Everything Everywhere All at Once has dominated this year’s Oscars, winning seven awards including best picture in a major night for Asian and Asian American representation.
The manic multiverse fantasy, about a fractured family swept up in an interdimensional adventure, also saw wins for best actress, best director, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best editing and best original screenplay at the 95th Academy Awards ceremony. It was the most nominated film of the night.
Michelle Yeoh has become only the second woman of colour to win the best actress Oscar following in the footsteps of Halle Berry back in 2002. “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight this is a beacon of hope and possibility,” she said, before adding: “Ladies don’t ever let anyone tell you you are past your prime.”
Ke Huy Quan was named best supporting actor for his role in the film, beating out Barry Keoghan and Judd Hirsch. He has become the first Vietnam-born actor to win an Oscar. “Mom, I just won an Oscar!” he said tearfully. “They say stories like this only happen in the movies, I cannot believe this is happening to me.”
It was the first time multiple Asian actors won Oscars in the same year.
Jamie Lee Curtis was also named best supporting actress for her performance in the A24 hit, triumphing over Angela Bassett and Kerry Condon. It was the veteran actor’s first ever nomination. “I know it looks like I am standing up here by myself but I am hundreds of people,” she said before emotionally paying tribute to those in both the film and her life.
The Daniels, writer-directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, are only the third duo ever to win the Oscar for best director. “We want to dedicate this to the mommies,” Scheinert said. He also spoke about dressing in drag as a kid “which is a threat to nobody” in reference to a rise in anti-drag sentiment in recent months. Kwan also thanked his immigrant parents and traced his love of film back to them.
Best actor went to Brendan Fraser for his lead role in The Whale, beating out Austin Butler and Colin Farrell. He thanked director Darren Aronofsky for throwing him “a creative lifeline” after years of minor roles. The divisive drama also won for best makeup and hairstyling despite pushback against the suit created to make Fraser look like he weighed 600lbs.
Netflix’s German war epic All Quiet on the Western Front brought home four awards: international feature film, original score, production design and cinematography. It was the first time Germany won the best international feature film since The Lives of Others in 2006.
Sarah Polley won the Oscar for adapted screenplay for female-led drama Women Talking. “I want to thank the Academy for not being mortally offended by the words women and talking being so close together,” she said during her speech. Polley is only the ninth woman to win this category.
Host Jimmy Kimmel opened the night with a Top Gun: Maverick skit, pretending to parachute in and welcomed the nominees in the audience and their films being seen “the way you intended them to be seen, in a theatre” before making jokes about Ozempic, Steven Spielberg, Babylon’s underwhelming box office and diversity (“How does the Academy not nominate the guy who directed Avatar, who do they think he is? A woman?). He also paid tribute to snubbed dramas Till and The Woman King, both made by black women, as films that deserve to be seen.
Kimmel went onto make jokes about last year’s viral moment when Chris Rock was slapped by Will Smith onstage. “If anyone in this theatre commits an act of violence at any time during this show, you will be awarded the Oscar for best actor and permitted to give a 19-minute speech,” he said.
He also jabbed at the Academy’s crisis team assembled in case something similar happened again. “Just do what you did last year: nothing,” he said before threatening that if anyone were to try anything they would have to make it through Michael B Jordan, Yeoh, Pedro Pascal and Andrew Garfield. Almost two hours into the telecast, eKimmel added: “This point in the show kind of makes you miss the slapping a bit, right?”
Smith would traditionally have announced the winner for best actress but he was replaced by Halle Berry.
An emotional in memoriam segment was led by an emotional John Travolta whose Grease co-star Olivia Newton John died in August 2022. Other featured figures included Louise Fletcher, Ray Liotta, Robbie Coltrane, Angelo Badalamenti, James Caan, Angela Lansbury and Burt Bacharach.
Other major winners included Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio for animated feature film and Navalny for documentary. Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s family were brought onstage to accept and a message from Alexei was read out, reminding people to “not be afraid to oppose dictators and authoritarianism” . His wife, Yulia Navalnaya, added: ‘“My husband is in prison just for defending democracy. Alexei, I’m dreaming of the day when you will be free and our country will be free. Stay strong.”
The award for costume design was given to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Ruth E Carter, who became the first black woman to have won two Oscars. She previously won for her work on the first Black Panther film. “Thank you to the Academy for recognising the superhero that is the black woman,” she said.
James Cameron’s hit sequel Avatar: The Way of Water won for visual effects and Top Gun: Maverick won for best sound. Naatu Naatu from RRR was named best original song after an electric performance earlier in the night. It was awarded over songs by Rihanna and Lady Gaga.
Despite seven nominations, Spielberg’s personal drama The Fabelmans failed to win in any of its categories. Todd Field’s drama Tár, which received six nominations, and Baz Lurhmann’s Elvis, which received eight nominations, were also snubbed.
Last year saw Apple’s family drama Coda win best picture in a ceremony overshadowed by the Smith/Rock fracas.
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