March 17, 2023 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT | By Sophia Lisco
Hollywood’s biggest night, the 2023 Academy Awards, was last Sunday. The notoriously lengthy award show was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel this year and was without incident (that is, no assaults on stage or inaccurate announcements like we’ve gotten used to). The only “incident” worth reporting is perhaps the astounding performance by “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which was awarded seven Oscars, including best picture.
EEAAO is about the multiverse of possibilities, facing demons, and finding yourself. If you aren’t familiar with Racacoonie, hot dog fingers, or the peculiarly shaped Auditor of the Month award, it would probably do you well to sit down for EEAAO.
The film will make you laugh, cry, and probably walk away a little existentially confused. At its core, the film is about family, love, and finding peace amidst utter chaos. EEAAO takes on the impossible, which led to a very successful night at the annual Oscar’s Ceremony (despite already being the most awarded film of all time).
If you were to Google “the Daniels,” the pair of directors behind EEAAO, the O’s on the Google site will temporarily turn to googly eyes, a major motif in the film. Many of the cast and crew members incorporated googly eyes into their red-carpet outfits as a nod to the film that brought them there. Daniel Kwan even wore a jacket inspired by the main character, Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh), when he and Daniel Scheinert accepted the Oscar for best directing – beating out the already well-decorated Steven Spielberg.
EEAAO also took home the major acting awards of the ceremony (excluding leading male, for which they weren’t nominated). Both Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu were nominated for Best Supporting Actress, and in a startling upset, Curtis took home the gold (or, in this case, gold-plated). The ‘twitter-verse’ was unhappy with this outcome, and it is not hard to see why.
Hsu’s character possessed more emotional complexity (and screen time) than Curtis’, which, despite her losing this Oscar season, implies the beginning of an illustrious and exciting career. There was a certain satisfaction in seeing Curtis win, for she had spent so long on the fringe of Hollywood. She used her time on stage to nod to the genre films that she owes her career to as she accepted her official introduction into the Academy.
Michelle Yeoh also took home an Oscar for Best Leading Actress, for which she was nominated against Cate Blanchett – the second time that EEAAO beat out a legend in the field. Her background in action films lent itself to her role in the film in which she battles inter-dimensional villains.
The tear-jerker moment of the night, however, belongs to Ke Huy Quan. After his heartwarming acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, all eyes were on him when the Supporting Actor category was announced. After a few breakout roles in his adolescence, it seemed for a while that Quan’s acting career was over.
Until last year, laypeople would have recognized him as Data from “The Goonies” or maybe Short Round from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Quan opened his Oscars acceptance speech by addressing his 84-year-old mother, who was watching from home.
“Mom, I just won an Oscar.”
As the child of immigrant parents, Quan spent a year of his life in a refugee camp before breaking into the acting sphere as a child. His gratitude extended to the opportunities his parents gave him in his upbringing.
Quan was again reminded of his past when he accepted the Oscar for best picture on behalf of the entire cast and crew. The award was announced by Harrison Ford, and the two embraced in a touching moment that mirrored their time on the set of “Indiana Jones.”
After the ceremony concluded, Quan congratulated fellow winner Brendan Fraser, who won Best Actor for his role in “The Whale.” After crossing paths on the set of “Encino Man” in 1992, it seemed that the phone stopped ringing for both of them, metaphorically speaking. Their reunion is one of the most heartwarming moments in Oscar’s history and serves as a true reminder to never give up on your dreams.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “The Whale” are available for streaming now.