Academy Awards Wrap Up: Everything Everywhere All At Once Wins (Almost) Everything Everywhere At the Oscars


Miss the Oscars and want to discuss it with your friends? This article will give you a basic rundown of what happened, what films won what awards, and which movies and shorts you should watch next. 

To start off this article I am going to preface with the tidbit that I haven’t watched all of the films nominated, nor am I a film major. That aside, I watch the award shows because it exposes me to new films that I might not have seen before and it’s nice to listen to what the actors have to say.

Anyways, last Sunday was wild with appearances from Cocaine Bear (plus Elizabeth Banks) and the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” sweeping categories and winning a total of seven Oscars (including best film) out of the 11 nominated. 

Even without the movies themselves, there was plenty of drama. Jimmy Kimmel hosted for the third time and as expected he made several references to last year’s slap scandal. But the part I personally wasn’t expecting was when he asked Malala Yousafzai, filmmaker, author and youngest Nobel Prize laureate for her work with Pakistani female education activism about Harry Styles spitting on Chris Pine. It was an odd choice. Her answer, “I only talk about peace,” was probably one of the best responses she could have given to that odd question. 

But anyway, onto the main event! We’re starting it off with one of the biggest films of 2022:

“Everything Everywhere All at Once”

The film, and those who worked on it, broke records with their unparalleled storyline and innovative characters (I definitely recommend seeing it if you haven’t).

Michelle Yeoh became the first actress of Southeast Asian descent to win Best Actress. She delivered a swift and moving speech about defying age expectations, and how she didn’t let anyone tell her that she is past her prime. She said that to “all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities.”

Ke Huy Quan won Best Supporting Actor for his amazing performance in the movie. However, contrary to his successful child-acting career, in his speech he detailed how he struggled for a time after those roles had passed. He had given up on his dreams, but then the directors of Everything Everywhere All at Once (EEAO) rekindled them. In his speech he talks about seeing Harrison Ford again, after all the years since Indiana Jones, and how his story is the definition of the American Dream. 

In tandem with Quan’s win as Best Supporting Actor, Jamie Lee Curtis won Best Supporting Actress for her role in EEAO. However, like many award shows there has been mixed feelings about the decision. However, although Jamie Lee Curtis’s performance in EEAO might not have displayed her wide experience and powerful roles, she is a talented actor.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” didn’t only dominate the on-screen roles. The film also won Film Editing which (if you know even a little about editing) is insane: Editor Paul Rogers described how he edited the movie using a 2017 iMac and Adobe Premiere Pro during the Covid lock-downs while simultaneously raising a child. Best Director was won by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for and they also won the Oscar for best original screenplay for their work on EEOA. Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michelle Yeoh, and rest of the EEOA cast and crew are an example that age, experience, or frankly anything shouldn’t be discouraging to your dream.

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

In recent years Netflix is producing more movies that are aimed at bringing the platform to be a legitimate production company. The Oscar winner for Documentary Short Subject went to “The Elephant Whisperers” directed by Kartiki Gonsalves and winner for Best Animated Feature “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”; both for Netflix.

But it was the unexpected war movie (that yes, I have seen) that was responsible for four of the seven total awards that Netflix won. “All Quiet on the Western Front,” based on the book, is a gorey film centered on the disillusionment of war and the experiences of a young soldier. It won Oscars for Production Design, Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best International Film. These were fitting awards for the movie, in my opinion. The overall cinematography of the film is purposeful and beautifully adds to the story and the score (or lack thereof) is deliberate and haunting. Overall a good movie for those who enjoy the genre.  

“Wakanda Forever”

The long awaited sequel to the 2018 “Black Panther,” “Wakanda Forever” won only one Oscar for Costume Design; however, it was still record breaking. Ruth E. Carter (four-time nominee and two-time Oscar winner) became the first Black woman to win multiple Oscars in any category and the first black designer in the category twice. She had previously won for her work on the 2018 movie, but returned to win again in the same category.

In her speech she thanked the academy for “recognizing this superhero that is a Black woman,” in direct reference to themes found within both of the movies and the powerful under-represented perspective both movies gave to audiences.

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”

Apple TV’s adaptation of Charlie Mackesy’s book won Best Animated Short and while you might not have watched this short, it is definitely one to check out. Without spoiling anything it is the story of a boy and his journey with a mole, a fox, and a horse, with relaxing and almost nostalgic animation.

Also nominated for Best Animated Short category was another film that I had watched. “My Year of Dicks” is a coming-of-age story with a creative animation style and heartfelt plot. Although it didn’t win the Oscar, it still deserves a quick watch. 

Other Highlights:

“Irish Goodbye,” a film following two estranged brothers in the aftermath of their mothers death, won the Oscar for the Best Live-Action Short. I thought that this dark comedy was very wholesome and entertaining. In the short span of the film, the viewer gets to see the characters evolve and grow as people. It was definitely one of my favorite nominated films.

“Navalny” won an award for Documentary Feature. The film revolves around the true story of Alexei Navalny, Russian opposition leader, and his poisoning with a nerve agent. To accept the award his family joined the director up on stage; however, Navalny is still imprisoned and was not there to accept it. Instead his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, spoke directly to him in her speech and told him to “stay strong,”

“The Whale” won two awards: Make-Up and Hairstyling and Brendan Fraser won Best Actor for his role as Charlie. His well-known roles (like The Mummy franchise) aren’t the same tone as The Whale but despite that his performance is moving and heartful.

“Women Talking” won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, with Sarah Polley receiving the award for her adaptation of the novel by Miriam Toews to the screen. In her acceptance speech she joked that she was thankful for the academy not being “mortally offended by the words ‘women’ and ‘talking’ being so close together.”

“Avatar: The Way of Water,” the much-awaited sequel to the first Avatar film from 2009, won the Oscar for the several visual effects in the film.

“Top Gun: Maverick,” the sequel to the 1986 movie, won an Oscar for Sound. However, notably Tom Cruise and James Cameron were not in attendance at the awards. 

Best Original Song

Throughout the entire program the performances that framed the awards were the nominations for Best Original Song. A variety of performances showcased the songs that highlighted the movie. Despite the rumors around her performance, Lady Gaga did indeed end up performing and Rianna gave a beautiful performance of “Lift Me Up” from Wakanda Forever. Sofia Carson sang “Applause,” the song nominated from “Tell It Like a Woman.” David Byrne also took the stage with hot-dog fingered props from EEAO alongside Stephanie Hsu. But it was the song ”Naatu Naatu,” composed by M. M. Keeravani from the movie RRR that won the award making it the first song from an Indian film to win Best Original Song.
Final Note

The 2023 Oscars were an important step towards the future of Hollywood and the future of films. From several historic moments to an overall theme of never giving up on a dream, it was the usual show of films, performances, and weird pop-culture moments.