Home Entertainment Oscars 2023: from Brendan Fraser to Ke Huy Quan, Hollywood loves a comeback story

Oscars 2023: from Brendan Fraser to Ke Huy Quan, Hollywood loves a comeback story

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Oscars 2023: from Brendan Fraser to Ke Huy Quan, Hollywood loves a comeback story

It is a truism to say that the Academy loves a comeback, however at this yr’s Oscars it reached a fever pitch: all 4 performing awards have been gained by display screen veterans who, till now, had by no means gained – and even been nominated for – an Academy Award.

There was Brendan Fraser, who broke out in roles akin to a reanimated Neanderthal in Encino Man (1992) and a lovable woodwose in George of the Jungle (1997), earlier than cementing himself because the defining hunk of the 90s along with his windswept explorer in 1999’s The Mummy.

However within the 2000s, his credit thinned and he started to take roles additional and additional away from the centre of Hollywood’s vortex. Then, in 2018, Fraser alleged he had been sexually assaulted by Philip Berk, former president of the Hollywood International Press Affiliation (HFPA), the organisation that runs the Golden Globes.

Berk known as Fraser’s account “a complete fabrication”, however acknowledged he had written an apology to Fraser on the time; an inside investigation performed by the HFPA concluded that Berk had “inappropriately touched” Fraser in a approach “supposed to be taken as a joke and never a sexual advance”.

“[It] made me retreat,” Fraser stated in an interview. “It made me really feel reclusive.”

Now 54, Fraser’s main flip in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, tailored from the play of the identical identify, was extensively thought of a prestigious return. Whereas the movie itself has been controversial – Fraser wore a fat-suit to play a 270kg homosexual man subjected to never-ending distress and squalor – the actor has been effusive in his gratitude because it premiered to a six-minute standing ovation at Venice. A video of him, teary-eyed, made the rounds; he was equally overcome as he accepted the award for greatest actor on the Oscars.

“I’m grateful to Darren Aronofsky for throwing me a inventive lifeline,” he gushed in his speech, “and hauling me aboard the great ship The Whale.”

Michelle Yeoh holds her Oscar high in the air, smiling
Michelle Yeoh is a Malaysian display screen legend, however her work had by no means been recognised by the Academy. {Photograph}: Kevin Sullivan/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock

Equally triumphant was Michelle Yeoh.

The Malaysian display screen legend had lengthy been a fixture of Hong Kong martial arts cinema earlier than her worldwide breakout within the 1997 James Bond flick Tomorrow By no means Dies, and, a few years later, the wuxia blockbuster Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Although the latter was up for 10 Oscars – and gained 4 – in 2001, Every part All over the place All at As soon as was the primary time she has been personally recognised by the Academy.

The perfect actress win, in some ways, felt preordained: Yeoh had already clinched a Golden Globe and the all-important Display Actors Guild award for her efficiency as a laundromat proprietor who all of the sudden turns into the important thing to saving the world.

And the movie doubles as an ode to Yeoh’s life: her character, Evelyn, jumps via parallel universes in chaotic trend, embodying all the probabilities she may have lived – amongst them … a Hong Kong martial arts motion star.

“Girls, don’t ever let anybody inform you you might be previous your prime,” she stated in her speech.

Becoming a member of Yeoh in Every part All over the place All at As soon as’s awards bonanza have been co-stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Huy Quan. Curtis is hardly an underdog; the kid of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, she has been cracking nepo baby jokes herself all season lengthy.

But her victory at this yr’s Oscars – greatest supporting actress for her function as tax-auditor-slash-murderous-assassin Deirdre Beaubeirdre – was nonetheless hard-won: a curveball after a profession as a scream queen that made her a field workplace boon, if not essentially awards bait.

“I’m tons of of individuals,” she boomed, the Dolby Theatre stage her pulpit.

“To all of the individuals who have supported the style motion pictures that I’ve made for all these years – the hundreds and tons of of hundreds of individuals – we simply gained an Oscar collectively!”

Lastly, justice for Halloween.

Ke Huy Quan looks ecstatic to be reunited with Harrison Ford on stage at the 2023 Oscars
Ke Huy Quan was reunited with Harrison Ford on stage on the 2023 Oscars. {Photograph}: Carlos Barría/Reuters

And, after a months-long campaign which has left a deluge of tears in its wake, it was solely proper that Quan snagged the award for greatest supporting actor.

Like Fraser, his profession started with a flash, with baby roles in 80s classics The Goonies, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – whose star, Harrison Ford, embraced Quan after he offered the Oscar for greatest image.

However Quan has spoken extensively concerning the conservative trade he confronted after his momentum vanished – one wherein he languished, unable to seek out work as an Asian actor. He turned to behind-the-camera roles for many years earlier than he landed an audition for Every part All over the place’s gentle, stoic dad, the grounding drive of the movie towards Yeoh’s haywire verve.

In a ceremony brimming with earnest speeches, Quan’s was notably poignant – and one of many night time’s greatest moments.

“My journey began on a ship,” he stated. “I spent a yr in a refugee camp and someway I ended up right here, on Hollywood’s greatest stage.

This is the American dream.”

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