Michelle Yeoh becomes first Asian Best Actress Oscar winner
LOS ANGELES — Everything Everywhere All at Once won the coveted best picture trophy at the Academy Awards on Sunday as Hollywood embraced an off-kilter story about a Chinese-American family working out their problems across multiple dimensions.
The movie claimed seven awards overall, including three of the four acting Oscars for stars Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis. Ms. Yeoh played the lead role of a stressed-out laundromat owner who finds she has superpowers in alternate universes.
Everything Everywhere was an improbable winner as a film that strayed far from traditional storytelling to spin a tale about a family at odds. The kung fu adventure was filled with oddities such as people with hot dogs for fingers and a chef with a raccoon under his hat. Plastic googly eyes and a giant everything bagel also played important roles.
Ms. Yeoh was widely regarded as the front-runner for the award after claiming a Screen Actors Guild honor and a Golden Globe award for the role. This was her first Oscar nomination.
“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” the 60-year-old Malaysian actress said on stage. “And ladies, don’t let anybody ever tell you you are ever past your prime.”
Ms. Yeoh got her start in Hong Kong action movies in the 1990s and broke through in Hollywood when she was cast as the first ethnic Chinese Bond girl in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies opposite Pierce Brosnan.
Since then, she has enjoyed success in a range of genres, solidifying her reputation as both a big-budget action star and formidable acting talent.
Her best-known films include Ang Lee’s 2000 martial arts movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, the 2005 period drama Memoirs of a Geisha, and the 2018 romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians.
Mr. Quan, a onetime child star who gave up acting for two decades, won best supporting actor for his portrayal of Ms. Yeoh’s disgruntled husband in a family grappling with a tax audit that threatens their business.
A weeping Mr. Quan, who was born in Vietnam, kissed his gold Oscar statuette as he held it on stage in front of the biggest names in show business.
“My journey started on a boat,” Mr. Quan said. “I spent a year in a refugee camp. Somehow I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage.”
As a boy, Mr. Quan starred in a 1984 Indiana Jones movie and The Goonies in 1985. The 51-year-old said he had quit acting for years because he saw little opportunity for Asian actors on the big screen.
“They say stories like this only happen in the movies,” he added. “I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This is the American dream.”
Ms. Curtis, who built a career in horror films such as Halloween, won best supporting actress for playing a frumpy tax agent named Deirdre Beaubeirdre.
The 64-year-old Curtis looked upward and addressed her late parents, Academy award nominees Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. “I just won an Oscar,” she said through tears.
The Whale star Brendan Fraser, known for 1990s roles such as The Mummy and Encino Man, won best actor for playing a severely obese man trying to reconnect with his daughter.
A German remake of World War I epic All Quiet on the Western Front was named best international feature. The movie, which streamed on Netflix, depicts the horrors of trench warfare through the eyes of a young man initially keen to join the fight. It won four Oscars, second highest after Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Director Edward Berger thanked the film’s young star, Felix Kammerer, who joined him on stage.
“This was your first movie, and you carried us on your shoulders as if it was nothing,” Mr. Berger said.
Navalny, about the poisoning that nearly killed Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, and his detention since his 2021 return to Moscow, won the Oscar for best feature documentary.
“Alexei, I am dreaming of the day when you will be free and our country will be free,” his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, said on stage. “Stay strong my love.”
“Naatu Naatu,” a song from the Indian movie RRR that created a viral dance sensation, was honored as best original song.
Independent studio A24, which released Everything Everywhere All At Once and The Whale, claimed nine awards, more than any other studio.
CRISIS RESPONSE TEAM ON HANDA crisis response team was on hand in case of an unexpected twist. The group was formed after Will Smith smacked Chris Rock on stage last year, tarnishing the film industry’s most prestigious ceremony.
At the start of the show, two US military aircraft flew over the Oscars theater, and host Jimmy Kimmel landed on the stage by parachute, in a tribute to best picture nominee Top Gun: Maverick.
Comedian Mr. Kimmel joked in his opening monologue about the audience reaction to Mr. Smith’s attack last year.
“If anything unpredictable or violent happens at the ceremony, just do what you did last year — nothing,” he told the crowd of A-list celebrities. “Maybe give the assailant a hug.”
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio was named best animated feature.
Ahead of the awards, nominees dressed in designer gowns and tuxedos touted their movies on a champagne carpet in place of the traditional red.
Winners are voted on by the roughly 10,000 actors, producers, directors and film craftspeople who make up the film academy. — Reuters
The winners at the 2023 Oscars
MICHELLE YEOH wins the Oscar for Best Actress for Everything Everywhere All at Once during the Oscars show at the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US, March 12, 2023. — REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA
LOS ANGELES — The 95th Academy Awards took place at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday. The following is the full list of 2023 Oscar winners:
BEST PICTURE: Everything Everywhere All at Once
BEST DIRECTOR: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
BEST ACTRESS: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once
BEST ACTOR: Brendan Fraser, The Whale
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM: All Quiet on the Western Front, Germany
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM: Navalny
DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM: The Elephant Whisperers
SHORT FILM, LIVE ACTION: An Irish Goodbye
SHORT FILM, ANIMATED: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Everything Everywhere All at Once, written by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Women Talking, screenplay by Sarah Polley
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: All Quiet on the Western Front, Volker Bertelmann
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “Naatu Naatu,” from RRR, music by M.M. Keeravaani; lyrics by Chandrabose
CINEMATOGRAPHY: All Quiet On The Western Front, James Friend
FILM EDITING: Everything Everywhere All at Once
VISUAL EFFECTS: Avatar: The Way of Water
SOUND: Top Gun: Maverick
PRODUCTION DESIGN: All Quiet On The Western Front
COSTUME DESIGN: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ruth Carter
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: The Whale