The great anticipation, the grand finale of the cinema season is upon us: the 95th edition of the night of the Academy Awards will take place on Sunday 12 March, internationally known as the night of the Oscars: it is the most prestigious and oldest film award in the world and is delivered since May 1929 in Los Angeles by AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, an honorary body created in 1927 to support and promote the stars and stripes film industry and which has over six thousand members, including directors, actors , producers and other workers in the sector).
There are different versions of the origin of the name Oscar. The most accredited is that according to which it derives from the joke of Margaret Herrick, an employee of AMPAS who, in front of the prototype of the award, would have exclaimed: “He looks just like my uncle Oscar!”. The figurine is entirely covered in 24-carat gold, weighs 4 kg, is 34 cm high and its market value is approximately… 300 dollars.
Organizers hope this year’s event will fade the memory of the embarrassing 2022 ceremony, with actor Will Smith’s infamous slap in the face of comedian/presenter Chris Rock as the latter awarded the Best Documentary category: unleashing the Smith’s wrath would have been the joke made by the comedian about the alopecia problems of the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett. An incident that led to the presence on Sunday, for the first time in the history of the Oscars, of a real emergency response team, set up to avert any crisis in the bud.
Between performances, records and controversies, here’s what to expect from the big night of cinema on Sunday. The ceremony will be hosted by the American comedian and television presenter Jimmy Kimmel, already at the helm of the 2017 and 2018 cinema night. He is a showman used to the unexpected: it was in fact during his first hosting that Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway erroneously announced a La La Land as a Best Picture Oscar winner, before the statuette was rightfully awarded to Moonlight.
Who will perform on stage at the Oscars 2023? Last year the Dolby Theater (where the event takes place) heated up with performances by Beyoncé and Billie Eilish, Oscar contenders for Best Original Song. Equally stellar performances are expected for this year, Rihanna with Lift me up from Black Panther: Wakanda forever; Sofia Carson and Diane Warren with Applause from Tell it Like a Woman produced by Chiara Tilesi; Stephanie Hsu, David Byrne and Son Lux con This Is a Life; and Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava con Naatu Naatu from the movie RRR, already awarded the Golden Globe for Best Original Song. The only major absentee will be Lady Gaga who should have sung Hold my hand from Top Gun: Maverick. She is busy on the set of Joker: Folie à Deux and let it be known that he could not leave.
Cold surprise for Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky. For the second consecutive year, the Academy Awards says no: no appearances, not even remote, on the night of the Oscars, as happened last month at the Berlin Film Festival, after being welcomed with open arms in recent months by awards shows, film festivals and even the New York Stock Exchange. The no came despite powerful William Morris Endeavor agent Mike Simpson appealing to the Academy to include the comedian-turned-President of Ukraine on May 20, 2019. The Academy declined to comment.
Waiting to see who will earn the famous golden statuette, let’s take a look at some trivia about the nominees for the 2023 Academy Awards.
1) First of all, there is a small record linked to Italy: The pupils by our award-winning director/writer Alice Rohrwacher (Heavenly Body, The Wonders and Happy Lazarus), marks Disney+’s first nomination (nomination) for Best Short Film.
2) The iconic record-breaking John Williams, with already five Oscars in the crowded showcase, at 90 is the oldest candidate ever. His nomination number 53 – for the soundtrack of The Fabelmans – which confirms him as the second most nominated person ever after… a certain Walt Disney with 59.
3) Another record concerns the appointment of Nothing new on the western front: This masterpiece is the first German-language film to be nominated in the Best Film category.
4) not only that: the German film is the fifteenth to receive the double nomination of Best Film and Best International Film: in 2020 Parasites he had the same honor and brought both statuettes to South Korea.
5) The 95 edition stands out as the least “America-centric” ever: in fact, it boasts the largest number of non-US nominations in the history of the Oscars.
6) Like that of Michelle Yeoh, who with her nomination for Everything Everywhere all at Onceis the second person of Asian descent ever to be nominated for Best Actress (Merle Oberon was the first, nominated in 1936, but concealed her origins at the time)
7) The statuette will be disputed with Cate Blanchett who, with her role in TÁR is confirmed as the actress with the best flair for Best Film. In fact, the Australian actress has achieved the female record of 10 films nominated for an Oscar in this category. In the male counterpart, on the other hand, Robert De Niro holds the record, with 11 candidate films.
8) In the Best Actor category instead, for the first time since 1933, all actors who will go to the Oscars for the first time were nominated: Austin Butler for ElvisColin Farrell for The Spirits of the IslandBrendan Fraser for The WhalePaul Mescal for Aftersun and Bill Nighy for Living.
9) 2023 has to be a special year, as it is the very first year in which all five nominees in the Best Director category have also written the screenplays for their own films.
10) but no woman has been nominated for Best Director after Chloé Zhao’s historic consecutive Best Director triumphs with Nomadland and Jane Campion with The Power of the Dog.
11) Steven Spielberg always on top: with his seven nominations The Fabelmanshas amassed an impressive 146 Academy Award nominations for his filmography: a record in the filmmaking scene.
12) In the most cherished category, that of Best Film, two blockbusters stand out and it is the first time that two sequels are in competition at the same time, Avatar: The Way of Water And Top Gun: Maverickwhich are also two films with over a half billion dollars in box office.