LOS ANGELES — The multiverse metaphysical comedy “Everything Everywhere All at Once” put its hot dog fingers on Hollywood’s top prize Sunday, taking home the best picture Oscar at the 95th Academy Awards, along with awards for actors Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Though worlds away from classic Oscar lure, directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s lawless ballet of bagels, doe-eyed rocks and a messy tax audit emerged as an unlikely Academy Awards heavyweight. . The independent hit, the second A24 studio winner for best picture after “Moonlight,” won seven Oscars in all. Only two other films in Oscar history, “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Network” (“Power That Kills”), have won three Oscars in the acting categories.
Fifty years after “The Godfather” won the Oscars, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” triumphed with a very different immigrant experience. Its eccentric story about a family of Chinese origin, is the second feature film by The Daniels, as the filmmaking duo is known, mixing science fiction and alternate realities in the story of an ordinary woman, owner of a laundromat.
“The world is changing rapidly, and I’m afraid our stories don’t keep up with that pace,” said Kwan, who shared the award for best director and best original screenplay with Scheinert. “Sometimes it’s a little scary to know that movies move at the rate of years and the world on the internet moves at the rate of milliseconds. But I have a lot of faith in our stories.”
Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win the best actress award, receiving the statuette for her highly praised performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Yeoh, 60 and born in Malaysia, won her first Oscar for a role that required her talents for comedy and drama, as well as her kung fu skills. It is the first win in the best actress category for a non-white performer in 20 years.
“Ladies, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re past your prime,” Yeoh said, receiving a standing ovation from the audience.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” released in March 2022, helped revive arthouse theaters after two years of the pandemic, racking up more than $100 million in ticket sales. And despite initially low expectations for his Oscar arrival, he toppled both blockbusters like “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Avatar: The Way of Water” and favorites. critics like “Tar” and “The Banshees of Inisherin” (“The spirits of the island”).
In winning the best directing award, The Daniels, as Kwan and Scheinert, both 35, are known, became the third directing duo to win in the category, after Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins for “West Side Story.” ” (“Love without barriers”) and Joel and Ethan Coen for “No Country for Old Men” (“No place for weaklings”). Scheinert dedicated the award “to the mothers of the world”. “My imposter syndrome is at an all-time high,” Kwan said.
The best actor award went to Brendan Fraser, which capped off the return of the former action movie star turned obese college professor and recluse in “The Whale.” The contest for the best actor award had been one of the closest, but Fraser bested Austin Butler from “Elvis”.
“So this is what the multiverse looks like,” Fraser clearly excited the team and told the “Everything Everywhere All at Once” cast.
The first prize of the night went to Guillermo del Toro, for his animated film “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”. This is the third Oscar for the Mexican filmmaker, who previously won the Academy Awards for best direction and film for “The Shape of Water” in 2018.
A breath of fresh air to a movie industry littered with sequels and remakes of previous productions, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” helped Hollywood put behind one of the most infamous moments in Oscar history: The Slap, which Will Smith gave Chris Rock at the ceremony last year.
Host Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the Oscars for the third time, promised it would be a “no nonsense” ceremony. He added that anyone who wanted to get smart this year would have to go through a fearsome battalion of bodyguards, including Michael B. Jordan, Yeoh, Steven Spielberg and his show’s “security guard,” Guillermo Rodriguez.
Quan, who began his acting career as a child, capped his remarkable film comeback with the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Beloved for his performances as Short Round in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and Data in “Goonies,” he had all but given up acting before being cast in “Everything Everywhere.” All at Once”.
His triumph, one of the most anticipated of the night, was, despite what was anticipated, one of the most emotional moments. The audience, including who directed him as a child on “Temple of Doom,” Steven Spielberg, joined in a standing ovation for Quan, who fought back tears.
“Mom, I just won an Oscar!” said Quan, whose family fled Vietnam during the war when he was a child.
“They say that stories like this only happen in the movies. I can’t believe this is happening,” Quan said. “This is the American dream.”
Minutes later, Quan’s co-star Jamie Lee Curtis won best supporting actress. Her win, in one of the most competitive categories of the year, denies comic book fans a win. Had Angela Bassett from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” won, she would have been the first actress to win an Oscar for a Marvel movie.
The statuette did make history for Curtis, who was a first-time Academy Award winner and referred to herself as a “nepo baby” (or person favored by nepotism) during her Screen Actors Guild Awards win at the Screen. She’s a rare Oscar winner whose parents were nominated for Academy Awards, something she touched on emotionally during her speech. Her father Tony Curtis was nominated for “The Defiant Ones” in 1959 and her mother Janet Leigh was nominated in 1961 for “Psycho.” Curtis thanked the “hundreds” of people who led her to win.
The German-speaking World War I epic “Im Westen nichts Neues” (“All Quiet at the Front”), Netflix’s top nominee this year, took home four awards as the academy showered honors on this harrowing anti-war film. la guerra It won in the categories of cinematography, production design, original music and international feature film, surpassing “Argentina, 1985″ in this last category, which had been highly supported in Latin America.
Although Bassett lost out on the supporting actress award, Ruth E. Carter won for costume design for “Wakanda Forever,” four years after she became the first black designer to win an Oscar for “Black Panther.” This award made Carter the first black woman to win two Oscars.
“Thank you to the Academy for recognizing the superhero that is a black woman,” Carter said. “She resists, she loves, she overcomes, she is every woman in this movie.”
Carter dedicated the award to her mother, who she said died last week at the age of 101.
The ceremony, broadcast live on ABC and TNT, began in traditional fashion, with a montage of the year’s movies in which Kimmel appeared in a booth from “Top Gun: Maverick”) and a lengthy monologue. Kimmel, who is emceeing for the third time, did not immediately comment on Will Smith’s slapping of Chris Rock at last year’s ceremony. He said that if someone tried to commit an actor of violence this year: “He will be awarded the Oscar for best actor and will be allowed to give a 19-minute speech.”
After historic wins by Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland” and Jane Campion for “The Power of the Dog,” no women were nominated for best directing. Sarah Polley, however, won for best adapted screenplay for the Mennonite drama “Women Talking.”
“Thank you to the Academy for not being mortally offended by the words ‘women’ and ‘talk,’” Polley said.
Daniel Roher’s “Navalny,” about imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, took home the award for best documentary. The victory came with clear connotations about Navalny’s ongoing imprisonment and Vladimir Putin’s ongoing war in Ukraine. Yulia Navalnaya joined the filmmakers on stage.
“My husband is in prison just for telling the truth,” Navalnya said. “Stay strong, my love.”
Some of the biggest names in the industry didn’t make it to the ceremony for other reasons. Neither Tom Cruise, whose film “Top Gun: Maverick” was nominated for best picture, nor James Cameron, director of the also nominated for best picture “Avatar: The Way of Water” (“Avatar: The way of water”), were Presents. Both had spearheaded Hollywood’s efforts to lure people into theaters after years of pandemic.
“The two men who asked us to go back to theaters are not in the theater,” Kimmel said.
Big box office hits often help boost Oscar ratings. Yet neither “Maverick” nor “Avatar,” with a combined production of $3.7 billion, took home much. “Avatar” won the award for best visual effects; “Maverick” took the best sound.
After last year’s Oscars, in which some categories were removed from the live broadcast, the Academy recovered all the awards and opted for traditional songs and dances. This resulted in some spectacular numbers, such as the strapless dance of “Naatu Naatu” from the sensational Telugu-language action film “RRR”, and Lady Gaga’s passionate and intimate rendition of “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick.” And following her recent dazzling Super Bowl halftime show, Rihanna performed “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The Oscar for best song went to “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR.”
The return of all the categories supposed a longer ceremony. “This makes you guys miss the slap a little bit, right?” Kimmel said midway through the event.
Following the slap in the face a year ago, the Academy created a crisis management team to help better respond to surprises. Rock, who recently made a statement about the incident at an event, was not present, and neither was Smith, who was banned by the academy for 10 years.
Last year, Apple TV’s “CODA” (“CODA: Signs of the Heart”) became the first film from a streaming service to win best picture. But this year, nine of the 10 best picture nominees were theatrical releases. After the movie business collapsed during the pandemic, attendance rebounded to nearly 67% of pre-pandemic levels, but it was an up-and-down year, filled with great hits and anxiety-inducing lulls in theaters. .
This year, ticket sales have been strong thanks to premieres like “Creed III” and “Cocaine Bear,” which made not one, but two cameos in Sunday’s show. Meanwhile, the Writers Guild and the major studios are poised to begin contract negotiations on March 20, a looming battle that has much of the industry braced for a potential work stoppage.
The Oscars seek to regain its position as the biggest award. Last year’s telecast drew 16.6 million viewers, an increase of 58% over the modest 2021 edition, watched by a record low 10.5 million viewers.