In recent years, Hollywood has undergone a significant shift in both the types of stories being told and the people telling them. This shift has brought about a more diverse range of voices and perspectives in the industry — a shift long overdue.
One of the most notable changes is the increased representation of marginalised groups — women, POC, LGBTQ+ folk. This shift has led to more authentic storytelling, as they bring their unique and original experiences and perspectives to the screen.
Hollywood has also opened itself to experimenting with different genres and styles, leading to a wider range of films and TV shows being produced, including a greater emphasis on independent and international films, which often feature more diverse casts and crew.
There was a great deal of hype around the 95th Academy Awards, which some are hailing as a turning point in cinematic history1. A new generation of filmmakers has arrived, shaking up the industry with daring, original work that harkens back to the era of New Hollywood in the 1960s. This year’s Oscars ceremony celebrated these rising stars in spectacular fashion, with a slew of unexpected winners and thrilling performances.
Leading the charge was A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” a visually stunning and mind-bending adventure that garnered 11 nominations and took home seven trophies, including Best Picture. The film’s directing duo, the Daniels, proved themselves to be major talents to watch, picking up awards for their direction and original screenplay. The film also showcased the talents of a diverse cast of actors, including Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis, who each delivered unforgettable performances that won them well-deserved Oscars.
Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian best actress Oscar winner in the Academy’s 95-year history. Delivering her acceptance speech, Yeoh said:
“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities… This is proof that dreams — dream big, and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are past your prime. Never give up.”
But the thrills didn’t stop there — Netflix’s German-language war epic “All Quiet on the Western Front” also made a big splash, earning four wins, including Best International Film. And first-time nominees filled 16 of the 20 acting slots, showcasing a new generation of talent that’s breaking boundaries and challenging the status quo.
Since the 2015 and 2016 #OscarsSoWhite outcries, the Academy has been working to diversify its membership. There’s been an effort to increase diversity in terms of race, gender, and nationality — almost half of the academy’s most recent new members came from abroad, and 25% of its 10,000 member cohort is now from outside the United States. These are measure that have a weighty impact on the spotlighting of new, relevant and authentic storytelling.
With a stirring ceremony that balanced old and new — and a host of exciting winners and unforgettable moments — the 95th Academy Awards might have proved that Hollywood is as vibrant and exciting as ever.
We’re hopeful for this bold new era of cinema.
1) Brooks Barnes, “‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Is Big Winner at the Oscars” in The New York Times, March 13, 2023, Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/13/arts/oscars-everything-everywhere-all-at-once.html