Everything Everywhere All At Once has been named this year’s Best Picture at the Oscars, and honestly, isn’t that just great? We live in a world where a weird, little sci-fi about a multiverse and hot dog fingers can win against an autobiographical Steven Spielberg film, a biopic and a war epic.
While the Oscars otherwise lacked a certain edge this year, there was no shortage of tears on stage. Ke Huy Quan started it with his emotional speech after winning Best Supporting Actor early at night. But it didn’t get much more emotional than Brendan Fraser winning Best Actor for his deeply empathetic, gripping performance in The Whale.
Fraser’s win was followed by Michelle Yeoh taking home Best Actress for Everything Everywhere. Yeoh is only the second woman of colour to win Best Actress, and she, too, was moved to tears.
Outside of these emotional wins, the Oscars failed to do anything memorable. Jimmy Kimmel was a bland host with bad jokes. The most cringe-inducing bit of the night was when Kimmel asked Malala Yousafzai for her take on the infamous SpitGate. The activist was visibly uncomfortable and even more so when moments later, the Cocaine Bear, aka a man in a suit, ‘attacked’ her.
At least last year’s ceremony had something memorable. The Academy probably didn’t want anyone to remember the ceremony just for the Will Smith / Chris Rock conflict, but at least people remember that one! This year’s Oscars ceremony, which only lasted 3.5 hours, dragged on slowly but steadily.
The biggest controversies were Elvis going home with nothing and The Whale winning for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. The Whale, which we awarded the full five stars, tells the story of a morbidly obese man Charlie, who attempts to reconnect with his daughter. Charlie’s physicality was achieved through extensive prosthetics, also known as a fat suit.
Fat suits are generally seen to be in bad taste because, well, they are. The cast and crew of The Whale have defended the film and their use of prosthetics to achieve Charlie’s condition, but this is still a problematic win.
John Travolta choked up while he gave an introduction to the In Memoriam segment. Curiously, the segment omitted both Anne Heche and Charlbi Dean, the latter who starred in Best Picture nominee Triangle of Sadness but tragically passed away last August.
This was one of the least exciting Oscar ceremonies in recent memory. Despite historic, important and exciting wins, the entire room felt dead. The movies might be alive and well, but we’re not sure the Oscars can call themselves the highlight of the awards season anymore.