Everything Everywhere All at Once bags seven awards at the Oscars 2023.
Monday mornings at the Lifestyle Asia headquarters usually begin with me rushing into the office (late) to my equally depressed and deflated colleagues. You know, the Monday Blues usual. This morning, though, I arrived (also late, but at least I got here before 11am) to excited screams and yells. Chaos ensued. Did someone get engaged? Get married? Have a baby? Nah, my colleague told me, it’s just Michelle Yeoh making history with a Best Actress Oscar win. No biggie.
Despite my general hatred for movies and TV shows that go on longer than 30 minutes (the length of my attention span), Everything Everywhere All at Once is one of the few movies I watched last year and actually enjoyed. It’s also two hours and twenty minutes (!) long, so that really says something. And obviously I’m not the only one who approves — the film received 11 Academy Award nominations (and has a rating of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, but I guess no one apart from me pays attention to this).
Anyway, I didn’t watch the Oscars, but I did go through some clips on YouTube and I gotta say, I can understand why my colleagues screamed. Everything Everywhere All at Once won seven out of 11 nominations, including Best Picture, with the awards ceremony reaching a climax when Michelle Yeoh stepped onto the stage to accept the award for best actress.
“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof to dream big and dreams do come true,” said Yeoh in her heartfelt speech. “Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime.”
She went on to thank her “extended family in Hong Kong where I started my career, thank you for letting me stand on your shoulders, giving me a leg so I could be here today.”
Indeed, Malaysian actress Yeoh first made a name in the Hong Kong sector before moving to the international limelight. She starred in classic action films like Yes, Madam and Policy Story 3: Supercop in the 80s and 90s, then crossed over to Hollywood in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997. She also made an appearance in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000, which no doubt gave her career another boost.
When Yeoh first received the nomination for best actress in the lead-up to the Oscars, Hong Kong and Malaysia went head-to-head and claimed her as their own. Hong Kong government minister Kevin Yeung famously described her as a “Hong Kong actor”, which did not go down well with the folks in Malaysia. Either way, both countries have dropped the feud and stand united today to celebrate Yeoh’s accomplishment and what it means to be a winner of Asian descent.
In addition to best picture and best actress, Everything Everywhere All at Once also stars Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis, who both won their supporting acting categories. The film also bagged best original screenplay, best film editing and best director for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.