“Everything Everywhere All At Once” wins big at the Oscars

Studio A24 movie Everything Everywhere All At Once took home seven wins and 11 nominations at the 2023 Academy Awards, and was named the most awarded film. This win has been significant to the Asian American community, as the Oscars have a history of lacking representation of people of color. Michelle Yeoh was the first Asian American actress and second woman of color to be awarded ‘Best Actress’ in 95 years of Oscar history. Yeoh said in her acceptance speech, “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities.”

Everything Everywhere All At Once is an absurdist sci-fi action-adventure comedy film directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinhardt, also known as “the Daniels.” This movie tells the story of a Chinese American immigrant Evelyn Wang (played by Michelle Yeoh) dealing with very real struggles between a failing laundromat business and strained relationships with her family members until she finds herself needing to save the universe from destruction by connecting with versions of herself in parallel universes.

The film won both Best Picture and Best Director, as well as three of four acting categories in which Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, and Jamie Lee Curtis were awarded. Since these wins, there has been discourse as to whether or not this movie featuring nihilistic evil bagels, sausage fingers, and a raccoon version of Ratatouille was deserving of the accolade. But between the absurdist plotline, the movie touches on themes including depression, neurodivergence, LGBTQ+ acceptance, and generational trauma. New York Times critic A.O. Scott described the film as “a bittersweet domestic drama, a marital comedy, a story of immigrant striving and a hurt-filled ballad of mother-daughter love.”

The Academy’s efforts to diversify the Oscars is a well-debated topic. There has been an increase in international contenders in the 2023 Oscars, with a near-even split between US and international wins and nominations. However, the Inclusion List of this year’s Oscars compiled by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has shown less positive results with an average increase of 9% in underrepresented nominees since 2015, when the #OscarsSoWhite movement took place.

Image source: The Guardian

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