Oscars 2023: Our Favourite Moments From This Year’s Show

This year's awards served up less headline-stealing drama and more heartwarming moments—including a historic win.
Oscars 2023: Our Favourite Moments From This Year’s Show Michelle Yeoh and Sarah Polley won big at the 2023 Academy Awards. (Photography: Getty)

After months of campaigning and movie-watching, the 95th Academy Awards have come and gone. This year’s Oscars’ organizers definitely played things straight, as the ceremony followed in the shadow of last year's infamous Slap, which dominated headlines and online chatter for weeks after the ceremony. Jimmy Kimmel hosted the ceremony, his third time doing so, and delivered a safe, straightforward opening monologue, poking fun at the nominees gathered for the ceremony and getting a slap joke over with straight out of the gate.

Heading into the awards, sci-fi family drameady Everything Everywhere All at Once led the pack with 11 nominations. It took home seven statuettes last night, the most out of any film.

Here are our favourite moments from the 2023 Academy Awards.

White was the colour of the night

White dresses and suits dominated the champagne carpet at this year’s celebration. (Yes, you read that right: For the first time ever, the red carpet was replaced with a beige-y hue reminiscent of the sun at golden hour.) Michelle Yeoh, Florence Pugh, Mindy Kaling, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michelle Williams, Ariana DeBose and Ana DeArmas are among some of the stars who stunned in white gowns—and made numerous best-dressed lists.

A photo of a woman in a tuxedo holding an Oscars statuette Sarah Polley holds her Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Women Talking. (Photograph: Getty Images)

The Canadian contingent showed up strong

Canada’s own Sarah Polley won her first Oscar, for Best Adapted Screenplay for Women Talking, based on the novel of the same name by Canadian author Miriam Toews. “First of all,” began Polley in her acceptance speech. “I just want to thank The Academy for not being morally offended by the words 'women' and 'talking' put so close together like that. Cheers.”


But the actor-writer-director wasn’t the only Canadian who took home an Oscar this year. Brendan Fraser won his first-ever Oscar for his performance in The Whale, which caps off what some are calling the “Brenaissiance,” referring to Fraser’s comeback after over a decade away from Hollywood. Montreal's Adrien Morot brought home a statuette for his makeup work in the same film, while Navalny, a documentary about the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navaly and the investigation surrounding it, won the award for Best Documentary Feature and was made by Canadian filmmaker Daniel Roher.

Other Canadians in attendance included director Domee Shi (whose film Turning Red was nominated for Best Animated Feature), Sandra Oh (who stood out in the crowd in a fluttery yellow dress) and Calgary-based animators Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby (who received a nom for their animated short, The Flying Sailor).

Musical stars stunned with performances

The Oscars celebrate the film industry, but what’s a good movie without a great song? This year, megastars like Rihanna and Lady Gaga were nominated for Best Original Song, and both singers graced the stage at the Dolby Theatre. Lady Gaga gave an intimate performance of “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick, wearing a similarly stripped-down outfit: a black t-shirt and jeans. Rihanna’s performance of “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was a stirring rendition of the tune with strings and a gorgeous backing choir. The number was also dedicated to the late Chadwick Boseman, who starred in the first Black Panther film.


But the best performance of the evening had to be the energetic and colourful performance of “Naatu Naatu,” a certified banger from the Indian film RRR. The lively number won the award for Best Original Song later on in the evening.

American Sign Language was widely used

This year’s Academy Awards carpet featured American Sign Language interpreters for the first time ever. The interpreters accompanied interviewers and interviewees as they talked about who they were wearing, shared their hopes for the evening and bantered with fellow celebs—and allowed the Oscars to engage with Deaf fans and viewers. The Oscars also ran a free ASL livestream for those watching at home.

On stage inside the Dolby Theatre, Deaf actor Troy Kotsur presented the awards for Best Supporting Actor and Actress alongside Ariana DeBose (the two won these awards last year). Kotsur presented the awards using an ASL interpreter.

A woman in a feathery white dress holds an Oscars statuette Michelle Yeoh holds her Oscar for Best Actress for Everything Everywhere All At Once—a historic win. (Photograph: Getty)

Michelle Yeoh becomes the first actress of Asian descent to win Best Actress


EEAAO ended Oscars night as the most decorated film, with seven wins—including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. Michelle Yeoh became the first actress of Asian descent to win the Best Actress award; she is also only the second woman of colour to win in this category in 95 years. (Halle Berry, who presented Yeoh with her statue, won 21 years ago and is still the only Black woman to have an award in this category). In her moving acceptance speech, Yeoh, 60, called out the ageist and sexist double standards that actresses face in Hollywood. “Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime,” she said in the beginning of her speech. “Never give up.”

Ke Huy Quan caps his heartwarming journey with an Oscar

Ke Huy Quan, who was best known for his roles in ’80s classics like The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor—the cap to his heartwarming journey this past year. (At the end of the night, he was reunited with Indiana Jones co-star Harrison Ford, who presented EEAAO with its Best Picture statuette.) After stepping away from acting for decades, citing a lack of roles for Asian actors, Quan returned to the big screen with EEAAO and has been sweeping up awards all year long for his portrayal of Waymond, the husband of Yeoh’s Evelyn. “My journey started on a boat, I spent a year in a refugee camp,” said Quan in his emotional acceptance speech, referencing his childhood as a refugee fleeing from the Vietnam War. “And somehow, I ended up here on Hollywood's biggest stage.” And while, yes, Quan’s comeback and accolades don’t exactly fix the inequities that caused his exile from acting in the first place, here’s to hoping that EEAAO’s historic wins busts open doors for more diverse writers, directors and performers in Hollywood.


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