Oscars 2023: The key moments from the Academy Awards ceremony

In a night of historic wins, Al Jazeera takes a look at the key moments that shaped the Oscars this year.

Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert and Jonathan Wang win the Oscar for Best Picture for "Everything Everywhere All at Once" during the Oscars show at the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert and Jonathan Wang win the Oscar for Best Picture for "Everything Everywhere All at Once" during the Oscars show at the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, [Carlos Barria/Reuters]

It was a night of historic wins at the 95th annual Academy Awards on Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

The Oscars concluded with Everything Everywhere All at Once dominating the ceremony. The evening made history, with Michelle Yeoh becoming the first Asian performer to win best actress and India winning two trophies.

Here are some of the key moments from the event.

So, about last year…

Serving once again as host, Jimmy Kimmel was clearly going to have to bring up The Slap, as it shall forever be known.

It took about seven minutes into his monologue before he did, a sarcastic crack about the bizarrely passive reaction last year to the moment Will Smith slapped Chris Rock over a joke directed at his wife.

“If anything unpredictable or violent happens at the ceremony, just do what you did last year – nothing,” he told the crowd of A-list celebrities. “Maybe give the assailant a hug.”

At the show’s start, two US military aircraft flew over the theatre, and Kimmel landed on the stage by parachute in a tribute to best picture nominee, Top Gun: Maverick.

Ke Huy Quan: ‘I cannot believe it’s happening to me’

Emotions were running high from the second award, as Quan won his Best Supporting Actor trophy – an expected outcome but no less exciting at the moment.

Presenter Ariana DeBose could barely utter his name – she was already crying.

“My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp,” said Quan, 51, who is of Vietnamese descent.

“Somehow, I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage. They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This, this is the American dream.”

Ke Huy Quan tears up at the Oscars
Ke Huy Quan delivers a tearful acceptance speech for his Best Supporting Actor win [Chris Pizzello/AP Photo]

Jamie Lee Curtis: ‘I am hundreds of people’

Winning for Best Supporting Actress immediately after Quan, Curtis stepped onstage and made yet another terrific awards-season speech about collaborating in the industry.

“I know it looks like I am standing up here myself, but I am not,” she said. “I am hundreds of people.”

She spoke to all the fans and colleagues who “supported the genre movies I have made all these years, the hundreds and thousands of people: We just won an Oscar together.”

‘Stay strong’

Alexey Navalny sits in solitary confinement in Russia. So it was left to his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, to speak for him – and to him, as well – when the documentary Navalny won an Oscar.

“My husband is in prison just for telling the truth. My husband is in prison just for defending democracy,” Navalnaya said. “Alexey, I am dreaming of the day when you will be free, and our country will be free. Stay strong, my love.”

Director Daniel Roher dedicated his Oscar to Navalny and all political prisoners around the world.

“Alexey, the world has not forgotten your vital message to us all: We must not be afraid to oppose dictators and authoritarianism wherever it rears its head.”

Yulia Navalny, wife of jailed dissident Alexei Navalny, speaks next to her daughter Daria and director Daniel Roher after "Navalny" was awarded for Best Documentary Feature Film during the Oscars show at the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Yulia Navalnaya, wife of jailed dissident Alexey Navalny, speaks next to her daughter Daria and director Daniel Roher after Navalny was awarded Best Documentary Feature Film [Carlos Barria/Reuters]

Ruth E Carter makes history again

Four years ago, Carter took her first historic statuette, becoming the first Black woman to win for costume design for Black Panther.

On Sunday, she made history again when she won the award for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, becoming the first Black woman to win two Oscars. She dedicated the award to Mabel Carter, her mother, who she said died this past week at the age of 101.

“This film prepared me for this moment,” she said. “Chadwick, please take care of Mom” – referring to Chadwick Boseman, the beloved late star of the original film.

Ruth Carter centerstage, speaking in microphone
Ruth E Carter gets her second trophy in the costume category, after her win for 2019’s Black Panther [Chris Pizzello]

Brendan Fraser wins best actor Oscar for The Whale

Fraser won his first Academy Award for his performance as a 270kg (600lb) gay man trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter in The Whale.

The 54-year-old actor took on a new set of physical challenges for The Whale. He wore a heavy bodysuit, prosthetics and makeup, which could take up to six hours to apply, to embody the story’s obese hero, Charlie.

The result left him unable to walk in his character’s cramped home.

“I’m grateful to Darren Aronofsky for throwing me a creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship, The Whale,” said Fraser in accepting the Oscar.

The Daniels thank the teachers and the mommies

The Daniels – Scheinert and Kwan – had a number of opportunities to ascend the stage, collecting awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director on the way to the Best Picture win for Everything Everywhere All at Once.

The first time, Scheinert quipped he was going to name all the teachers who put him and his brother in detention – then instead thanked the teachers, by name, who “educated me and inspired me and taught me to be less of a butthead”.

Kwan thanked “my Mom who protected me as a child, protected my inner storyteller”. Winning Best Director, they came back to thank, in Scheinert’s words, “the mommies of the world …. specifically my mom and dad, thank you for not squashing my creativity”.

Michelle Yeoh is taking it home to Malaysia – and Mom!

In Everything Everywhere All at Once, one of Yeoh’s most memorable scenes is a reconciliation of sorts with her young adult daughter (Stephanie Hsu).

It was fitting that Yeoh, accepting her Best Actress award, would also focus on motherhood.

“I have to dedicate this to my mom, all the moms in the world because they are really the superheroes,” she said. “And without them, none of us would be here tonight.”

She added that her mom was watching in Malaysia with her family.

“She’s 84, and I’m taking this home to her.”

Yeoh, 60, also earned cheers for her plug for women as they age in Hollywood, telling them: “Don’t let anybody tell you you’re past your prime!”

Indians erupt in celebration

Indians erupted in celebration after Naatu Naatu, the breakout hit from the action movie RRR, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, making history as the first movie from the country to win the honour.

The song – a fast-paced number that has found fans worldwide, spawned a TikTok challenge and has millions of views on YouTube – won a standing ovation when it was performed at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday night.

Indians also celebrated a short documentary, The Elephant Whisperers, winning at the Oscars.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies