Pascal, Hayek, Yeoh: 8 Big Moments for Diversity at 2023 Oscars
After last year’s controversial Academy Awards — #slapgate included — many of us were looking forward to what the 2023 Oscars would bring.
For movie romantics, this year’s ceremony did not disappoint.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” the audience’s favorite film, dominated the night with seven wins out of its eleven nominations. And those of us who have consistently called for the need for diversity in the film industry were pleased.
Moreover, the ceremony went off without major problematic episodes and was a celebration full of feel-good moments, especially for people of color.
Here are our favorites:
Salma Hayek and Pedro Pascal swept us off our feet on the champagne carpet
The Latino icons posed for the cameras arm in arm, and social media went crazy.
Pascal gave us the best “daddy vibes” without his horn-rimmed glasses and in a black suit by designer Zegna. For her part, Salma sparkled in a sequined orange dress.
Both were accompanied by Valentina Paloma Pinault, Salma’s daughter, and Javiera Balmaceda, Pedro’s sister. We can only imagine what they talked about, but the four laughed together, giving us a bad case of FOMO.
Pedro’s sister was also in attendance for her participation in “Argentina, 1985,” nominated for Best International Film.
Michelle Yeoh makes history
Michelle Yeoh made history by winning the award for her role as Evelyn Quan Wang in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” It was the first time in more than 20 years that a woman of color took home the award for Best Actress.
“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” Yeoh said upon accepting her award. “…And ladies, don’t let anybody ever tell you that you are past your prime.”
Guillermo del Toro takes the crown
Guillermo del Toro on Sunday became the first person in history to win an Oscar for best picture, director, and animated feature.
The Mexican director won last Sunday for his adaptation of the classic “Pinocchio.” Del Toro had a lot to say in his acceptance speech.
“Animation is cinema, not a genre. Animation is ready to take the next step. Keep animation in the conversation,” del Toro said during his acceptance speech.
“This is an art form that for too long has been amputated commercially and industrially and at the kids’ table,” del Toro said backstage. “And it really is a mature, expressive, beautiful, complex art form. So a win helps, but it’s about moving forward as a community.”
A historic crossover
RRR’s “Naatu Naatu” won best original song at the Academy Awards, becoming the first song from an Indian film to win the award.
Bollywood then crossed over to Hollywood through music, and in a big way.
Composers M.M. Keeravani and Chandrabose received Oscar statuettes. However, the success of “Naatu Naatu” had many authors — from the stars who danced to it at RRR (N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan) to the vocalists who performed it (Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava) to the choreographer who helped make its video a viral sensation (Prem Rakshith).
Sofia Carson gives us unforgettable moments
The singer and actress daughter of Colombians, Sofia Carson, left us open-mouthed with her bejeweled two-piece dress and her voice.
Along with 14-time Academy Award-nominated songwriter Diane Warren, Carson performed “Applause,” the theme song from the film “Tell It Like a Woman.”
Carson urged the women of the world to “give yourselves some applause” during the simple, stark performance of the ballad.
Ana de Armas pays tribute to Marilyn Monroe on the red carpet
It may not have been on purpose, but Ana de Armas gave us an unexpected tribute on the Oscars red carpet. Her silver Louis Vuitton gown reminded many of Marilyn Monroe’s infamous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress that Kim Kardashian smeared at last year’s Met Gala.
As ELLE reported, De Armas didn’t see the resemblance.
“I just feel like, you know, this is like little drops of rain and flower[s],” she told Laverne Cox on the Oscars red carpet. “Little Mermaid.”
Ana de Armas was nominated for Best Lead Actress at the Oscars for her role in the Monroe biopic, “Blonde.”
The new ‘The Little Mermaid’ trailer leaves us wanting more
Speaking of drops of water, we got a sneak peek at the new live-action trailer for “The Little Mermaid.”
Although we had already seen a few teasers of the remake of the Disney classic, this is the first time we get to know a bit more of the new universe under the sea.
The trailer also gave us that iconic moment from our childhood when Ariel, played by Halle Bailey, leaps triumphantly onto a rock with the waves crashing around her.
Ke Huy Quan is a testament to the true American Dream
Finally, the 2023 Oscars were the scene of “full circle” moments.
Ke Huy Quan, a child star in two of the biggest films of the 1980s, won the statuette for best-supporting actor.
“They say stories like this only happen in the movies,” a tearful Quan told the Oscars as he accepted his award. “This, this is the American dream.”
Quan moved from Vietnam to Hong Kong as a refugee, then moved to the United States. He got an audition by accident to play Chinese pickpocket Short Round in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984). The following year he played gadget-loving Data in “The Goonies.”
But as he grew older, the roles dried up. Quan settled for working behind the scenes as a stunt coordinator and assistant director.
As BBC explained, Quan was inspired by the success of “Crazy Rich Asians” and decided to pursue his dream of acting again as he approached 50.
“My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp, and somehow, I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage,” the actor said.