Laundry, taxes and googly eyes: frontrunners for the Oscars

Graphic, James Fay/The Concordian

The film Everything, Everywhere All at Once received 11 Oscar nominations, making the film the frontrunner for the upcoming Academy Awards

Everything, Everywhere All at Once is the frontrunner for the 2023 Academy Awards, the film received 11 nominations, four of which in the big five categories: best picture, best director, best screenplay and best lead actress.

The 2023 ceremony marks a historic year for Asian actors, with four receiving nominations — the most in the history of the award show. Everything, Everywhere All at Once actress Michelle Yeoh received a lead actress nomination for her role as Evelyn Wang and, if she were to win the Oscar, she would be the first Asian actress to do so. 

She shared her feelings on the nomination in an interview with The New York Times. “Of course, I’m over the moon, but I feel a little sad because I know we know there have been amazing actresses from Asia that come before me, and I stand on their shoulders,” she said.

Three more Everything, Everywhere All at Once actors received nominations: Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis for best supporting actress and Ke Huy Quan for best supporting actor.

Yeoh shared her experience working with Quan on the Los Angeles Times’ podcast The Envelope. “Before ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ came out, there weren’t even stories like this that were told. So I am very proud of Ke. He saw the opportunity and he ran for it. But what I’m saying is: Give us more opportunities.”

The film — written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert —  premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) on March 11, 2022 and released in the United States on April 8, 2022. 

Everything, Everywhere All at Once follows the story of Evelyn Wang, a laundromat owner, who is visited by a version of her husband Waymond Wang, played by Quan, who needs her help to save the multiverse. However, at the core of the bright colours, googly eyes and elaborate costumes is a story of love, family and acceptance.  

The languages spoken in the film switch between Mandarin, English and Cantonese. “It is very confusing when you are watching it at the beginning, but we wanted you to feel that. We wanted you to step into what is a real representation of what an Asian immigrant family would be at home,” said Yeoh on The Envelope.  

Everything, Everywhere All at Once received almost universal acclaim and is already doing well this awards season, with Yeoh and Quan having already won Golden Globes for their performances. 

Quan’s emotional acceptance speech pulled on many heartstrings, with him thanking Steven Spielberg for giving him his first role as a child actor in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. He shared how he long felt it was impossible to surpass his childhood accomplishments, and thanked Kwan and Scheinert for giving him “an opportunity to try again.”

The 2023 Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air on March 12 at 8 p.m.

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