A Summary of the 2023 Oscars
by Olivia Riportella '25 on April 8, 2023
Arts & Entertainment
The Academy Awards are back for the 95th annual Oscar celebration, paying tribute to a whopping nine and a half decades of cinema. The event took place this year on Sunday, March 12, returning to its home at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood, Los Angeles for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. After experimenting with multiple hosts at last year’s historic award ceremony, the Oscars invited Jimmy Kimmel back as the sole host for this year’s show, which honored movies released in 2022.
The 95th Academy Awards were one for the history books with a remarkable number of firsts. With performances from artists such as Rihanna and a surprise performance from Lady Gaga, the 95th celebration was star-studded indeed. Rihanna delivered a captivating tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman with her Black Panther: Wakanda Forever theme song “Lift Me Up,” which also received a nomination for best original song. Gaga confirmed her performance minutes before the ceremony, singing an emotional, stripped down version of her best original song nominated “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick. At the end of the night, the infectious “Naatu Naatu” from Indian blockbuster RRR took home the trophy for best original song, making history as the first Telugu song, and first Indian film, to win the original song Oscar.
Everything Everywhere All At Once had by far the biggest night at the Academy, as it took home seven awards out of its eleven nominations. Sweeping nearly all of the biggest categories in the film industry, the futuristic film from the studio A24 took home the award for best picture, best director, and three of the four major acting categories. Making history once again, Michelle Yeoh of Everything Everywhere All At Once took home the trophy for best actress, becoming the first Asian woman to receive the award. In an emotional comeback story, Ke Huy Quan took home the title for best supporting actor, becoming the first Vietnam born actor to win an Oscar. After early career success in movies such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Goonies, Quan’s career grew stale to the point of resorting to stunt work. This win marks a big comeback for him. “Dreams are something you have to believe in,” Quan remarked in a tearful speech. “I almost gave up on mine. To everyone out there, please keep your dreams alive.”
The night became even more emotional when John Travolta returned to the stage at nearly 70 years old to introduce the In Memoriam tribute, as he tearfully remembered his late “Grease” co-star Olivia Newton-John, who passed away last year after a long battle with breast cancer. “In this industry, we have the rare luxury of getting to do what we love for a living, and sometimes getting to do it with people that we come to love,” Travolta said. “Since tonight is a celebration of the work and the accomplishments of our community this past year, it is only fitting that we celebrate those we’ve lost who’ve dedicated their lives to their craft, both in front of and behind the camera.” Using the words of one of Newton-John’s most famous Grease songs, Travolta ended with saying, “They’ve touched our hearts, they’ve made us smile, and became dear friends who we will always remain hopelessly devoted to.”
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Students Travel to Los Angeles for the 9th Year of PC in Hollywood
by The Cowl Editor on January 16, 2020
by Nicole Silverio ’22
Over winter break, future Hollywood stars and directors from our very own campus traveled to Los Angeles to tour several Hollywood studios. Being Providence College’s ninth year providing this opportunity, students got to spend five days in Hollywood meeting alumni that had achieved a career in the entertainment industry, hoping to inform current students about what it is like working behind the scenes in Hollywood studios.
The PC in Hollywood trip was founded in 2012 by Todd Slater ‘97, the Office of Institutional Advancement, the Center for Career Education and Professional Development, and the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Film. Today, Slater is an independent film producer and partner at Slater Brothers Entertainment. His goal is to lead students down the right path to attain the same successes he has had in the entertainment industries.
Twelve students traveled alongside Father Kenneth Gumbert, O.P.; Patti Goff, assistant vice president of Integrated Learning and Administration; and Paul Calle, the senior major gifts officer in the Office of Institutional Advancement. The group visited several alumni including: John Bowab ’55, Charlie Jennings ’04 of Creative Artists Agency, Bill Humphrey ’77 from Sunset Studios, Tara McLaughlin ’13 from Focus Features, and Peter Farrelly ’79, an Academy award-winning director and screenwriter of the 2018 film Green Book. “They were all so nice and willing to tell their stories. I had great conversations with them,” said Griff Massey ’20.
On the first day of the trip, the group visited Sony Pictures Studios. There, they saw the set and props from the hit ’90’s sitcom Seinfeld and the game show Wheel of Fortune. “I’m a big Spiderman and Ghostbusters fan. I got to see the car they used in the 2016 movie,” said Massey. “We went into a mini museum where we saw props from Spiderman, Men in Black and a recreation of the Seinfeld set and after that tour we went to a room where we were given a presentation on what a producer does. They’re very hands on with every aspect of the movie.”
Massey said, “It was a nice mix of studio tours and sit down conversations with executives or anyone in the industry and learning how to get your foot in the door.” Massey shared his dream for after he graduates from PC this spring stating, “My main purpose is to write stories for anything entertainment wise that needs writing.”
When meeting John Bowab ‘55 & ’80 Hon., who directed episodes of Family Matters and Full House, Massey said, “It was really cool to visit him because he is so kind to us and gave us great advice. It’s cool to see someone who had graduated PC who is content with his life, successful, and takes time out of his day to talk about his experience in the industry. I am so thankful for that. He had a framed picture of last year’s group in the front hall of his home.”
Massey described their trip to Warner Brothers Studios, saying “It was a dream of mine to go to Warner Bros. ever since I was five. There were storyboards from The Matrix, original character models for Scooby Doo, original superman cape from 1978, and crucifix from The Exorcist which was framed in a gothic frame.”
Massey also described meeting Peter Farrelly, saying, “We were all super nervous to meet him. When he showed up he was dressed casually and was super chill and humble. It was reassuring that the fame did not go to his head. He had great advice and talked about his writing process. He likes writing collaboratively the best which is typically what he does. He does not care about genres which I resonated with since I do not want to be labeled as someone who likes to write horror or superhero stuff since that is very restrictive.”
While at the Creative Arts Agency (CAA), Massey wanted to gain information about the relationships between agents and writers from Charlie Jennings ‘04 who works with Chris Evans and many other big name Hollywood actors. Tara McLaughlin ‘13 from Focus Features told the students that she herself went on the trip when she was a student, and helped with editing trailers and movie posters.
Sunset Gower, an independent studio that leases out stages and rooms for other production companies, showed the PC students sets for The David Spade Show and Raven’s Home, the sequel to the Disney Channel original show That’s So Raven. “I never knew independent studios existed but I found it to be interesting,” said Massey.
Massey concluded by saying, “There was never a dull moment on this trip. I would definitely recommend this trip if you are serious about entering the film industry of any form. I know a lot of people who went to the event and wanted to work in the industry but didn’t know what aspect of it, but left that trip with a passion and have a moment of hope that they can make it into this industry.”
After nine years, this trip helps open the gate for many students to follow their dreams to become the future PC alumni that have created films in the movie industry.