Tom O’Neil, Tariq Khan, Ray Richmond final 2023 Oscar slugfest
Emmy season beckons. The 95th Academy Awards are officially in the rearview mirror. But that didn’t stop Gold Derby Editor-in-Chief, President and Founder Tom O’Neil, renowned Oscar-ologist and longtime GD contributor Tariq Khan and News and Features Editor Ray Richmond from getting together to do a final post-mortem on last Sunday’s Oscars and put them into something resembling perspective, as everything always makes more sense with nearly a week’s hindsight (which, as we know, is 20/20). Plus, we weren’t quite ready to let the Oscars go just yet. Watch the video of their slugfest above.
“We need closure!” Richmond demanded early on in the Oscar season-ending slugfest, “and it honestly takes several days to digest it all and offer some sober reflection.”
The guys spoke about the results of the big races from a ceremony dominated by “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which won nearly a third of all the trophies handed out. It included the top statues for picture, director (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), original screenplay (the Daniels once again), lead actress (Michelle Yeoh), supporting actress (Jamie Lee Curtis) and supporting actor (Ke Huy Quan) as well as editing. It’s tough to remember that back near the beginning of Oscar season, it was Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” that was being predicted for the sweep, recalled O’Neil. It wound up winning none.
“‘Fabelmans’ led the Gold Derby odds early on and it seemed like it would almost be unstoppable,” O’Neil pointed out, “but it just didn’t happen.”
Back in those heady days, it seemed almost a formality that Spielberg would be winning his fourth Oscar, if not his fifth and sixth as well. Instead, as Richmond noted, “Can you imagine how pissed off Spielberg is? I mean, he’s gotta be like, ‘I’ve been in this business doing this for 50 goddamned years. These (Daniels) come out of nowhere and win as many Oscars in one night as I’ve won in half a century!'”
Khan discussed how he was perhaps the first Oscar pundit to join Team Jamie Lee Curtis last summer when the Gold Derby predictions center opened and everyone made their early picks. “I was a huge Jamie Lee fan growing up in the Eighties and was furious that she missed Oscar nominations for both ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ and ‘True Lies’,” Khan said. “Back when I saw ‘Everything Everywhere’ last spring, I said, ‘She can win this thing.’ He subsequently wrote a piece for GD outlining five reasons why Curtis could and should earn her first Oscar nomination. It proved prophetic. However, Khan also predicted Colin Farrell would squeak through and win the lead actor prize for “The Banshees of Inisherin” after surmising Brendan Fraser (for “The Whale”) and Austin Butler (for “Elvis”) might split the remaining vote.
O’Neil marveled at how Yeoh steadily overtook Cate Blanchett (for “Tar”) in the lead actress race after Blanchett dominated the first several months of awards season voting. “There was no minute where Cate just fell,” he observed. “It was a gradual build.” He believes that part of what turned the tide, besides “EEAAO’s” domination of so many other above the line races, was the fact “Michelle’s great acting scenes really came at the end of the movie – one after the other after the other.”
By the time voting happened, Khan offered, “I don’t really think the Best Actress race was even that close. It felt like a solid margin at the end for Michelle.”