Everything Everywhere All At Once storms the Oscars

All the news from the biggest awards ceremony of the year

by Jennie Kermode

Ke Huy Quan poses backstage with the Oscar® for Actor in a Supporting Role during the live ABC telecast of the 95th Oscars® at Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 12, 2023
Ke Huy Quan poses backstage with the Oscar® for Actor in a Supporting Role during the live ABC telecast of the 95th Oscars® at Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 12, 2023 Photo: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

The biggest awards event of the year was full of smiles tonight as Everything Everywhere All At Once stormed the show, winning Best Picture, scooping three of the acting awards and seeing the Best Director award split between the Daniels, Kwan and Scheinert. It also won in the Original Screenplay and Editing categories.

Michelle Yeoh backstage at the 95th Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023.
Michelle Yeoh backstage at the 95th Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023. Photo: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

"This movie is...a shotgun blast of joy and absurdity and creativity," said Daniel Kwan later, whilst acknowledging that it deals with some dark subjects. "I really hope that the next generation can watch a movie like ours and be just, like, 'Oh, there's another way to look at the bleakness and another way to face it head on.'"

For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is hope," said Michelle Yeoh, holding up her Oscar for Best Actress. "And ladies, don't let anyone ever tell you you are past your prime."

The Best Supporting Actor award went to audience favourite Ke Huy Quan. "Mom, I just won an Oscar!" he said, holding up the award and shedding tears. "My journey started in a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp...I can't believe this is happening to me." With Jamie Lee Curtis subsequently winning Best Supporting Actress, it was a great start for the Everything Everywhere All At Once team.

Backstage, Quan talked about how difficult things had been for him even recently, when he lost his health insurance because he couldn't get a job during Covid lockdowns. He said that he doesn't know what he'll be doing next because he doesn't like to bother his agent too much, but he has a feeling that next time he calls, he's more likely to be told that there are opportunities waiting for him.

Guillermo del Toro poses backstage with the Oscar® for Animated Feature Film during the live ABC telecast of the 95th Oscars® at Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 12, 2023
Guillermo del Toro poses backstage with the Oscar® for Animated Feature Film during the live ABC telecast of the 95th Oscars® at Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 12, 2023 Photo: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

The first award of the night went to Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio. "Animation is cinema!" proclaimed the director upon receiving the award, which he dedicated to his children and his wife Kim. Later, backstage, he added "It's important that the animation is done by people that are...treated like the artists they are. They were not technicians. They were credited in the main credits before even the voice actors, and our collaboration was truly a collaboration between the directing team and the acting team."

Receiving the Best Documentary award for Navalny, director Daniel Romer noted that the subject of his film is currently in solitary confinement in a Russian prison. "I would like to dedicate this award to Navalny, to all political prisoners around the world," he said. "Alexei, the world has not forgotten your vital message to us all. We cannot, we must not be afraid to oppose dictators and authoritarianism wherever it rears its head."

There was a sweet moment for An Irish Goodbye star James Martin as his director used their win in the Best Live Action Short category as a chance to sing Happy Birthday to him in front of an international audience of millions. Later, receiving the award for Best Cinematography, All Quiet On The Western Front's James Friend said that it wasn't his birthday but he felt as if it was.

Oscar® winners Tom Berkeley (left), and Ross White (right), with James Martin and guest on the red carpet of the 95th Oscars® at the Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 12, 2023.
Oscar® winners Tom Berkeley (left), and Ross White (right), with James Martin and guest on the red carpet of the 95th Oscars® at the Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 12, 2023. Photo: Kyusung Gong

With live performances of the Best Song nominees taking place at intervals throughout the show, as usual, it was clear that Naatu Naatu from RRR was the audience favourite, very different from what usually gets nominated, and there were big cheers when it won. Composer MM Keeravani is well known in India and knew that despite the time difference he would also be receiving applause from his home audience, who have been excited by the song's - and the film's - breakthrough success. "Right now I'm on cloud nine, and I feel very blessed to have this kind of greatest recognition of the world for my country, for my culture, for my motherland and for my movie industry, from Telugu language," he told reporters later.

Check out this year's list of nominees to get the full picture. It's a little different from previous years, with the majority of acting nominees actually hailing from outside the US, and 16 out of 20 nominated for the first time. There are also more nominees of colour, though numbers are still not proportional to the US population.

If you watched the action outside the Dolby Theatre, the first thing you were likely to notice was that there was no red carpet this year. It was replaced by a tasteful shade of what the organisers were calling 'champagne', as they assured us that there would be no need to worry about blood getting spilled tonight. Alongside its usual security team, the event had a new crisis team who responsible for tasks like calming down irate stars and making sure nobody read out the wrong winner. That change in carpet colour probably had a bigger impact on the way that stars' outfits looked, however, with fewer clashes and more people able to look their very best.

Kaala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj arrive on the red carpet of the 95th Oscars® at the Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 12, 2023.
Kaala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj arrive on the red carpet of the 95th Oscars® at the Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 12, 2023. Photo: Kyusung Gong / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Early arrival Florence Pugh put the carpet to the test with an expansive champagne-coloured gown, with Ana de Armas wearing something similar, while Stephanie Hsu was pretty in pink. Salma Hayek in high gloss candy apple red and Nicole Kidman in sleek, shiny black sent rather different signals. Angela Bassett rocked a slimline purple number while Michelle Yeoh wore a tiered white gown, perfectly attired for what would go on to become one of the biggest nights of her life. The biggest cheer from the fans on arrival was for Ke Huy Quan.

Just 21% of this year's nominees were women, with several people expressing disappointment at the all male Best Director nominations. Sharing her thoughts backstage after winning Best Supporting Actress, Jamie Lee Curtis said "Obviously, I would like to see a lot more women be nominated so that there's gender parity in all the areas and all the branches. I think we're getting there... And of course, the inclusivity then involves the bigger question, which is, do you how do you include everyone when there are binary choices? It's very difficult and as the mother of a trans daughter, I completely understand that. And yet, to de-gender the category, also, I'm concerned will diminish the opportunities for more women, which is something I also have been working hard to try to promote. So it's a complicated question. But I think the most important thing is inclusivity. And more women - I mean basically just fucking more women, anywhere, anytime, all at once."

Those awards in full:

Best Picture

Best Director

Best Actress

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress

Best Animated Film

Best Documentary

Best International Film

Best Live Action Short

Best Animated Short

Best Documentary Short

Best Original Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Cinematography

Best Editing

Best Visual Effects

Best Production Design

Best Costume Design

Best Make-up and Hairstyling

Best Sound

Best Score

Best Original Song

  • Naatu Naatu - RRR

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