The 95th Academy Awards took place last night (March 12). It was an evening of astounding performances, and two surprise wins.
Composer Volker Bertelmann (aka Hauschka) of All Quiet on the Western Front received an Oscar for Best Original Score. He beat out nominees Justin Hurwitz (Babylon), Carter Burwell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Son Lux (Everything Everywhere All at Once), and the great John Williams (The Fabelmans).
It is Bertelmann’s first Academy Award. He was previously nominated for his music for the 2016 film Lion (co-composed with Dustin O’Halloran). He won the BAFTA for “All Quiet” on February 19. In his acceptance speech, Bertelmann touched on a lesson his mother taught him, and described the process of creating the score. “By working on a film like that, you are always touched,” Bertelmann said, referring to the harrowing nature of the film. “Sometimes you have to make the screen very small because there are so many explosions happening.”
As for Best Original Song, Rahul Sipligunj, Kaala Bhairava, and M.M. Keeravani won the award for their upbeat song "Naatu Naatu" in the film RRR. They beat out heavyweights such as Lady Gaga and Rihanna, as well as Son Lux with Mitski and David Byrne, and Sofia Carson.
While accepting the Oscar, composer MM Keeravani said the song was "the pride of every Indian" and revealed he had grown up listening to songs by The Carpenters. He then sang the rest of his speech in the tune of their hit song "Top Of The World." The audience applauded as he said that RRR had "put me on the top of the world."
As for performances, Sophia Carson performed "Applause" from Tell It Like a Woman, Son Lux, David Byrne (wearing hot dog fingers), and actress Stephanie Hsu sang “This Is a Life” from Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, Lady Gaga belted "Hold My Hand" from Top Gun: Maverick, Rihanna crooned "Lift Me Up" from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and of course, Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava danced in a show-stopping performance of “Naatu Naatu.” Additionally, Lenny Kravitz sang "Calling All Angels" for the "In Memoriam" segment of the show.
Watch all of the 2023 Oscar performances below.
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Article Image: Volker Bertelmann performing in 2014, M.M. Keeravani at Inji Iduppazhagi Audio Launch 2015. (hds [CC BY 2.0], and Silverscreen Media [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons.)