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Oscars 2023: Cocaine Bear and Elizabeth Banks present Academy Award for visual effects

When Elizabeth Banks awarded the Best Visual Effects Oscar at the 95th Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday night, she shared the stage with one of Hollywood’s hottest characters.

Banks, who directed this year’s blockbuster “Cocaine Bear,” announced the nominees along with a co-host who wore a full bear costume. Banks’ new thriller, which has made $65 million worldwide since it hit theaters a few weeks ago, is inspired by the true story of a 175-pound black bear in Georgia 40 years ago who took a massive dose of cocaine. which had apparently fallen from an airplane. driven by a convicted drug smuggler.

“I recently directed the movie ‘Cocaine Bear,'” Banks said at the Oscars. “And without visual effects, the bear would look like this. It’s terrifying.”

Elizabeth Banks and Cocaine Bear at the 95th Annual Academy Awards
Elizabeth Banks and Cocaine Bear onstage at the 95th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theater on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.

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‘What are you doing? Stop it,” Banks said to the costumed bear. “Are you trying to score now? You have to wait until the after party like everyone else.”

Banks went on to emphasize the importance of visual effects in bringing stories to life on screen.

“The coke isn’t real. It’s visual effects,” she said before segueing into a creative introduction to each of the year’s nominees in this category: “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “The Batman” and the eventual winner, “Avatar: The Way of Water,”

“‘Avatar’ is visual effects. ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’? That’s visual effects. It was a real war, but real visual effects. Batman flying around – that’s not real. Tom Cruise flying around is real, but also, visual effects,” she said of the “Maverick” actor who was famous for performing his own stunts.

“Wakanda? Wakanda is totally real,” Banks continued, adding, “Visual effects can enhance any story and are an incredible tool for a filmmaker like me. Without visual effects, ‘Cocaine Bear’ would have been an actor in a bear suit. . .probably on cocaine.”

The Best Visual Effects award was the first win of the night for “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which was nominated in four categories this year, including Best Picture.

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