Things were so heated last weekend as we dealt with the sudden failures of three regional banks in the U.S.A. that the Oscars were almost completely ignored. Honors are given out to best actors, directors, producers among a long list that also includes the likes of choreographers, set designers, script writers and so on.
Last year's memorable show included a meaningless 'G.I. Jane' joke that led to Will Smith assaulting Chris Rock on stage. Minutes later, the crowd gave Smith a standing ovation for winning the best actor award (Cringe Worthy!). Mr. And Mrs. Smith were nowhere to be seen. Will Smith voluntarily submitted his resignation to the academy soon after the incident and is no longer included in the celebrations.
Fortunately for the Oscars, there was an uptick in viewers this year but nevertheless, the bank failures stole the headlines. While the bank issue is certainly important and should be front and center, something incredible happened at the Oscars on Sunday night.
Brendan Fraser, who in recent years has been ridiculed for one silly thing or another, is back on top after winning the best actor award for his role in The Whale, about an obese English teacher trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter. A day later, on Monday night he and his son Leland were spotted at Whiskey-A-Go-Go where he signed his name on the performer's wall and happily signed autographs for anyone who asked. He was described as very down to Earth by those who met him.
Michelle Yo won for best actress for her role in 'Everything, Everywhere All At Once' becoming the first Asian woman to be bestowed with the honor. In fact, of the 11 spots it was nominated for, the movie snatched up 7 Oscars, including best picture.
Most surprising is the incredible comeback by Yo's costar, Ke Huy Quan who won the best supporting male actor Oscar. Some of you might think he looks a little familiar. As a child actor, he acted alongside Harrison Ford as 'Shortround' in his acting debut in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. In his emotional acceptance speech in which he barely held back tears, he implored everyone to never give up on your dreams.
Everyone hoped it would be Harrison Ford who would announce his win but Ford didn't come out until it was time to announce the big one, the best movie Oscar. He barely finished announcing the winner when the crowd erupted in cheer as he announced 'And the winner is, Everything, Everywhere' (cue cheers) and through the loud applause he can barely be heard saying, 'All At Once'.
It was then that the cast walked up on stage where Ford and Quan gave each other a big hug, marking the first time they appeared together in 38 years. After a 20 year absence from acting, Quan's fantastic comeback along with Brendan Fraser's reminds us that indeed, we should never give up on our dreams. It turns out these two costarred in Fraser's 1992 film, 'Encino Man' and had not seen each other since. Quan snuck up on Fraser as he was being interviewed after the show to give him a big hug.
Quan also reunited with Steven Speilberg who directed Temple of Doom along with his wife Kate Capshaw who also costarred in the movie. Are we to see the return of Shortround in a 6th installment of Indiana Jones??? Maybe, he'll have his own archeological franchise? Spielberg said to Quan, 'You're an Oscar winning actor now'.
Another surprising aspect of Quan's win is the help he got from fellow 'Goonies' actor Jeff Cohen (Chunk), now a successful attorney in Hollywood. Cohen was instrumental in helping him land the 'Waymond Wong' role that has relaunched his acting career. His Goonies costars including Corey Feldman can be seen on Youtube showing their excitement after Quan's big win.
Are we to see a new Goonies movie? You never know. The weekend's Oscars was probably one of the best in 30 years, especially after last years's show. Since most people were keeping a close eye on the banking system instead of the Oscars and for good reason, it's a bit of a shame that Quan's incredible win was overshadowed as it was, as well as Michelle Yo's big win, along with Brendan Fraser's.
The best supporting actress Oscar went to Jamie Lee Curtis for her role as Deirdre Beaubeirdre in 'Everything, Everywhere, All At Once'. After many years of acting in great movies, this marks Curtis' first Oscar win, which she received right after costar Quan. After her win, she was interviewed and remarked about her role in 'True Lies' with Arnold Schwarzenegger in which all the stunts were real, including the scene where she is seen dangling from a helicopter.
It looks like the Oscars finally got it right this year. There was no 'funny' business, only excitement, laughter and emotional reunions. Congratulations to the winners, especially to Shortround. His great comeback certainly is a bright light compared to the banking crisis that has unfolded since last week.
I guess we needed a good heart warming story right about now.
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