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95th Academy Awards: Winners and losers, Lady Gaga, Bollywood – and was that a donkey on stage?

After late night talk show host parachuted onto the Dolby Theatre stage in Los Angeles, thanks to two US military aircraft, it was down to business to award the best of the best at this year’s 95th Academy Awards.

In a ceremony which went for almost four hours on Monday kicking off at 11am (AEDT), off-beat, low-budget adventure Everything Everywhere All at Once made history as best actress winner, Michelle Yeoh, became the first Asian star to win in the 95-year history of the Oscars.

Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, it took home seven Oscars including the top award of the night with the prestigious best picture trophy film, best supporting actor and actress, best editing and best writing (original screenplay) while our Australian nominees went home empty-handed.

‘Everywhere, dreams do come true’

Yeoh, 60, thanked her cast and crew, and dedicated her Oscar to her mother watching at home in Malaysia, and all the “mums in the world because they really are our super-heros”.

Likewise did her co-stars, Hollywood veteran, Jamie Lee Curtis, 64, and former child actor, Ke Huy Quan, 51, who won supporting actress and actor for their roles in the offbeat Everything Everywhere.

A weeping Quan, who was born in Vietnam, kissed his gold Oscar statuette as he held it on stage in front of the biggest names in show business.

“My journey started on a boat,” Quan said.

“I spent a year in a refugee camp. Somehow I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage.

“They say stories like this only happen in the movies,” he said.

“I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This is the American dream.”

Quan’s co-star Jamie Lee Curtis, who built a career in horror films such as Halloween, won best supporting actress for playing a frumpy tax auditor named Deirdre Beaubeirdre.

Curtis looked upward and addressed her late parents, Academy award nominees Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.

“I just won an Oscar,” she said through tears.

Brendan Fraser won best actor for his role as a morbidly obese English teacher in The Whale, while Adrien Morot, Judy Chin and Anne Marie Bradley took home an Oscar for best makeup and hairstyling on the film.

Winners

All Quiet On The Western Front won four Oscars including best cinematography, original score and best international film.

Avatar: The Way Of Water for best visual effects, best screenplay went to Sarah Polley for Women Talking and best costume design went to Ruth Carter for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

After becoming one of the highest grossing films at the box office this season, along with Steven Spielberg’s comments about Top Gun: Maverick saving Hollywood, the film took home a single Oscar for best sound.

Best Animated Feature Film went to Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and best Documentary Feature Film went to Navalny.

“Alexei, I am dreaming of the day when you will be free and our country will be free,” his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, said on stage.

“Stay strong my love.”

The Elephant Whisperers won best documentary short film and An Irish Goodbye won best short film (Live action).

Lillian Amanda Luhrmann, Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin. Photo: Getty

Losers

While Australia was well-represented at this year’s Oscars, Baz Luhrmann and his film Elvis, made entirely in Australia during the global pandemic, was not recognised in any of the top categories.

Likewise, Cate Blanchett, who played a devious orchestra conductor in Tar, lost out the best actress category.

Our other Aussie hopeful, Lachlan Pendragon, who was nominated in the short film (animated category) for An Ostrich Told Me The World is Fake and I think I believe it, lost to The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse.

Host Jimmy Kimmel with a real donkey on stage. Photo: Getty

Jenny

Jenny, who played Colin Farrell’s much-loved donkey in Irish film The Banshees of Inisherin, graced the Oscars stage wearing a bedazzled emotional support animal vest.

As comedian and this year’s host, Jimmy Kimmel, pointed out her co-stars seated in the audience, Farrell blew her a kiss.

Elizabeth Banks also brought a bear onto the stage – she directed Cocaine Bear – but he wasn’t real and added some much-needed comic relief throughout the evening.

Best moment – In memory of Tony Scott

“You might find that you can be your own hero, even if you feel broken inside,” says Lady Gaga before launching into her Top Gun: Maverick original song Lift Me Up.

On a screen behind her song, for which she changed into a pair of ripped black jeans and removed her heavy red lipstick, it was in memory of Tony Scott, director of the original Top Gun, who took his own life in 2012.

Best dressed

For the first time since 1961, a champagne-coloured carpet – instead of the traditional red runner – was rolled out for this year’s academy awards.

Vogue noted many of the A-listers chose white as the “breakout colour” this year, choosing designs that clashed the traditional with the contemporary, resulting in looks that felt familiar (glamorous and glitzy!) yet entirely fresh”.

Best Actress nominee Michelle Williams “shined” in her Chanel Couture dress that included a sheer, embellished cape overlay while Vogue decided Cate Blanchett’s Louis Vuitton number was “sleek and pared back”.

Biggest surprise

Canadian Sarah Polley, for best adapted screenplay, by a long shot, for Women Talking.

She beat Top Gun: Maverick, Living, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and All Quiet on the Western Front.

“First of all, I just want to thank the academy for not being mortally offended by a film with the words women and talking, put so close together like that,”Polley said while accepting the Academy Award.

Biggest Bollywood moment

It was a golden day for Indian cinema.

The performance of Naatu Naatu, from the Indian film RRR (which created a viral dance sensation), was a stand-out of the night, alongside Lady Gaga and Rihanna’s Lift Me Up.

It won best original song while the The Elephant Whisperers was the first Indian production to win an Oscar.

Best tribute

An emotional John Travolta introduced the In Memoriam segment of the Oscars, leading with the late Australian singer and actress Olivia Newton-John.

“They’ve touched our hearts, made us smile and became dear friends who we will always remain hopelessly devoted to”, a reference to his Grease co-star Olivia’s song Hopelessly Devoted to You.

ONJ died last August aged 73 after a 30-year battle with breast cancer. She and Travolta had remained close friends after starring in the 1978 musical hit, which launched their careers.

Best joke

Kimmel joked in his opening monologue about the audience reaction to the attack on Chris Rock at last year’s Oscars.

Best actor nominee Will Smith walked onto the stage and slapped the stand-up comedian after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia.

“If anything unpredictable or violent happens at the ceremony, just do what you did last year – nothing,” he told the crowd.

“Maybe give the assailant a hug.”

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