Why wasn’t Mitski at the Oscars? Sucked into a…. If you’ve watched Everything Everywhere All At Once, you probably stuck around for the ethereal, yet grand “This is A Life” at the end credits. So with the song being nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Original Song, many music aficionados might be asking: Why isn’t Mitski at the Oscars to perform her nominated duet with David Bryne?
The film’s synopsis is as follows, “Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as Daniels, the film is a hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action adventure about an exhausted Chinese American woman (Michelle Yeoh) who can’t seem to finish her taxes.” The Daniels recruited Son Lux to compose the score for the film and they reached out to Mitski and David Byrne to sing the last song in the movie. In a conversation with the podcast Song Exploder, Lott said that Byrne called them the next day after he watched the movie and told them that the end credits song “needs to be a song that just let’s you sit. It can’t be fast it can’t be loud, can’t be celebratory. It actually has to be a warm embrace and gives us space to resonate with the movie.”
So with Son Lux and Byrne ready to perform the Oscar-nominated song, why isn’t Mitski at the Oscars? Read more below to find out.
Why wasn’t Mitski at the Oscars?
Why isn’t Mitski at the Oscars? The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences announced that Stephanie Hsu, David Byrne and Son Lux would perform “This is A Life” at the 94th Academy Awards. Pitchfork reportedly reached out to a rep of Mitski and offered no comment.
Stephanie Hsu stars in the movie as Jobu Tupaki/Joy Wang, the nihilist multiverse supervillain and daughter of Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) and Waymond Wang (Ke Huy Quan). For her portrayal, she received her first nomination for Best Actress In A Supporting Role at the Academy Awards and received the Independent Spirit Award For Best Breakthrough Performance. She appeared in Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings and Nora From Queens. She made her Broadway debut voicing Karen in The Spongebob Squarepants Musical.
Hsu also sings her part in “Sucked Into A Bagel” the revelatory song of her character. She told Pitchfork about how she loved “This Is A Life.” “I made the mistake of listening to this at the gym the other day and started sobbing. You can feel throughout the whole song that it is an offering, and it is about our life, which is also just a life. It captures the movie so beautifully and makes me feel very peaceful in these very chaotic times.
The song and the movie provide some comfort in meaninglessness and the idea that we’re just in the cosmic swirl. It’s just a life, and we’re doing the best that we can. It’s very sweet and tender, but it’s also ephemeral, just a moment in time. For the song to bookend the film is just like—oh my gosh, cry, cry, cry.”
Son Lux told Below The Line on how the collaboration between the three artists came up after they were approached by the Daniels. “The idea for Mitski came, not because we were friends or because we had worked together before, but because Daniel Kwan sent us his Spotify year-end screenshot,” Ryan Lott said.
“It was to make us feel good, because the three top artists were Son Lux, Ryan Lott — because I make music on my own as well — and Mitski. The first two can easily be explained by the fact that [he’s] listening to a lot of our music because he’s putting a lot of the music in the film, so he’s constantly playing new songs.”
He continued, “The only way to explain that third name is because he’s a big, big, big fan. Right? When he sent that over, we were like, ‘Yo! That’s who we should try to reach out to. Mitski would be perfect.’ We had always imagined a duet. It felt like it was a togetherness movie [and] it needed a togetherness song.
And so, we spoke to her first, well before we knew anything, really. We actually set the idea aside. We had so many burners [and] so many pots, but she did the same thing David did. She saw a very early cut of it, and on the strength of how goddamn good this movie was, even already, at that early stage, she was like, ‘Sign me up. I’ll write, I’ll sing. Whatever [you] want, let’s just keep the dialogue going.’”
Mitski actually revisited Hsu’s line in “Sucked In A Bagel” with a gentle tribute in “This Is A Life.” “And then Mitski came up with this beautiful background vocal. She sings, “Sucked into a bagel,” which has nothing to do with the song, but is a note-for-note quote of Stephanie Hsu’s character in an iconic moment in the movie, where instead of speaking her line, “Sucked into a bagel,” she decided to sing it,” Lott said on Song Exploder. “It was just, like, a zany choice that she made on camera.”
Will Mitski perform at the Oscars 2023?
No, Mitski will not perform at the Oscars 2023. She was nominated for Best Original Song for her song “This Is a Life” from the film Everything Everywhere All at Once, but she declined to perform at the ceremony.
Mitski announced her decision in a statement on Twitter, saying that she “did not want to perform” at the Oscars. She said that she was “grateful” for the nomination, but that she felt that “performing at the Oscars would be too overwhelming” for her.
Mitski’s decision to not perform at the Oscars was met with mixed reactions. Some people supported her decision, saying that she was right to put her mental health first. Others were disappointed, saying that they would have liked to see her perform.
In the end, Stephanie Hsu, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once, performed “This Is a Life” at the Oscars. She was joined by David Byrne and Son Lux, who co-wrote the song with Mitski.
Who didn’t attend 2023 Oscars?
Here are some of the notable celebrities who didn’t attend the 2023 Oscars:
- Tom Cruise: Tom Cruise was nominated for Best Actor for his role in Top Gun: Maverick, but he did not attend the ceremony. He has been critical of the Academy in the past, and he has also been boycotting the Oscars since 2018.
- Will Smith: Will Smith was nominated for Best Actor for his role in King Richard, but he did not attend the ceremony. He was banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years after he slapped Chris Rock on stage during the ceremony.
- Zendaya: Zendaya was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Dune, but she did not attend the ceremony. She was reportedly busy filming her upcoming movie Challengers.
- James Cameron: James Cameron, the director of Avatar: The Way of Water, was nominated for Best Director, but he did not attend the ceremony. He was also busy filming the Avatar sequels.
- Lady Gaga: Lady Gaga was nominated for Best Actress for her role in House of Gucci, but she did not attend the ceremony. She was reportedly busy working on her upcoming album.
These are just a few of the notable celebrities who didn’t attend the 2023 Oscars. There were many other celebrities who also skipped the ceremony, for various reasons.
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