Highlights of the night:
- An Irish Goodbye wins best live action short film. Guests at the Dolby Theatre are invited to sing Happy Birthday to its star James Martin in a lovely moment.
- Dubliner Richard Baneham nabs his second Oscar for best achievement in visual effects as part of the team behind Avatar: The Way of Water.
- Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis win the best supporting actor and actress Oscars for Everything Everywhere All at Once. Their awards go down very well in the room, though it means The Banshees of Inisherin stars Barry Keoghan, Brendan Gleeson and Kerry Condon must make do with their nominations.
- All Quiet on the Western Front wins four Oscars, including best international feature film, for which it was competing against An Cailín Ciúin / The Quiet Girl, Ireland’s history-making Irish language nominee.
- Brendan Fraser wins best actor for The Whale, edging out Elvis star Austin Butler, as well as Bill Nighy and Ireland’s Colin Farrell and Paul Mescal.
- Michelle Yeoh beats Cate Blanchett to best actress for Everything Everywhere All at Once, which takes seven Oscars in total, including best director for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and best picture.
The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, which is very much on LA time, has issued a press release toasting Irish success in two categories, with the Minister describing it as a “historic night”.
“The Oscars ceremony showcased our talent, our language and the beauty of our country as a tourism destination to a global audience, and with the pipeline of exciting projects in production at the moment, there is no reason why we can’t be competing every year at the highest level, such is the creative talent within the country at the moment,” said Catherine Martin.
No mention for Jenny the donkey – it’s a disgrace.
On a final, slightly tenuous Irish note, here’s a picture from earlier of actor and Cocaine Bear director Elizabeth Banks with somebody dressed as the eponymous bear. The film, now on release, was shot in Wicklow, and is an example of the kind of inward investment Screen Ireland is keen to attract.
Who needs an Oscar when you’ve got a drug-addled bear on a vicious rampage in your film? Something to think about.
And the Oscar for best picture goes to... Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Indiana Jones himself, better known as Harrison Ford, confirms an absolute sweep for Everything Everywhere All at Once, as it converts seven of its 11 nominations, including the big one. Yeoh has barely had time to go backstage before she is joining her castmates and the producers of EEAAO for the obligatory hugs and gasps.
“It’s intimidating speaking up here, let me just tell you that,” says Jonathan Wang, who produced the film alongside the Daniels.
It’s the first film in Oscars history to win three acting awards plus best picture. This highly likeable, wonderfully absurd film about married laundromat owners and their sulky daughter – a wild, genre-spanning showcase for Asian-American talent – has well and truly cleaned up.
And that’s it, that’s the end of the show.
Incidentally, Everything Everywhere All at Once is currently streaming in Ireland on Amazon Prime Video. You can read Tara Brady’s review here or you can go to bed like a normal person.
And the Oscar for best actress goes to... Michelle Yeoh!
There is a yelp in the Dolby Theatre as Yeoh eclipses Cate Blanchett, who suffered from a bad case of frontrunner fatigue as awards season wore on. Blanchett probably won’t mind too much – she has two Oscars already – while this was a first nomination and now first win for the previously overlooked Yeoh.
“Ladies don’t let anybody ever tell you you are past your prime,” says Yeoh.
I won’t, Michelle.
And the Oscar for best actor goes to... Brendan Fraser for The Whale.
“So this is what the multiverse looks like,” he says, thanking director Darren Aronofsky.
“I want to tell you that only whales can swim at the depths of the talent of Hong Chau,” he continues, referring to his co-star, a nominee for best supporting actress tonight.
The Daniels, aka Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, take the Oscar for best director for Everything Everywhere All at Once.
They’re both aged 35 – young, though not as disgustingly young as Damien Chazelle was in 2017 when he won best director for La La Land.
Chazelle was 32 years and 38 days when he claimed the directing Oscar, making him the youngest ever to do so, though everybody has forgotten all about this because of La La Land’s notorious loss to Moonlight in the best picture race shortly after.
Paul Rogers, in just his second film, wins the Oscar for editing for Everything Everywhere All at Once, which right now is winning almost everything everywhere all at once. This was a category in which Irishman Jonathan Redmond was competing for his work on Elvis.
Jimmy Kimmel pays homage to the skills of editors.
“Editors can turn 44,000 hours of violent insurrection footage into a respectful sightseeing tour of the Capitol,” he notes. “Their work is underappreciated.”
John Travolta introduces the In Memoriam segment with watery eyes and emotion etched into his voice as he describes those who have died as “friends who we will always remain hopelessly devoted to”. Attendees “aww” as they realise he is referring to Grease co-star Olivia Newton-John.
Other late stars remembered include Kirstie Alley (another Travolta co-star), Robbie Coltrane, Nichelle Nichols, Ray Liotta, Angela Lansbury, Irene Cara, Gina Lollobrigida, James Caan and Raquel Welch. Lenny Kravitz’s musical performance while this “death reel” of tributes rolls is pitched just right.
Flashing up a QR code, the Academy then refers people to its website “for a tribute to many other legends we’ve lost”, which is its way of saying “don’t give us a hard time about the people we left out”.
Top Gun: Maverick wins the Oscar for best sound, but Lady Gaga can’t claim the best original song gong for Hold My Hand from that film, with the prize taken, as expected, by Naatu Naatu from Indian film RRR.
Canadian heroine Sarah Polley wins the best adapted screenplay Oscar for Women Talking, based on the novel by Miriam Toews – her compelling, anger-inducing film, which she also directed, is about the abuse of women by men and how they fight back against it.
As she notes herself in her acceptance speech, it features an “incredible cast”, including Claire Foy, Rooney Mara and Ireland’s own Jessie Buckley.
Just before Polley’s big moment, the best original screenplay award was claimed by “the Daniels”, aka Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for Everything Everywhere All at Once.
With Martin McDonagh not winning for original screenplay, this might well spell the end to The Banshees of Inisherin’s hopes of converting any of its nominations tonight.
And the Oscar for best achievement in visual effects goes to... Avatar: The Way of Water.
“Go raibh míle maith agat,” says Tallaght native and now two-time Oscar winner Richie Baneham, as he collects the award alongside his three colleagues Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon and Daniel Barrett. Alas, they don’t get much time to speak before the orchestra strikes up its deadly “move along now” music.
Jimmy Kimmel says they wanted to tell everybody that the visual effects after-party is in CGI Friday’s.
Minister for Culture Catherine Martin congratulates Baneham and says he is an inspiration to everybody at Ballyfermot College.
— Catherine Martin TD (@cathmartingreen) March 13, 2023
Richard Baneham's team have won the Oscar for #AvatarTheWayOfWater !
Delighted for Richard & his entire family
He is a leader in his field, constantly breaking new ground in film-making.
All Quiet on the Western Front is having quite the night, taking its fourth Oscar by adding best original score to its best production design, best cinematography and best international feature film wins.
Another surprise as All Quiet on the Western Front wins the Oscar for production design.
Some Oscars awarded earlier, while I was distracted by my cheeseburger preparation:
- The Whale won for make-up and hairstyling.
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever won for costume design.
- The Elephant Whispers won best documentary short.
- The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse won best animated short.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is based on a picture book by British artist Charlie Mackesy. Published in 2019, it became a bestseller and went on to provide solace to many readers throughout the pandemic.
And the Oscar for best donkey goes to... Jenny for The Banshees of Inisherin.
Jenny, Jimmy Kimmel explains, is also a certified emotional support donkey. She’ll be in high demand before the night is out.
And the Oscar for best international feature goes to... Edward Berger and Germany for All Quiet on the Western Front.
This, to be fair, was expected. An Cailín Ciúin / The Quiet Girl had some beautiful momentum gathering behind it, but it wasn’t enough to overturn the lead for what is only the eighth film in Academy Awards history to be nominated in both the best international feature and best picture categories.
AQOTWF, having already taken the cinematography Oscar tonight, isn’t out of the best picture running just yet. Even if it doesn’t manage that feat, its success – it won the BAFTA for best film last month – will deeply please Netflix, which adores awards prestige almost as much as I adored the cheeseburger I just made for myself.
The cinematography Oscar goes to James Friend for All Quiet on the Western Front.
“It’s not my birthday, but it feels like it is.”
He kisses his Oscar in the process of thanking everybody and wisely apologises in advance if he left anybody out.
And the Oscar for best live action short film goes to... An Irish Goodbye!
The first Irish win of the night and writer-directors Tom Berkeley and Ross White and actors Seamus O’Hara and James Martin all go on stage to collect it.
Berkeley then leads the Dolby Theatre A-listers into a rendition of Happy Birthday in honour of Martin, who laps up the attention. How fabulous.
The Oscar for best documentary feature goes to Navalny, as expected. It’s a truly brilliant film about Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, tracing what happens after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok, how the plot against him was exposed and why he decided to return to Russia, where he was duly imprisoned in January 2021.
“Alexei, I’m dreaming of the day when you will be free and our country will be free. Stay strong, my love,” says his wife Yulia Navalnaya from the Oscars stage.
And the Oscar for best supporting actress goes to... Jamie Lee Curtis.
The first surprise of the night, as the Everything Everywhere All at Once star wins out over Angela Bassett (and, sadly, Ireland’s Kerry Condon).
In a break from tradition, the two supporting awards were presented consecutively, with Ariana DeBose and Troy Kotsur, last year’s winners for West Side Story and CODA respectively, jointly dishing them out.
Curtis, famously the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, looks to the ceiling and appears to tell them “I just won an Oscar!”
Her win bodes well for EEAAO’s chances in other categories tonight.
Curtis was a vocal champion of the film, in which she plays a mostly villainous (sometimes not) tax inspector. Last May, while celebrating the exceptional US box office takings of the independent, A24-distributed multiverse film, she unleashed a string of triumphant and gloriously undiplomatic social media posts suggesting it “out marvels any Marvel movie they put out there”.
She then conceded her chances of ever being cast in a Marvel film were toast.
The Oscar for best supporting actor goes to... Ke Huy Quan.
A certain generation (mine) will remember him well from his child star days as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. He retired from acting for many years owing to a dearth of parts but was inspired by the commercial success of Crazy Rich Asians to reignite his love for his craft. He won tonight for his stand-out performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once and is understandably emotional as he says his 84-year-old mother is at home watching.
“Mom, I just won an Oscar.”
Now aged 52, he recounts how he spent a year as a child in a refugee camp.
“They say that stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it is happening to me. This is the American dream!”
The first award of the night, for best animated feature, goes to Guillermo del Toro’s Pinnochio, as expected.
“Animation is cinema, animation is not a genre, and animation is ready to be taken to the next step. We’re all ready for it. Please help us. Keep animation in the conversation,” says del Toro.
Sentiments with which Ireland’s talented animators will surely agree.
Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue acknowledges what I’m just going to keep on calling the “green wave” at this year’s Oscars.
“It was some year for diversity and inclusion. We have nominees from every corner of Dublin,” he says.
“Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the odds of another fight on stage just went way up.”
On a day in which a Saturday Night Live sketch went viral for its painfully unfunny portrayal of the Irish as drunk and incomprehensible, I’d have skipped the “fighting Irish” gag myself, but the Americans do seem to both love and believe in this stereotype, and Colin Farrell does the honours by playfully punching Brendan Gleeson on the shoulder.
It’s midnight and host Jimmy Kimmel has just parachuted onto stage. Who will cry? Who will fluff their lines? Who will slip up? Whose speech will be cruelly cut off? Who will punch who? And who will win viewers’ hearts along with their gold statuette? We’re about to find out.
Poor old Paul Mescal – wherever he goes, he’s just so unpopular...
Asked on the red/champagne carpet how he’s feeling, the best actor nominee, recognised for his subtle turn in the haunting Charlotte Wells film Aftersun, replies: “Like I’m on a crazy train right now and I haven’t really caught my breath.”
That actually sounds like a decent synopsis for a film. Meanwhile, it might be time for that breath-catching holiday.
Flanked by An Irish Goodbye’s writer-director pair of Tom Berkeley and Ross White are the two stars of the short film, James Martin and Seamus O’Hara, who play brothers in the darkly comic story set on a farm. It is James Martin’s birthday today – will he get to celebrate it on the Oscars stage?
Meanwhile, Ross White, a Liverpool FC fan, has shared a video of Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp wishing An Irish Goodbye good luck.
“Congratulations for what you have already achieved,” says obliging talisman Klopp, who brandishes a statuette of Bill Shankly with an inscription reading “he made the people happy” and invites White to come to his office to “touch this once”, if he fancies.
White thanks both Klopp for taking the time and also “his amazing Dad” for pestering the club to make the video happen.
In important hair news, impeccably debonair first-time nominee Bill Nighy, nominated tonight for Living, says he is wearing Cool Hair Bairly There by Sam McKnight, which Google tells me is “texture mist”.
The blue ribbon, meanwhile, is in solidarity with refugees and displaced people around the world and is a UN initiative. Nighy tells Sky he has pinned on the ribbon at the request of best actress nominee Cate Blanchett.
Let’s not gloss over the less than glistening backdrop to the 95th Oscars. The golden age of Hollywood is long over, some audiences haven’t returned to the big screen since the pandemic and the world’s second largest cinema chain (Cineworld) recently filed for US bankruptcy protection.
Great films like Oscar contenders Tár and The Fabelmans and should-have-been-a-contender She Said flopped at the US box office, while Tom Cruise, the highest paid actor of 2022 thanks to his cut of Top Gun: Maverick’s takings, is frequently dubbed the “last movie star”.
The accessibility of streaming and the glut of celebrity content on social media makes it harder for Hollywood to maintain its elevated glamour quotient. The mystique factor just isn’t what it was.
So why are the Oscars still so compelling?
Veering from the sublime to the ridiculous, often within the same speech, the Oscars ceremony is typically as fun as it is self-important, as resonant as it is toe-curling, as progressive as it is conservative, as glamorous as it is brutal.
It’s the A-lister-stuffed pinnacle of the film calendar, a prime-time (in the US, anyway) celebration of art and creative skills and the climax of a marathon industry awards season powered by tens of millions of marketing dosh. It basks in nostalgia even as it mints future careers.
Seeing nominees glow in their moment of recognition and watching the winners – especially the first-timers – respond to their name being called with a cocktail of pride, relief, euphoria and panic makes an excellent live television spectacle.
Who knows? It may even leave you feeling warm inside.
Speaking of Angela Bassett, here she is resplendent in purple. Bassett is the first actor to be nominated for a Marvel movie, following her turn in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, though if she wins it will likely be more a case of voters acknowledging her fine body of work.
“Always, family keep you grounded,” says Bassett, when asked by Sky how she manages to negotiate awards season. Will she be thanking them later?
Back to the red/champagne carpet, where Irish actor Kerry Condon poses for photographers.
What a night for Condon, who thoroughly deserves the recognition of a best supporting actress nomination for The Banshees of Inisherin.
She won the BAFTA last month for the same role, though her destiny tonight might be to graciously applaud Angela Bassett, and enjoy the fact that she is now, finally, a household name in Ireland.
Fans of Hollywood history will enjoy Donald Clarke’s list of the Oscars’ most memorable moments. I hadn’t seen the William Holden and Barbara Stanwyck clip before and found it very touching, as she clearly did.
In the US, the Academy Awards is broadcast on Disney-owned television network ABC, which seems to devote an inordinate amount of energy to worrying about falling ratings.
The Oscars audience plunged to a record low in 2021, when the pandemic-struck ceremony drew just 10.5 million viewers in the US. It recovered to 16.6 million viewers last year.
Often the choice of best picture nominees, plus the fact that many of the winners appear to be foregone conclusions, is blamed for the slide in ratings, though the more salient explanation is that live television viewership is in inexorable long-term decline more generally and introducing gimmicks to the telecast is unlikely to reverse this.
The good news for ABC is that more of the main awards hang in the balance this year, so the ceremony shouldn’t be a complete snoozefest.
The bad news is that this year the Oscars ceremony clashes with HBO’s season finale of aforementioned post-apocalypse hit The Last of Us.
Everything Everywhere All at Once actors James Hong and Jamie Lee Curtis both gave brilliant speeches at February’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards. Hong, who is 94 and has been in the business for 70 years, remembers well when Asian talent simply wasn’t accepted in Hollywood and “yellowface” was a common phenomenon.
“My first movie was with Clark Gable,” he said, after the EEAAO stars won the SAG gong for best cast in a motion picture.
“Back in those days, I have to tell you this, the leading roles were played by these guys with their eyes taped up,” he said. “And the producer said that Asians were not good enough, and they are not box office. But, look at us now, huh?”
Our first live picture from the red/champagne carpet is of the rightly proud An Cailín Ciúin trio of young star Catherine Clinch and husband-and-wife team director Colm Bairéad and producer Cleona Ní Chrualaoi.
If you look closely at this photograph, you can see Carrie Crowley living her best life.
Who will definitely be in the auditorium – or alternating between their seat and the bar – this year?
Catherine Martin: In a universe parallel to this one, Catherine Martin isn’t an Irish government minister but an Australian four-time Oscar winner with a fair chance of adding to her collection. She is everyone everywhere all at once.
Alternatively, the two Catherine Martins are different people who exist in the same universe, but merely have the same name. This Catherine Martin is nominated for best picture, best production design and best costume design for Elvis, directed by her husband Baz Luhrmann.
Jessica Chastain, Troy Kotsur and Ariana DeBose: Last year’s winners of the best actress, best supporting actor and best supporting actress gongs will return this year, envelopes in hand.
Hugh Grant: I highlight this mainly because I have a theory that Hugh Grant enlivens every awards ceremony he is persuaded to participate in. Don’t let me down, Hugh.
Other notable awards presenters tonight include Grant’s Four Weddings co-star Andie MacDowell, Samuel L Jackson, Harrison Ford, Cocaine Bear director Elizabeth Banks, Florence Pugh, Sigourney Weaver, Halle Berry, red carpet delight Andrew Garfield, Salma Hayek Pinault, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Saldana and Paul Dano, who is there in the traditional capacity as the talented yet unnominated star of a nominated film (in his case, Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans).
Pedro Pascal: The Last of Us actor is best known for his struggle to survive a dystopian world ravaged by infection. He is therefore the most relatable person in Hollywood right now.
Who won’t be at this year’s Oscars?
Will Smith: Last year’s best actor winner (for King Richard) won’t be present at the 95th Academy Awards on account of what happened at the 94th Academy Awards.
By hitting comedian Chris Rock live on stage, Smith self-sabotaged what should have been his night of glory and got himself banned from the Oscars for 10 years – all a bit sad, to be honest.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy: Variety has reported that the comic actor turned Ukrainian president had his bid to appear via videolink rejected by the Academy for the second year in a row.
Ukraine is still bound to be referenced during the ceremony, if only because one of the nominees for best documentary feature, A House Made of Splinters, is about the impact of war and neglect on children in a Ukrainian care home, while Navalny, about the imprisoned Russian opposition leader, is the favourite in this category.
Catherine Martin: The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, who is in Los Angeles as part of a trade mission with Screen Ireland, will instead be at an Oscars viewing party at the Irish consulate, which is almost as glamorous... probably.
“Seven million people on that island and all of them are nominated,” producer/director JJ Abrams declared at last week’s Oscar Wilde awards. Well, he’s not far off.
The one near-certain Irish winner is Richard Baneham, or Richie, who is nominated alongside his Avatar: The Way of Water colleagues for best visual effects. This would be a second Oscar for the animator, who also collected one for the first Avatar film in 2010.
Tom Berkeley and Ross White’s An Irish Goodbye, which was shown on RTÉ One last night, also has an extremely good chance in the best live action short category – Donald Clarke spoke to the duo about its success.
The Government will have trouble claiming credit for either Oscar, however: Baneham departed for LA in the 1990s soon after graduating from Ballyfermot College, while An Irish Goodbye was funded by Northern Ireland Screen.
A surprise win for Colm Bairéad’s An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl) in best international feature – where it is up against best picture nominee All Quiet on the Western Front – is the result that would have policymakers dancing in the cinema aisles.
That’s because it was fully funded in the State through the Cine4 scheme, an initiative of TG4, Screen Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, with help from the Section 481 tax credit, too.
In my column from June 2022 on Cine4, An Cailín Ciúin and TG4′s open Oscar ambitions, I wrote that it was “nice to think that sooner rather than later, Cine4 will have Government ministers issuing ecstatic press releases congratulating Irish language filmmakers for representing Ireland on this particular world stage”.
That turned out to be sooner, not later. Here, Donald Clarke assesses the film’s chances of pulling off the upset.
Whatever happens, An Cailín Ciúin has been both a critical smash hit and a commercial one. Incredibly, despite being released last May, it is still in Ireland’s top 10 weekly box office chart.
An undermentioned aspect of its marketing success is its title. The film is an adaptation of Claire Keegan’s novella Foster, but the filmmakers didn’t opt for a direct translation, nor did they stick with their original choice, Fanacht (meaning “stay”). The title An Cailín Ciúin / The Quiet Girl not only centres the unreal performance of its star Catherine Clinch – making her role eponymous – it has the advantage of working in both languages and riffing on an Ireland-set film well known to older generations of Americans, The Quiet Man.
Even if it can’t usurp All Quiet on the Western Front from its Oscar destination, this video posted on Twitter earlier today by TG4 shows just how much critical acclaim An Cailín Ciúin has garnered.
The first big controversy of the ceremony itself is that the traditional red carpet has been jettisoned in favour of what organisers are calling a “champagne carpet”.
Hmm. We all know how everybody absolutely loves change for change’s sake.
“It’s a remnant, we got it for a very good price downtown,” joked Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel as it was unveiled. “I think the decision to go with a champagne carpet rather than a red carpet shows how confident we are that no blood will be shed.”
I have read a serious explanation for why they have done this, but I’m not sure I understand it – something about sandy beaches in golden hour.
Technically, of course, it’s only a champagne carpet in the Champagne region of France – everywhere else, it’s sparkling beige.
Red/champagne carpet dressing is a big business in its own right, so will Irish designers be getting in on the act this year? In her Oscars fashion preview, Corina Gaffey explores the question of who will be wearing who.
In the meantime, I’m with this guy.
Over the next hour or so, I’ll be previewing a night expected to yield a mantelpiece full of Oscars for Everything Everywhere All at Once, the most inventive science fiction comedy ever set in a tax office. It’s the mid-life crisis multiverse film with talking rocks and – in keeping with the edible finger theme of a certain other best picture contender – hands made of hot dogs.
From about 10pm, via the magic of the news wires, I’ll be eyeing the limos as they spill their starry occupants onto the “red” carpet – more on its redness, or lack of it, later – because while winning is nice, striking fabulous poses is even more important.
Then the Oscars ceremony itself, or what the Americans love to call the “telecast”, will begin at midnight Irish time. This is an hour earlier than usual because the US moved to daylight savings time today, temporarily shortening the time delay between the west coast and Ireland to just seven hours.
The other good news is that Sky, the rights-holders here, hasn’t made the ceremony exclusive to Sky Cinema customers as it has in the past. It will also broadcast the show on the channels Sky Showcase, Sky Arts and Sky News, with Now entertainment members able to access it via Sky Showcase.
Apologies for deploying the “M” word, but if sleep beats Oscar every time, RTÉ2′s highlights show is on Monday at 9.30pm – by which point all of Hollywood will be in full comedown mode.
Hello, and welcome to The Irish Times live blog for the 95th Academy Awards, aka Oscars night, and a special one for Ireland with a record haul of 14 nominations.
These include an incredible quarter of all the acting nominations, nine nods for The Banshees of Inisherin and the first ever Irish-language hopeful in the best international feature category. The green wave is here and in well-deserved shouting distance of those coveted gold statuettes. Go n-éirí libh!
True, the bookmakers’ odds suggest getting Irish hands on multiple Oscars could be a challenge tonight, but it’s worth remembering that just having a ticket to the Dolby Theatre is already an amazing achievement, and surviving all the way to the after-parties should count as victory in its own right.
So, defrost your finger food – preferably not the Banshees kind – and catch up on the backstory to this year’s shindig, starting with Donald Clarke’s rundown of who should win and who will win at the most Irish Oscars ever.