Mar 13, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Canadians figured prominently at Sunday night’s Academy Awards, including Toronto’s Sarah Polley who won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for Women Talking, Miriam Toews’ 2018 novel of the same name.

44 year old Polley made note of the fact there were no nominated women directors by taking a shot at the Academy.

“First of all, I just want to thank the Academy for not being mortally offended that the words women and talking were put so close together like that,” Polley jabbed.

It was a first career Oscar for Polley, who’s film Women Talking was also nominated for best picture, but lost to the night’s big winner, Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Brendan Fraser who won the Oscar for best actor for his performance in The Whale.

The 54 year old Canadian-American actor was emotional in acceptance, and mused about making the film during the pandemic.

“We had to very careful with one another to stay safe and I think all the films we’ve seen this year there’s a secret ingredient and my guess it’s that concern we showed for one another and for the work that we do,” Fraser explained.

Fraser also said the role of Charlie, a 600-pound reclusive gay English teacher who tries to restore his relationship with his teenage daughter, found him at the perfect time.

Montreal-born makeup artist Adrien Morot was part of the team recognized by the Academy for helping Fraser transform into the 600-plus-pound character.

Morot won the Oscar for best makeup and hairstyling alongside Judy Chin and Annemarie Bradley.

Best documentary went to Toronto filmmaker Daniel Roher for his film Navalny, the story of Alexy Navalny, the leader of the Russian opposition, who remains in solitary confinement in prison.

“I would like to dedicate this award to Navalny, to all political prisoners around the world,” Roher said in acceptance, “Alexei, the world has not forgotten your vital message to us all. We cannot, we must not be afraid to oppose dictators and authoritarianism wherever it rears its head.”


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