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The Highlights, Lowlights, and Surprises from the 95th Academy Awards

As we continue to decompress from Oscar night, I always feel like now is the best point to really think about the show itself. In the immediate aftermath, a lot of focus is on the winners, and rightly so. Now, however, you can more effectively ponder them in conjunction with the ceremony itself. So, that’s what I’m doing today, chiming in (perhaps later than most) with my highlights, lowlights, and surprises piece on the 95th Academy Awards.

Below, you can see some of my thoughts on the highs and lows of the Oscar telecast. I’m not going to focus too much on the winners, even though both of my favorite performances of the year (Brendan Fraser and Michelle Yeoh) winning Oscars is phenomenal. Similarly, I just don’t feel like throwing shade on the In Memoriam segment, since the producers’ hearts are obviously in the right place. The rest, however? Fair game, as you’ll be able to check out next…

Here now are some of the highlights, lowlights, and surprises from the 95th Academy Awards ceremony:


The cast and crew of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” accepts the award for best picture at the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

An Oscar ceremony that resembled…the Oscars – We saw all of the categories presented. How that’s seen as a highlight is a sad state of affairs, but still. It happened. There was a focus on cinema, as well as a celebration. This is what the Academy Awards should be. The telecast never tried to be what it’s not, to its own benefit.

A strong crop of winners – I’ve already mentioned Fraser and Yeoh above, but there’s almost no winners this time around to complain about. When Jamie Lee Curtis is the focus, especially considering all of the other factors? That’s pretty solid ground. The more you liked All Quiet on the Western Front and Everything Everywhere All At Once, the better this crop must feel, but few reasonable viewers were massively disappointed.

Movies were actually celebrated – The opening montage showcasing below the line aspects of film was an excellent beginning. This time, especially in comparison to recent years, we got a sense that the Oscars actually appreciate the craftspeople who make these movies happen. This is what cinephiles want from the Academy Awards.



A Disney commercial in the middle of the show – Now, I don’t hate this idea in a bubble. Whetting your appetite for an upcoming film makes sense for the Academy Awards. The Little Mermaid, however, is not that movie. Now, it’s a Disney property, so it’s just corporate synergy, but it felt very out of place. This was the one moment that really did leave a bad taste in my mouth, and even then, I hated it less than most.

They still have a bad habit of not letting all winners speak – When a group approaches the podium to accept their Oscars, there’s always a possibility that not everyone will get a chance to talk. That again happened here, unfortunately, and it always bums me out. It’s the Academy Awards! Let these folks have a second to say thank you. It’s not that complicated.

The Academy still can’t properly highlight the Academy Museum – I’ve been to the Academy Museum and quite liked my time there. The Oscars could easily be the perfect time to make it a must-see attraction in Los Angeles. Alas, the Academy somehow continues bungling their commercials for it. Just believe in your product, AMPAS.


The show was mostly controversy-free – After what happened last year, which we don’t need to mention, things could have gone haywire fairly easily. That there wasn’t controversy and it overall felt like smooth sailing shouldn’t be a surprise, but again, just look at what nonsense happened the last time around. Sigh.

Jimmy Kimmel proved he could potentially host the show each year – I like Jimmy Kimmel and always find his hosting to be effective, but this year proved that he can potentially be the new Billy Crystal or Bob Hope. He may not be on that level yet, but Kimmel keeps the show moving incredibly well. He deserves to stay.

Our Best Picture winner actually was Everything Everywhere All At Once – Yes, in the end it was a rout, but just think about this. Everything Everywhere All At Once won Best Picture! A singular work that’s unlike any other winner, it’s etched into the record books for all-time. A year ago, that would have been downright unthinkable.

What were your highs and lows from the Academy Awards? Let us know!


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Richard Green
Richard Green
6 months ago

Hi Joey,
here in England (or at least on Now tv) we didn’t see The Little Mermaid commercial, all we saw was a caption saying the 95th Oscars and music playing in the background so I had no clue what was going on and it almost looked like the feed had somehow dropped… Personally I didn’t find Jimmy Kimmel funny for the first hour or so but he seemed to get more confident as it progressed and as you say he moved it along well.. Lady Gaga’s performance was terrific although the decision to have the camera staying so close up to her face for the first part of the song seemed strange… For the first time in Oscar history both the music awards went to films in a foreign language which probably would have been unthinkable 5/10 years ago so that’s progress.

Robert Hamer
6 months ago

I appreciate you not feeding into the ridiculously blown-out-of-proportion “controversy” over the Best Supporting Actress Reaction Shot Heard ‘Round The World.

Robert Hamer
6 months ago
Reply to  Joey Magidson

I was more referring to the blowback to Angela Bassett not reacting the “right” way according to all the usual talking heads and pundits. Absurd how much bandwidth that’s taken up on the internet in the immediate aftermath of the ceremony.

Richard Green
Richard Green
6 months ago
Reply to  Joey Magidson

She reacted honestly and surely that’s far better than obviously faking a smile at Jamie winning.



Written by Joey Magidson

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