All The History-Making Wins That Happened At The 2023 Oscars

What a historic night!

From a strong showing of Asian talent to the first African-American woman to win two Oscars, here are the historic triumphs at the 95th Academy Awards.

Related: All The Historic Nominations At This Year’s Oscars

Is it just us or does that slap feel like it just happened yesterday? It turns out a year has already passed and here we are, reveling in and recovering from the celebration that was the 95th Academy Awards. A lot certainly happened in the three-hour ceremony that flew by so fast we’d need days or even weeks to make sense of it all. But for now, let’s zero in on all the histories that were made at Hollywood’s biggest night that are now forever etched in the history books.


Michelle Yeoh at Oscars 2023

Perhaps the biggest record-breaking win of the night was Michelle Yeoh taking home the best actress Oscar for her role as Evelyn Wang, a multiverse-hopping Asian American immigrant and laundromat owner, in Everything Everywhere All At Once. In the almost century-spanning history of the Academy Awards, Yeoh is the first person of Asian descent to win in the lead actress category.

“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” shares the Malaysia-born talent in her acceptance speech. “This is proof to dream big and dreams do come true.” This marks Yeoh’s first Oscar nomination and win in her revered career that’s been running for almost 40 years.


A lot of firsts also happened at the 2023 Oscars, most especially in the acting categories. Brendan Fraser, whose celebrated comeback in the movie scene has been dubbed as the “Brenaissance,” won his first Oscar for his lead role as the reclusive, obese teacher Charlie in Darren Aronofsky’s aching drama, The Whale

Meanwhile, Ke Huy Quan became the first Vietnamese American and only the second Asian to win an Oscar in the supporting actor category. Also in an inspiring Hollywood comeback, Quan already made history as the first Asian man to win in any individual category at the Screen Actors Guild awards for his role as the endearing father Waymond Wang in EEAO

His co-star, Jamie Lee Curtis, made another milestone at the Oscars, triumphing in the supporting actress category. Her first nomination and win in her 45-year acting history, Curtis dedicated her victory to all the fans of her genre work throughout the years. The 64-year-old made her big screen debut in the celebrated slasher franchise, Halloween, and served as the executive producer of its final film, Halloween Ends. 


With Quan and Yeoh’s historic Oscar feats, this year’s Academy Awards is the first edition where two persons of Asian backgrounds won in acting categories in the same year. This year marks the most Asian acting nominations as well, which include EEAO star Stephanie Hsu and The Whale’s Hong Chau.


Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert wins at the Oscars 2023
Photo from <a href=httpstwittercomTIFF NETstatus1635116488247119872photo1 target= blank rel=noopener title=>TIFF<a>

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, also known as the Daniels, emerged victorious as well, winning the best director trophy and besting industry heavyweights Steven Spielberg, Martin McDonagh, Todd Field, and Ruben Östlund. This makes them only the third directing duo to win in the category, following Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise in 1962 for West Side Story and Joel and Ethan Coen in 2008 for No Country for Old Men. The Daniels also nabbed the trophies for best original screenplay and the highest prize of the night, best picture.


In 2019, Ruth Carter made history as the first African American to win the best costume design accolade for her marvelous work in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. This year, Carter created history anew with her second win in the same category for the sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, as the first Black person to ever win an Oscar twice.


The most decorated film of the evening, Everything Everywhere All At Once went on to collect seven Oscars; three trophies in the acting categories, and one each for editing, original screenplay, director, and picture. This astounding feat makes the Daniels-helmed film as one with the most “above the line” wins in the history of Oscars. Not just that, the multiverse romp is also the first science fiction to be hailed as best movie of the year by the Academy.


With all the sweeping success of its projects at this year’s Oscars, independent film production and distribution outfit A24 has also achieved a momentous milestone this year. A24 became the first studio in Oscars history to ever win best picture, best director, best actress, best actor, best supporting actress, and best supporting actor awards. Just like its banner film this year, you can say that A24 really won everything everywhere all at once. The award-winning studio first cemented its status as one of the best performing film companies out there when Moonlight, an A24 original, won the highest accolade at the controversial 89th Academy Awards in 2017.


Naatu Naatu wins at Oscars 2023

It was also quite a historic night for Indian cinema. Naatu Naatu, the soundtrack of the Telugu-language epic saga RRR by SS Rajamouli, is the first Indian song to ever win an Oscar. Composed by MM Keeravani and with lyrics from Chandrabose, the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice-winning track bested no less than Lady Gaga and Rihanna in the star-studded category this year.

This is on top of a captivating and festive performance of Naatu Naatu by musicians Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava. Apart from this, India also won a second Oscar this year with The Elephant Whisperers winning in the best documentary short film category.


Image credit Kevin Winter Getty Images

Did you know that in the Academy’s 95-year history, this is the first time they commissioned a women-led team to create the awards’ stage design? British designer Misty Buckley and LA-based art director Alana Billingsley are the ones thank for that gorgeously vibrant and immersive Oscars stage. Inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, classic movie houses, and social salons, the duo crafted a celebratory space with the intention of writing a “love letter to cinema” and making an award show ideal for giving tribute to the experience of film and the talent that makes it. While this isn’t technically an Oscars win, it’s especially another empowering victory for female artists.

Continue Reading: Surprises, Snubs, And Slaps: What Went Down During The 94th Oscars