The 2023 Oscars had its fair share of highs and lows, but one of the most talked-about moments was host Jimmy Kimmel's repeated skewering of Will Smith throughout the show. Kimmel's jabs at Smith were met with mixed reactions, with some finding it humorous while others thought it was unnecessary and even cruel.
In his opening monologue, Kimmel joked, "If you get mad at a joke and decide you want to come up here and get jiggy with it…" before mentioning several tough actors who the hypothetical new Smith would face before reaching him. Later on in the night, Kimmel walked offstage to reveal a sign that said, "Number of Oscars without incident," before flipping a number on the sign from 0 to 1. It was clear that the Oscars were trying to make a statement about Smith's past behavior and the impact it had on the Academy.
The awards saw "Everything Everywhere All At Once" emerge as the biggest winner, taking home a whopping seven awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. The film's stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan, and Michelle Yeoh also received well-deserved accolades, with Yeoh making history as the first Asian woman to win a lead actress Oscar. The film's unprecedented six above-the-line awards also make it the biggest haul for a Best Picture winner since "Slumdog Millionaire" in 2008.
While "Everything Everywhere" may have dominated the Oscars, there were other noteworthy winners as well as Brendan Fraser received his first-ever Oscar for his performance in "The Whale."
If you're looking to catch up on some of the biggest films from this year's Oscars, the nominees for Best Picture spanned across various genres and themes, from action-packed blockbusters to heart-wrenching dramas. Let's take a look at the nominees and why they're worth watching. I'll put an asterisk * next to those I've seen so far.
"Everything Everywhere All at Once" — Winner
This movie, directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, swept the Oscars by winning seven awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film follows a woman who discovers that she can access parallel universes, leading her on an epic adventure to save the world. It's a visually stunning and captivating film that explores the themes of love, loss, and the power of choice.
"All Quiet on the Western Front" *
This war drama, directed by Edward Berger, is a remake of the 1930 classic. It tells the story of a young German soldier who is sent to fight in World War I and the brutal realities he faces on the battlefield. The film is a haunting reminder of the horrors of war and the toll it takes on those who fight it.
"Avatar: The Way of Water" *
James Cameron's long-awaited sequel to the groundbreaking "Avatar" is a visually stunning epic that takes us back to the world of Pandora. This time, the story follows a new Na'vi character named Naya as she sets out to save her people and their home from a new threat. The film is a beautiful and immersive experience that explores themes of environmentalism and the connection between humans and nature.
"The Banshees of Inisherin" *
This dark comedy, directed by Martin McDonagh, follows a group of Irish villagers who come together to form a choir. However, their rehearsals are interrupted by a series of murders that threaten to tear the town apart. The film is a hilarious and subversive take on small-town life, with a talented ensemble cast that brings the characters to life.
Directed by Baz Luhrmann, this biopic follows the rise of rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley, played by Austin Butler. The film explores Presley's early years and his relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks. It's a vibrant and energetic tribute to one of the most influential musicians of all time.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this semi-autobiographical film follows a young boy growing up in a Jewish family in the 1950s. The film explores themes of family, identity, and the power of storytelling. It's a touching and personal film that showcases Spielberg's masterful storytelling skills.
This Hungarian drama, directed by Benedek Fliegauf, is a haunting and visceral depiction of a dystopian future. The film follows a group of survivors as they try to navigate a world ravaged by environmental disaster and societal collapse. It's a bleak and unsettling film that serves as a warning about the dangers of ignoring the consequences of our actions.
"Top Gun: Maverick" *
Directed by Joseph Kosinski, this long-awaited sequel to the 1986 classic sees Tom Cruise reprise his role as Maverick, now a seasoned veteran training a new generation of pilots. The film is a thrilling and action-packed tribute to the original, with stunning aerial sequences and a standout performance by Cruise.
"Triangle of Sadness" *
This satirical drama, directed by Ruben Ostlund, follows a group of wealthy tourists on a luxury yacht as they navigate their privileged lives and the pitfalls of modern society. The film is a biting commentary on capitalism, consumerism, and the excesses of the super-rich.
This drama is directed by Sarah Polley and based on the novel of the same name by Miriam Toews. The story follows a group of Mennonite women who must decide whether to stay in their isolated community after a series of brutal sexual assaults or leave for the unknown outside world. The film explores themes of feminism, religion, and justice as the women grapple with their choices and the consequences of those choices. It stars Frances McDormand, Rooney Mara, and Claire Foy in the lead roles.