From Michelle Yeoh to Brendan Fraser, this year’s Oscars gave the forgotten a second chance

Wannounced by Harrison Ford Everything everywhere at once Winner of this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture, its star Ke Huy Quan stormed onto the stage and immediately jumped into the actor’s arms. Almost four decades ago, the couple had starred together Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, when Quan was just a kid. Ford’s career went from strength to strength. But roles for Quan soon began to dry up, and he was forced to commit to a career as a stunt coordinator and assistant director. Everything everywhere at once wasn’t just a comeback. It was a second chance at a dream.

So seeing Quan, a newly crowned Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner, was a chance to party with the same man who helped him take his very first steps into the industry — well, to quote the actor himself,” they say Stories like that only happen in the cinema”. The Oscars always love to do the talking. Every year we hear the same tongue-in-cheek talk about how Hollywood really is a dream factory where we’re only limited by our own imaginations. Rarely does one feel that these words have any meaning. This year is likely to be the rare exception.

Again and again, the same relief was reflected in so many ceremonial speeches: that the forgotten were finally being given a second chance. The invisible ones have finally been seen. Brendan Fraser, Best Actor for The whale, spoke with gratitude – saying his accomplishment is a major return to the industry after experiencing and surviving some of its darkest sides. Michelle Yeoh, who won Best Actress after a close race tar Star Cate Blanchett has often spoken out about spending much of her illustrious career dreaming of a role like the one she was offered Everything everywhere at once. She received the statuette from Halle Berry, the only other woman of color to win the award in 95 years.

Costume designer Ruth Carter made history by becoming the only black woman to win two Oscars, both for her impressive work on the Black Panther films. Sarah Polley jokingly celebrated her award for Best Original Screenplay women speak by “thanking the Academy for not being so morally offended by the words ‘women’ and ‘speeches’ being so closely related”. Even Best Animated Feature Film winner, Guillermo del Toro, spoke candidly about the importance of acknowledging that “animation is cinema.”

The night was not so merciful for everyone. Everything everywhere at once‘s Sweep – highest number of wins since 2008 Slumdog Millionaire – went at the expense of Angela Bassett, who was not recognized by the Academy. As the front-runner for Best Supporting Actress, she lost to Jamie Lee Curtis, a wonderful actor who perhaps had the weakest role in this year’s Best Picture winner. I would argue that the snub here has less to do with the specifics of Bassett’s performance Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Beyond that single scene where she now yells, somewhat wryly, “Didn’t I give my all?

That is why I think it is premature to lay down concrete declarations of progress Everything everywhere at once. For every significant victory came the queasy memories of the Academy’s dogged hypocrisy. Host Jimmy Kimmel spent most of the night meeting Will Smith over last year’s headline-grabbing ‘slap in the face’ – an incident that was then treated with deadly seriousness and saw the actor dating several of them for 10 years has been banned from all Academy events His upcoming projects have been cancelled, which are now seen only as fuel for stereotypical jokes about the evening’s Irish nominees taking the stage to fight. This is the Hollywood we’re used to, isn’t it? The one who slaps his back with his hand while crushing someone with his foot. Tomorrow could be different. But for now, it’s okay to succumb to this dream printed on celluloid. From Michelle Yeoh to Brendan Fraser, this year’s Oscars gave the forgotten a second chance

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