Paulie’s Perspective: Oscar Winners 2023

Oscar Winners 2023


So let’s state the obvious, there were no slaps or assaults on comics or anyone else. So that’s good news.

Everything, Everywhere All At Once basically swept the major categories. Banshee, Fabelmans, and Tar were shut out. Shame because I really loved Banshee. I know it wasn’t a widespread love affair, so I get it. Most females hated it because it made no sense to them and a guy chops his fingers off. So that left half the voters out right there. Still a fantastic movie but honestly, this was Brandon Fraser’s moment. It was the right vehicle for him, and the right time for him. The guy is beloved and has done a lifetime of fantastic work. Banshee could have won Best Picture though – I thought it had a real shot at that.

EEAAO swept and it is a very well deserving cast, crew and movie. It is bold, original and has a lot of talent of a forgotten cast. China has always been a big part of Hollywood, behind and in front of the camera, so this is kind of like Hollywood’s big thank you.

So EEAAO wins Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Lead Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Director.

Michelle Yeoh wins Best Actress. She has proven herself to be the most versatile talent in Hollywood for many years. She has excelled in comedy, drama and martial arts films. This was her chance to claim the brass ring and it happened. Very happy for her.

Ke Huy Quan wins Best Male Supporting Actor – Short Round was beloved in Goonies and Temple of Doom – then lost work. I don’t know what happened, but he took jobs of all kinds to stay around the business. I know he was even a stunt coordinator on a film or two. So he really just tried everything, which is weird as he was such a big hit and worked with legends in the business. It was weird to see him hug and smile at the legends of Hollywood who didn’t help him when he was struggling. Well that’s Hollywood I guess. Now this film gave him a stage as an adult, and let’s see what he does with it. Hopefully he’ll get a Short Round series.

Jamie Lee Curtis is crass and outspoken and yearns for attention wherever she goes, especially when she’s not working. Remember all those times when she said she could not get a job, Hollywood was sexist, and discriminated against her age, and all older women? On and on she went about how this business is horrible and hates old women, and just women in general? Well now that she won, everything is okay. I guess she was just kidding. Angela Bassett is class, and is a way bigger talent than Jamie, but the squeaky wheel always gets the grease, right? Angela is too classy to whine and complain like Jamie does. It was sad to see the wrong girl win the big prize.

Best Original Song goes to RRR with “Naatu Naatu”  not Nanoo, Nanoo, like from Mork and Mindy.  This is interesting because it is America recognizing India, and the force of nature that is Bollywood. Will more of their musicals come over here and be big hits? This certainly makes things easier and probable.

It was very gratifying to see Gaga perform her song from Maverick, and Rihanna perform her song and everyone seemed to think the Oscar was a battle between these two women. Gaga had her people and her producers tell the press there was no way she can perform, she is entranced in her role for Joker 2, and can’t possibly be expected to perform.  Well she somehow managed to get out of character, and sing her song to the Academy. Wow, what a trooper she is. A shocking, surprise performance, even though they scheduled her in and she rehearsed it. Gaga was miraculously able to free herself and her schedule at the “last minute” to come and join Hollywood. Gaga knows how to play the game, that’s for sure. Most people would just show up. Gaga made us think like she was doing us a favor by singing her song at the Oscars. This woman is drama personified.

I’m glad the voters went with RRR. Hopefully it humbled those two egomaniacs at least for one night, and opened the door to more international songs being recognized.

Best Actor went to the lovable Brandon Fraser for The Whale. This guy deserves it and had just an astounding career. Everyone loves him and this was a culmination of all his hits, flops. love and laughs that he gave us through the decades.

Spielberg shut out at the Oscars?  YES! I told you before his nods were purely political. All of his work buddies told him to make the picture about his life and so it had to be acknowledged by the Academy, because it’s Spielberg and his life! So that just had to be done and was pure formality. This is how powerful Spielberg is. His work gets nominated solely because he did it. This Oscars was a good one. It was peaceful, it acknowledged the global presence of cinema, of good cinema with Bollywood and China getting awards in major categories. I hope this opens the door to more international talent. Ireland being present, India and China, is a very good thing. Maybe this business can grow and get more lead actors rather than having Kevin Hart, Samual L Jackson and Brad Pitt be in every single movie we go and see.  As Jack Nicholson said in Burton’s Batman: “Let’s broaden our minds!”