The Oscars: What Won, And What Should’ve

Bryson Christopher, Staff Writer

On Mar. 12, 2023, the 95th Academy Awards took place, with as many predictable picks as there were surprising ones. While many are content with the results of the Oscars, others are displeased. Below are the winners of the main categories alongside personal choices for what the winner should have been.

Best Picture-

What Won- “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

What Should’ve- “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

The Academy could not have chosen a better movie for the Best Picture of 2023. “Everything Everywhere All At Once” (EEAAO) is a bombastic film, combining all the greatest parts of increasingly spectacle-based, CGI-focused movies with small-scale heart. The film uses some of the most impressive special effects to emphasize its universal themes of existentialism, pointlessness, and depression. All the while, the film exists under the scope of modern entertainment and media. Passionate, heartfelt, and infinitely thought-provoking, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” undoubtedly deserves the Best Picture Award.

Best Actor-

Who Won- Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”)

Who Should’ve- Colin Farrell (“The Banshees Of Inisherin”)

Expectations were high with Brendan Fraser’s performance in “The Whale”, after garnering a significant amount of both hype and controversy. Though reservations are held about Darren Aronofsky’s directing style, Brendan Fraser undoubtedly gave an incredible and heartfelt performance throughout the film. However, despite his sympathetic acting, he ought to have come second to Colin Farrell’s beautiful portrayal of Pádraic in “The Banshees Of Inisherin”. Farrell plays Pádraic gracefully and in a nuanced manner, giving way to a complex yet entirely believable character arc. Without Farrell’s performance, the movie may perhaps have fallen flat.

Best Actress-

Who Won- Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)

Who Should’ve- Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)

Little more can be said about “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, and yet much remains to be said of the actors. Due to the intense, fast-paced visual effects, the talent on screen can be easily looked past, however, it should not be. Though an all-star cast, Michelle Yeoh stands out especially. Without her, much of the sympathy for the maternal lead of the film would be lost. Her performance breaks through the in-your-face style of CGI, offering both heart and humor throughout the movie.

Best Supporting Actor-

Who Won- Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)

Who Should’ve- Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)/Barry Keoghan (“The Banshees Of Inisherin”)

Though the Academy made an undoubtedly strong choice with Ke Huy Quan in “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, they would have been equally justified in picking Barry Keoghan for “Banshees of Inisherin”. Both actors provided strong additions to the cast, tightening and strengthening the narratives and emotions of their respective films. Plus, most shed a tear at Ke Huy Quan hugging Harrison Ford.

Best Supporting Actress-

Who Won- Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)

Who Should’ve- Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)

While Jamie Lee Curtis certainly provided a strong role in the movie, Stephanie Hsu’s performance in “Everything Everywhere All At Once” was stronger, playing a more emotionally complex and unique character with such bravado. Her performance as Joy and Jobu Tupaki is unforgettable as it provides much of the basis for the movie’s emotional and visual glee. With so much emphasis placed on visual effects, Hsu fits perfectly into her character’s emotions and unique traits.

Best Director-

Who Won- The Daniels (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)

Who Should’ve- Steven Spielberg (“The Fabelmans”)

“Everything Everywhere All At Once” certainly deserves many, many awards. But, Steven Spielberg’s directing touch enchants “The Fabelmans” from start to finish, a movie that would not be a tenth of what it was without him. Spielberg proves with this film that no number of decades in the industry can cause him to lose the spark that skyrocketed him into fame.

Original Screenplay-

What Won- “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

What Should’ve- “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Though the better movie between the two, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” relies heavily on sweeping themes and grand visuals to have its effect. Instead, “Banshees of Inisherin” relies almost entirely on its two lead actors and writing. Though “EEAAO” provides clean, heartfelt writing that supports the movie greatly, it falls into the background. In “Banshees”, the writing is on full display for the complex, masterful allegory it is.

Adapted Screenplay-

What Won- “Women Talking”

What Should’ve- “Women Talking”

A movie that is as relevant as ever, “Women Talking”, takes a claustrophobic premise that relies almost entirely on a sharp, passionate script to deliver both its emotional impact and heavy themes. Using the movie to bring up themes meant for conversation beyond the final credits, it leaves as many questions unanswered as it needs to, provoking challenging questions and important themes for all to consider long past the end.