Top 10 Standout Moments of the 2023 Oscars Ceremony

Michelle Yeoh made history, Rihanna performed, and Everything Everywhere All at Once won, well, everything.

While Hollywood’s biggest night is often known to cause a stir, the 95th Annual Academy Awards were remarkably tame. In many ways, it was a traditional Oscars ceremony: one film swept, a few movies were thought to be snubbed, and America’s biggest celebrities dripped in luxury.

From loaded jokes to political statements, a performance by Rihanna to record-breaking wins, V has rounded up 10 of the most notable moments of the night.

The Champagne Carpet

For the first time since 1961, the Oscars traded in their trademark red carpet for “champagne” (read: beige). Reportedly, the minds behind the new carpet color were longtime Vogue contributor, Lisa Love, and Met Gala creative director, Raúl Àvila. Their aim was to elevate the event, but the choice wasn’t a clear-cut win. The red carpet carries a celebratory history—for all that could (and should) be changed about the Academy Awards, the red carpet isn’t it.

Pictured: Cara Delevingne. Image Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Jimmy Kimmel Addressed the Movies that Didn’t Get Nominated

In his opening monologue, Jimmy Kimmel joked: “It was some year for diversity and inclusion, we have nominees from every corner of Dublin.” He went on to reference Till and The Woman King, two movies that were “worth your time” but ultimately didn’t get nominated this year. Both films (along with Jordan Peele’s Nope, which is widely viewed to have been snubbed for Best Picture) feature a majority Black cast.

This gesture, in which the show’s host cracks a joke in order to exhibit self-awareness about the Academy’s historic racism (#OscarsSoWhite), has become a standard move on the part of the Academy. But for all of this talk, year after year the crowd at the Dolby Theatre tends to look the same.

Pictured: Jimmy Kimmel. Image Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Ke Huy Quan’s Emotional Acceptance Speech for Best Supporting Actor 

To quote everyone on Twitter as Ke Huy Quan received his acceptance speech: I’m crying! Despite the fact that he was predicted to win for his supporting role in Everything Everywhere All At Once, there was still an electric thrill when his name was called. After taking the stage, Quan emotionally held his trophy up to the camera and exclaimed, “Look Mom, I won an Oscar!”

Pictured: Ke Huy Quan. Image Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Michael B. Jordan Gives Angela Bassett a Shoutout

While presenting the award for Best Cinematography with his Creed III co-star Jonathan Majors, Michael B. Jordan called upon his Black Panther co-star, Angela Bassett, saying “Hey, Auntie.” The relevance of this cute shoutout? It’s known to fans of the Black Panther franchise as one of Killmonger’s famous lines. Majors followed up with “We love you,” as the pair took the stage after Bassett—who stunned in purple Moschino—lost to Jamie Lee Curtis in the Best Supporting Actress category.

Pictured: Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors. Image Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter Makes History as the First Black Woman to Win Two Academy Awards

In a record-breaking moment, Ruth E. Carter became the first Black woman to win an Oscar twice. This year, Carter won for costume designing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the sequel to 2019’s Black Panther, for which she won her first Oscar.

Pictured: Ruth E. Carter. Image Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Lady Gaga Wears FW23 Versace Before Making a Shocking Costume Change

In a sheer Versace gown fresh off the runway (Gigi Hadid debuted the look on the catwalk mere days ago), Lady Gaga struck a bold mood before stripping her make-up and changing into a black t-shirt, ripped jeans, and converse to perform her Oscar-nominated song, “Hold My Hand,” from Top Gun: Maverick.

Pictured: Lady Gaga. Image Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images


Rihanna *Literally* Shined Bright Like a Diamond

After walking the runway in custom Alaïa, Rihanna changed into an embellished Maison Margiela look for her performance of “Lift Me Up.” Styled by Jaheel Weaver, the ensemble was embellished in more than 142 carats.

Pictured: Rihanna. Image Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images


Sarah Polley Wins Best Adapted Screenplay for Women Talking

As men continue to dominate most Oscar categories, it was a pleasure to see Canadian writer Sarah Polley win Best Adapted Screenplay for her film, Women Talking, which stars Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, and Frances McDormand. She opened her speech with a nod to gender inequity in the film industry and the world at large: “First of all, I just want to thank the Academy for not being mortally offended by the words ‘women’ and ‘talking’ put so together like that. Cheers.”

Pictured: Sarah Polley. Image Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

The Daniels Make a Statement About Recent Drag Bans

Everything Everything All At Once swept the ceremony, winning seven awards, including Best Picture. When the co-directors accepted the Best Director award, they dedicated it to “all the Mommies” before Daniel Scheinert thanked his own parents: “To our Moms, specifically my Mom and Dad… thank you for not squashing my creativity when I was… dressing in drag as a kid, which is a threat to nobody.” The statement, which comes in light of Tennessee’s ban on public drag performances, was met with a loud applause from the audience.

Pictured: Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan. Image Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Michelle Yeoh Became the First Woman of Asian Descent to Win Best Actress

History made.

Pictured: Michelle Yeoh. Image Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)


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