Best Picture at the Oscars won by Everything Everywhere All At Once

Tuesday 14 March 2023

The metaphysical multiverse comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once wrapped its hot dog fingers around Hollywood’s top prize today, winning best picture at the 95th Academy Awards, along with awards for Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Though worlds away from Oscar bait, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s anarchic ballet of everything bagels, googly-eyed rocks, and one messy tax audit emerged as an improbable Academy Awards heavyweight.

The indie hit, A24’s second best-picture winner following Moonlight, won seven Oscars in all.

Fifty years after The Godfather won at the Oscars, Everything Everywhere All at Once triumphed with a much different immigrant experience.

Its eccentric tale about a Chinese immigrant family – just the second feature by the Daniels, as the filmmaking duo is known – blended science fiction and alternate realities in the story of an ordinary woman and laundromat owner.

Everything Everywhere, released all the way back in March 2022, helped revive arthouse cinemas after two years of the pandemic.

And despite initially scant expectations of Oscar glory, Everything Everywhere All at Once toppled both blockbusters and critical darlings.

Yeoh became the first Asian woman to be best actress, taking the award for her lauded performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

The 60-year-old Malaysian-born Yeoh won her first Oscar for a performance that relied as much on her comic and dramatic chops as it did her kung fu skills. She’s the first best actress to win for a non-white actress in 20 years.

“Ladies, don't let anyone ever tell you you're past your prime,” said Yeoh, who received a raucous standing ovation.

In winning best director, the Daniels — both 35 years old — won for just their second and decidedly un-Oscar bait feature. They're just the third directing pair to win the award, following Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins and Joel and Ethan Coen. Scheinert dedicated the award “to the mums of the world”.

The former child star Quan capped his own extraordinary comeback with the Oscar for best supporting actor for his performance in the indie hit Everything Everywhere All at Once. Quan, beloved for his roles as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Data in Goonies, had all but given up acting before being cast in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

His win, among the most expected of the night, was nevertheless one of the ceremony's most moving moments. The audience — including his Temple of Doom director, Steven Spielberg — gave Quan a standing ovation as he fought back tears.

“Mum, I just won an Oscar!” said Quan, 51, whose family fled Vietnam in the war when he was a child.

“They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I can't believe it's happening,” said Quan. "This is the American dream."

Minutes later, Quan's castmate Jamie Lee Curtis won for best supporting actress. Her win, in one of the most competitive categories this year, denied a victory for comic-book fans. Angela Bassett would have been the first performer to win an Oscar for a Marvel movie.

It also made history for Curtis, a first-time winner who alluded to herself as “a Nepo baby” during her win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. She's the rare Oscar winner whose parents were both Oscar nominees, something she emotionally referenced in her speech. Tony Curtis was nominated for The Defiant Ones in 1959 and Janet Leigh was nominated in 1961 for Psycho. Curtis thanked “hundreds” of people who put her in that position.