Post-Oscars Recap: History is Made at the Oscars … Again

Michelle Yeoh becomes the first Asian woman to win Best Actress (Courtesy of

By Audrey Hall


The 95th Academy Awards premiered on Sunday, March 12 with a champagne carpet rather than a red one and even more history being made in the film industry. After an outburst of physical violence at the 94th ceremony and the disaster that was the 93rd, fans were hoping for a normal — but entertaining — show. Luckily, that’s exactly what they got. There were no apparent technical difficulties, no fistfights and the Best Picture award was announced correctly on the first try — unlike in 2017. Here is a recap of the most important details from the ceremony.

Third Time’s the Charm

Given that Jimmy Kimmel has now hosted the Oscars three times, one might expect people to tire of him. However, after the trainwreck that was Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes’ hosting performance last year, Kimmel’s wit and stage presence was a welcome change. Sykes, Schumer and Hall made a number of jokes that referenced the Academy’s history of pushing women out of the limelight, but each felt forced and scripted. However, Kimmel did the same much more naturally. He scattered the digs across classic roasts that focused on specific celebrities as well as other jokes regarding the lack of diversity in the Academy Awards, and none of it felt like it was out of obligation or pushed on him by the producers of the show.

It’s well known that everyone who spent more than an hour on the internet after the 94th Oscars grew tired of the “Will Smith Slap” memes after their first time seeing it. The jokes were tired, the memes were dry and yet no one could let go of it. Kimmel somehow managed to freshen up the joke and it didn’t feel nearly as played out as it did last year, and I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard at the end of the over three-hour-long show as I did when Kimmel went backstage to flip a counter saying “Number of Oscars Telecasts Without Incident” to 001.

Predictions Made True

Moving past the emcee, most of the predictions made by the major sources were correct. From here on out, a spoiler alert is in order for the winners of these prestigious awards.

Everything Everywhere All At Once” was the top pick for most people for Best Picture, Best Actress and Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress and Actor in a Supporting Role, and even Best Director. The film was nominated for 10 awards, 11 times (twice for Best Actress in a Supporting Role), and it won seven of them, giving it the titles of Best Picture, most awards nominated and most awards won.

Brendan Fraser was the obvious pick to win Best Actor from seemingly everyone that watched “The Whale.” The film was heart-wrenching and overall difficult to watch thanks to Fraser’s incredible performance that really made people feel his pain.

After a decade of Disney/Pixar movies reigning supreme over the Animated Feature Films category, Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” beat out the fierce contender that was “Puss In Boots: The Last Wish.” According to the official Netflix website, this win makes del Toro the first person in history to win Best Picture (“The Shape of Water,” 2017), Best Director (“The Shape of Water,” 2017) and now, Best Animated Feature Film. He expressed in his acceptance speech that “animation is ready to be taken to the next step. We are all ready for it. Please help us keep animation in the conversation.”

Controversial Turned Conversational

It is no secret that the Academy Awards have come under heavy fire in the past for a severe lack of diversity in the nominations across every category. Both gender and race discrimination have played a significant role in past nominations and wins; so much so that we continue to celebrate the first woman to win this or the first person of color to win that, when these people should have been noticed and appreciated much more a long time ago.

“It was some year for diversity and inclusion,” Kimmel said in his opening speech. “We’ve got nominees from every corner of Dublin [Ireland].”

This year, there were four categories with zero female nominees (not including the obvious Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Actor in a Supporting Role): Visual Effects, Original Score, Best Director and Original Screenplay. There is a common theme to be devised here. Only three women have ever won Best Director, only two have won Visual Effects, nine have won Original Screenplay — although four of them were partnered with men — and only four have won Best Original Score.

Despite the continued controversy surrounding the Oscars and the lack of diversity in years past, there was some history made. “Naatu Naatu” became the first nominee and winner for an Indian film in the Best Original Song category. Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to both be nominated and win the title of Best Actress, and a record-making four Asian actors received nominations thanks to “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” Ke Huy Quan, who won Best Actor in a Supporting Role, is the first Asian man to win the award in 38 years after Haing S. Ngor for “The Killing Fields,” and he’s also the first Vietnam-born actor to win an Oscar. He stopped acting after his standout roles in the “Indiana Jones” films and “The Goonies” because of how difficult it was for Asian actors to find work, and there was not a dry eye in the crowd as he tearfully embraced Harrison Ford onstage after Best Picture was announced.

“Please keep your dreams alive,” he said in his acceptance speech.

There will always be decisions to nitpick, filmmakers snubbed and actors that go unrecognized at the Academy Awards. At the end of the day, however, it’s becoming clear that the Academy is beginning to be committed to making its awards inclusive, diverse and accepting of all cinema. 


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