As another glittering Awards Season draws to a close, Blake & Wang P.A’s Brandon Blake, our expert resident entertainment attorney, takes a look at the highs, lows, and everything in between. Here’s all your Oscars 2023 news in one helpful summary.
The Big Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once
To the surprise of…well, probably not many, given how well the film has performed during the rest of Awards Season, the most coveted golden man of the night, Best Picture, went to Everything Everywhere All at Once. It also took home a total of 7 wins, the most of any nominated picture, adding Best Director, Lead Actress, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor and Actress, and Editing to the bag. Michelle Yeoh’s win for Best Actress represents the first time a woman of Asian extraction has won the Oscar, and only the second woman of color, too, making it a historic win indeed. Technically, she is also the first actor to play so many characters (around 70) in a single film.
Brandon Fraser took home the Best Actor award for the night, for his work in The Whale. This win is particularly notable, as the picture itself was not included in the Best Picture nominations. All Quiet on the Western Front won for International Picture, Production Design, Score, and Cinematography, coming in at the number 2 spot behind Everything Everywhere All at Once, with The Whale following at 2 wins. Ironically, this means that Germany’s best performing film so far was bankrolled by US-based Netflix, something that will doubtless spur some growth and reform in the German film industry. Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, RRR, and Women Talking each took home an Oscar, too.
It’s also notable that the return of the ‘crafts’ Oscars to the officially televised lineup was well received across the board. Many feel it was a more balanced inclusion across the board, too, giving these critical categories the respect they deserved.
Despite a strong critical performance, as well as a number of accolades from other key events this Awards Season, both Elvis (despite 8 nominations) and The Banshees of Inisherin (despite 9 nominations) were left out in the cold. Many were surprised at Jamie Lee Curtis’ Best Supporting Actress win, too, with the expectation having been heavily in the favor of Angela Bassett. Tar and The Fablemans were mostly forgotten, too, despite a lot of favor from other awards.
But most notable of all, perhaps, was the return to a festive in-person atmosphere that made the COVID disruptions finally feel like something in the past, not a present reality. A dizzying number of afterparties competed for stars’ attention.
There was also a win for the Oscars themselves, scoring the highest TV rating since 2020, averaging 18.7M viewers, a 13% overall improvement and a 7% gain in the 18-49 year old demographic. This also makes it the most-watched entertainment program in primetime, passing the Superbowl. This despite awards shows in general seeing a significant downturn in the last few years.
Overall, it was a night that felt like a true return to normal, with some wonderful and historic wins, the usual puzzling snubs, and a whole lot of glitz and glamor to enjoy.