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‘Everything Everywhere’ wins at Oscars over big-budget rivals

‘Everything Everywhere’ wins at Oscars over big-budget rivals

2 min. 13.03.2023
Winners avoided making political speeches while picking up their trophies on stage
US-Vietnamese actor Ke Huy Quan (C), winner of the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for "Everything Everywhere All at Once"
US-Vietnamese actor Ke Huy Quan (C), winner of the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for "Everything Everywhere All at Once"
Photo credit: AFP

Everything Everywhere All at Once, a film made for less than $20 million by independent studio A24, was the big winner at the 95th Academy Awards, picking up best picture and six other trophies over some of the highest grossing pictures in Hollywood history.

The genre-bending sci-fi film also won best actress and supporting actor awards for Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Huy Quan. It won directing and original screenplay trophies for the team of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.

Two of the highest-grossing films ever came up short. Avatar: The Way of Water, the James Cameron-directed sequel that grossed $2.3 billion, scored one Oscar for visual effects. Top Gun: Maverick, the Paramount Pictures fighter-jet movie which took in nearly $1.5 billion globally, won for sound editing.

The night was also a chance for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to move past a wild controversy that overshadowed last year’s ceremony — when actor Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage before winning best actor — and keep the focus on the movies.

In ways, the evening was both traditional and new. As in years past, it put the spotlight on an original film. However, it continued an effort to highlight talent that was overlooked in the past. For example, Asian actors made a stronger-than-usual showing among nominees and winners.

“They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me,” Quan said in an emotional speech for best supporting actor, referencing his time as a refugee. “This is the American dream.”

In Everything Everywhere, the actor plays Waymond Wang, the husband of Evelyn Wang, a laundromat owner whose struggle to complete her taxes spirals into a genre-bending multiverse of conflicts. Yeoh, who was the first Asian woman to win best actress, also referenced challenges she’d overcome when she picked up her award.

“To all the ladies: Don’t let anyone tell you that you are past your prime,” Yeoh said in her acceptance speech.

The event was an otherwise subdued affair. Winners avoided making political speeches while picking up their trophies on stage, which has been a popular soapbox in years past. Jimmy Kimmel, hosting for the third time, took a few jabs at last year’s events but avoided totally skewering the industry.

Besides A24, which also picked up two awards for Brendan Fraser-led drama The Whale, Netflix Inc. emerged as a big winner. It collected a trophy for best animated feature for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and four prizes for the World War I movie All Quiet on the Western Front. The streaming giant also won for The Elephant Whisperers, a documentary short film.

Walt Disney Co.’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever won the award for best costume design. The movie was the latest installment of the popular Marvel franchise. Disney won two awards overall.

“Thank you to the academy for recognizing the superhero that is a Black woman,” said Ruth Carter, who designed the costumes for the picture. Carter said her mother recently died and she hoped the franchise’s late star Chadwick Boseman, who died from cancer after the first film, was taking care of her.

Last year’s ceremony reversed a long-term ratings decline, even before the viral slap moment. The show, broadcast on ABC, attracted 16.6 million viewers last year, up 58% from a year earlier. 

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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