! And yes, their speeches were true tearjerkers
Great and interesting article, Alessia!