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Historic Oscar Wins And Woeful Upsets

L to R clockwise: Arturo Holmes/Getty, Kevin Winter/Getty, Patrick T. Fallon/AFP, Jack Gruber/USA Today, @jimmykimmel/Twitter, Carlos Barria/Reuters

The 95th Academy Awards took place this past Sunday with Comedian Jimmy Kimmel returning to host the show for the third time. Follow along as 101 recaps Hollywood’s biggest night.

The Best Picture winner went to the A24 film Everything Everywhere All At Once (EEAAO). It led the pack for wins, netting seven of its 11 nominations. The film’s sweep cemented its place in history as the most-awarded film of all time. Netflix’s All Quiet On The Western Front won the second-most awards of the night with four wins. 

The elephant in the room was “The Slap” of the 2022 Oscars, where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage. Kimmel made several jokes about the incident, from assuring the audience of their safety, and ending the show with a “number of Oscars without incident: one” sign.


Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman and second woman of color to win Best Actress for her performance as Evelyn Wang in EEAAO. The actress, who is 60, said during her speech “Ladies, don’t ever let anyone tell you you are ever past your prime.” 

Ke Huay Quan became the first Vietnam-born actor to win an Oscar. He took home the trophy for Best Supporting Actor for EEAAO. In his emotional speech, he chronicled his journey from a refugee camp to “Hollywood’s biggest stage.”

Ruth E. Carter made history by becoming the first Black woman to win two Oscars. The Black Panther costume designer made history with her first win in 2018, by becoming the first Black woman to win in the category. Carter, whose mother passed away the week prior, asked late actor Chadwick Boseman to “take care of mom.” Her win also maintains Panther’s status as the only Marvel movie to win any Oscars.

“Naatu Naatu,” the upbeat anti-colonial song from RRR, became the first song from an Indian film to win Best Original Song. It beat out Rihanna’s ballad “Lift Me Up” from Wakanda Forever, and Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun.

The short documentary The Elephant Whisperer became the Indian production to win in the category. 


The biggest upset of the night was Jamie Lee Curtis’ winning Best Supporting Actress for EEAAO. Many believed the trophy would go to Angela Bassett for her performance as Queen Ramonda in Wakanda Forever or Stephanie Hsu for her role as Joy Wang in EEAAO. As Curtis only appears in the movie for 17 minutes

The upset of Curtis’ win, along with Yeoh’s win and Carter’s historic feat reignited conversations regarding the Academy’s struggles with diversity. In the show’s 95-year history, only two women of color have won best actress. 

Brendan Fraser’s Best Actor win for The Whale also came as a bit of a surprise. The major precursor awards (BAFTA, Critics Choice, Golden Globes, and SAG) were split between Austin Butler (‘Elvis’) and Fraser. The win completed an underdog saga for Fraser, who was notably absent from Hollywood for some years with claims of being blacklisted after being sexually assaulted by an industry giant

Similarly, The Whale’s Best Makeup and Hairstyling win came to the upset of some. The film was lauded for its use of all-digital prosthetic makeup. However, many argued that the use of a silicone fat suit was dehumanizing and fatphobic, citing that a fat suit should not qualify for makeup. 


All Best Original Song nominees were performed. 

Sofia Carson and Diane Warren performed “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman. 

Lady Gaga delivered a surprise performance of her Top Gun ballad, “Hold My Hand.” 

Rihanna performed a heartfelt rendition of “Lift Me Up” with choir and orchestra backing. 

David Byrne of the Talking Heads and Best Supporting Actress nominee Stephanie Hsu performed “This Is a Life” from EEAAO

The joyous performance of Best Original Song winner “Naatu Naatu” received a standing ovation.


Some comedic and surprise appearances included Jenny the Donkey from The Banshees of Inisherin, Cocaine Bear, and Malala Yousafzai, who was asked for her thoughts on the Chris Pine and Harry Styles “spitgate.” Malala’s response? “I only talk about peace.”

Five of the Best Picture nominees (The Banshees, The Fablemans, Elvis, Tar, and Triangle of Sadness) went home with no awards. 

Out of a stacked category that included acclaimed studios Disney Pixar and Dreamworks, Guillermo del Toro took home the Best Animated Feature trophy for Netflix’s Pinnochio.

The full trailer for Disney’s The Little Mermaid premiered during actresses Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy’s time as presenters. 

Afia Barrie

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