Wave Wire Services
HOLLYWOOD — “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is basking in the Hollywood spotlight after capping its remarkable run through the awards season by winning seven Oscars, including the coveted best picture, at the 95th Academy Awards ceremonies March 12.
In addition to capturing the Academy’s top prize, as had been widely expected, the time- and space-twisting sci-fi tale also took home trophies for best actress, Michelle Yeoh; best supporting actress, Jamie Lee Curtis; best supporting actor, Ke Huy Quan; best directing, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert; best original screenplay, Kwan and Scheinert; and best editing.
“Everything” went into the ceremonies with 11 nominations, but could have won only 10 awards at most, as Stephanie Hsu was also nominated along with her castmate Curtis in the supporting actress category.
Yeoh made Oscar history by becoming the first Asian performer to win as best actress. During her acceptance speech, she referenced the historical struggles of Asian actors in getting roles in American pictures, saying, “Thank you, for all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight. This is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof [to] dream big, and dreams do come true.”
And, the 60-year-old added, “Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime.”
Meanwhile, Brendan Fraser won the best actor Oscar for his controversial role in “The Whale,” the story of a 600-pound man looking to mend his relationship with his daughter. The film also won for makeup and hairstyling — for the startling physical transformation of Fraser’s character.
Fraser beat out, among others, Austin Butler, a pre-Oscar favorite for his starring role in the biopic “Elvis” — which was shut out on the night despite eight nominations, including best picture.
The World War I saga “All Quiet on the Western Front” was the only other film to garner multiple Oscars — winning four, including best international feature film and cinematography.
“All Quiet” brought nine nominations into the evening, as did the Irish dark comedy “The Banshees of Inisherin,” including best picture nods for both. But “Banshees” was also blanked on this night.
“The Fabelmans” — Steven Spielberg’s largely autobiographical movie about a young boy who dreams of becoming a filmmaker — also came up empty after taking seven nominations into the show, including best picture, best director, best actress (Michelle Williams) and best supporting actor (Judd Hirsch).
In another major category, “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” won for best animated feature film.
The ceremonies took place at the Dolby Theatre, with Jimmy Kimmel serving as host of the ABC broadcast.
Quan, a former child star whose supporting-actor Oscar capped a career resurrection, got “Everything’s” juggernaut rolling by winning for supporting actor.
“Oh, my God! My mom is 84 years old, and she’s at home watching,” he said. “Mom, I just won an Oscar!”
Quan also noted his journey from his native Vietnam, where he was born in 1971, saying, “My journey started on a boat after a year in a refugee camp, and somehow I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage. They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This is the American dream!”
Curtis, in accepting the best actress award, said, “I know it looks like I’m standing up here by myself, but I am not. I am hundreds of people. … The entire group of artists who made this movie — WE just won an Oscar.”
And, noting her long career, she added, “To all of the people who have supported the genre movies that I have made for all these years, the thousands and hundreds of thousands of people, WE just won an Oscar together!”
Scheinert and Kwan, as well, saluted the collective forces that brought “Everything” to fruition — bringing the film best picture wins from the Screen Actors Guild, the Producers Guild, the Directors Guild and at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and making it the favorite for the Oscar for best picture.
“The world is opening up to the fact that genius does not stem from individuals like us, but rather genius emerges from the collective,” said Scheinert.
Added Kwan, “There is greatness in every single person. It doesn’t matter who they are. If you have a genius that is waiting to erupt, you just need to find the right people to unlock that.”
Fraser’s career also was reborn this past year with “The Whale,” a point the actor highlighted by saying, “I’m grateful to (director) Darren Aronofsky for throwing me a creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship ‘The Whale.’”
Meanwhile, the best original song Oscar went to “Naatu Naatu,” from “RRR,” with music by M.M. Keeravaani and lyrics by Chandrabose. It beat out a couple of favorites — Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand,” from “Top Gun: Maverick,” and Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up,” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” among other nominees.
In a surprise, Lady Gaga performed “Hold My Hand” on the broadcast after it was originally announced she would be unavailable while shooting a movie.
This year’s Oscars also came a year after Will Smith infamously smacked presenter Chris Rock for jokes Rock made at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Will Smith, the eventual best actor winner at last year’s ceremony, was subsequently banned from the Oscar ceremony for 10 years.
Kimmel addressed last year’s dust-up during his opening remarks, joking, “We have strict policies in place. If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for best actor and permitted to give a 19-minute-long speech.”
“Seriously,” Kimmel noted, “the Academy has a crisis team in place” — though one was not needed for a show that went off smoothly, but did run some 37 minutes over its three-hour window.