Sarah Polley, Daniel Roher among Canadians who won big at the 2023 Oscars

FILE-Sarah Polley accepts the award for best adapted screenplay for “Women Talking” at the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Pizzello

The 95th Academy Awards aired last night, and Canadians were among some of the biggest winners.

Sarah Polley, Brendan Fraser, and Daniel Roher and others all won in their respective categories on Sunday. 

Toronto-born filmmaker, Sarah Polley was honoured with the Best Adapted Screenplay for Women Talking. The film follows a Mennonite community where women of a secluded religious community reconcile with the harsh realities of sexual assault in their creed.  

She used a moment during her acceptance speech to subtly acknowledge Hollywood’s blindspot in portraying and championing women-led stories. 

“I just want to thank The Academy for not being mortally offended by the words ‘women’ and ‘talking’ put so close together like that,” Polley said in a room full of some of the world’s most esteemed actors. 

American-Canadian actor Brendan Fraser took his first Oscar home for Best Actor in The Whale. In the film, Fraser plays Charlie, an overweight English teacher who attempts to repair his estranged relationship with his daughter. 

READ MORE: Brendan Fraser and ‘Turning Red’ among Canadian nominees for the 2023 Oscars

His win comes after years of dedication to the craft after making his acting debut in 1991 for Dogfight, and more notably acting in School Ties, with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Chris O’Donnell, a year later. 

“I started in this business 30 years ago and things didn’t come easily for me,” Fraser said during his speech. 

Adrien Morot from Montreal, Quebec also won his first Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling for The Whale, where he helped transform Fraser into a 600-pound man along with Judy Chin and Anne Marie Bradley.

Toronto’s Daniel Roher took home the gold for Best Documentary directing Navalny, the investigative piece about the life of Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, lawyer, and anti-corruption activist who is currently serving time in prison. 

READ MORE: The movie that won ‘Everything Everywhere’ at the 2023 Oscars

Roher brought Navalny’s family on stage to accept the award and dedicated the win to Navalny and other political prisoners.

He won the Oscar with fellow Canadian film producer Shane Boris and Odessa Rae, Diane Becker and Melanie Miller. 

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