‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ wins big at the 2023 Oscars 

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis holds back tears as well as a picture of her “Halloween” character Laurie Strode in her left hand as she expresses the immense amount of love and appreciation she has for her fans during a New York Comic Con panel dedicated to discussing her 44 years of experience with the “Halloween” film franchise, within the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. By Sofia Sawchuk / The Daily Campus

The 95th annual Academy Awards took place on the evening of March 12, and the event was no less star-studded than its attendance. Hosted by the humorous Jimmy Kimmel, the ceremony took place in its iconic home of the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. Kimmel was quick to set a crude, yet funny tone by addressing Will Smith’s infamous slap from last year within his opening monologue.  

As with every year, the night opened with relatively interesting awards for animated feature, supporting actor and supporting actress. Much to “Puss in Boots” fans’ dismay, the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature went to Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio,” a claymated adaptation of the wooden boy’s original story that differs greatly from the iconic Disney film. It is available to stream on Netflix.  

The next award for Best Supporting Actor had one of the more electric reactions of the night. The Oscar was awarded to the talented Ke Huy Quan for his work in the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Quan was a breakout child star in the ‘80s with roles in Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984) and “The Goonies” (1985). After those blockbusters, Quan found it difficult to find acting work in Hollywood for nearly 40 years, which he credited to a lack of roles for Asian actors.  

Quan’s award was given a boisterous standing ovation. His impactful acceptance speech resulted in a tender moment of recognition, acknowledging the actor’s hard-earned success following decades of a stagnated career. 

The Oscar for Best Supporting Actress was awarded to Jamie Lee Curtis for her role in the same film. Although Curtis delivered a wonderfully amusing performance as one of the film’s antagonists, many were expecting the award to go to Angela Bassett for her role as the grieving mother of King T’Challa in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” after her win at the Golden Globes. 

As for the musical numbers that usually accompany the year’s nominated films, many of them seemed to be lacking. The stronger performances were Lady Gaga singing “Hold My Hand” from the “Top Gun: Maverick” soundtrack, the collective ensemble who performed “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR” and Rihanna’s intricate rendition of “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which I thought was a lock for Best Original Song. The award surprisingly went to “Naatu Naatu” by M.M. Keeravani and Chandrabose.  

“Navalny” won for Best Documentary Feature Film, which follows a man who survives an assassination attempt from a lethal nerve agent and the discoveries he makes when trying to trace back its motivation (now streamable on HBOMax). “An Irish Goodbye” was the winner for Best Live Action Short Film and follows the story of two brothers who reconnect after their mother’s death. Somewhat expectedly, the award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling was accredited to the team that worked on “The Whale,” who made Brendan Fraser’s transformation into a 600 pound man possible.  

A film that stood out during the award ceremony for its unusual number of wins was Edward Berger’s “All Quiet on the Western Front,” the newest adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 war novel. The book’s first film adaptation came out 92 years ago in 1930, and had only won two Oscars previously. This anti-war epic came home with gold for Best International Film, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design — a total of four categories for the evening. 

Best Documentary Short Film went to “Elephant Whisperers,” which follows a South Indian couple taking care of an orphaned elephant (streamable on Netflix). Best Animated Short Film was awarded to “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse,” inspired by the wholesome children’s book of the same title (available to view on AppleTV). Best Visual Effects was undoubtedly awarded to James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which took over a decade to complete with its advanced CGI. Best Sound was awarded to “Top Gun: Maverick” for its incredible work with charting the volume of Mach 10 speed planes. Lastly, Best Adapted Screenplay was awarded to Sarah Polley, who translated from book to film the story of “Women Talking,” which is available on Amazon Prime.  

After a touching in memoriam segment accompanied with music by the talented Lenny Kravitz, the Academy moved onto their most prestigious awards pertaining to acting, writing and directing. Michelle Yeoh was awarded Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and delivered another great acceptance speech, touching upon the perseverance required to be an Asian woman in the film industry. 

In another heartwarming underdog story, the Best Actor award was credited to Brendan Fraser for his moving performance in A24’s “The Whale”. The story follows an obese English teacher who attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Many fans were hoping Fraser would bring home gold for his performance, following one of his major feature debuts in recent years that has solidified his return to the Hollywood A-list. Both he and Quan faced the same casting difficulties, as well as both starring in the whimsical “Encino Man” 30 years ago.  

Paul Rogers won Best Film Editing for his work on “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” his second film ever and is rumored to have taught himself how to edit from YouTube videos. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, cutely referred to as “The Daniels,” went on an incredible award-winning run for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” winning Best Original Screenplay, Best Achievement in Directing and Best Picture of the year for a total of seven Oscars. The pair and the rest of the team responsible for making the film were all incredibly shocked at their reception and prowess at this year’s Academy Awards. The film is viewable on Showtime and I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. 

Leave a Reply