Dimension-hopping adventure Everything Everywhere All At Once topped the list of movies nominated on Tuesday (Jan 24) for this year’s Oscars as Hollywood’s film academy chose several crowd-pleasing hits to compete for the best picture prize.
Everything Everywhere, a science-fiction flick about an exasperated Chinese immigrant struggling to finish her taxes, landed 11 nominations, including best picture.
The film also garnered four acting nods – for Michelle Yeoh (best lead actress), Ke Huy Quan (best supporting actor) and Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu, who are both in the running for best supporting actress.
Yeoh makes history as the first Asian to be nominated for best actress at the Oscars.
“Even just to be nominated means validation, love, from your peers,” said an “overwhelmed” Yeoh speaking by phone from London. “What it means for the rest of the Asians around the world, not just in America but globally, is to say we have a seat at the table. We finally have a seat at the table. We are being recognised and being seen.”
Other films in the hunt for the top trophy at the Academy Awards included sequel Avatar: The Way Of Water, James Cameron’s visual spectacle that currently ranks as the sixth-highest grossing movie of all time.
Top Gun: Maverick and Elvis, two of last summer’s biggest blockbusters, also made the cut alongside Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical coming-of-age drama The Fabelmans and dark comedy The Banshees of Inisherin.
Tar, Triangle of Sadness, Women Talking and a German remake of All Quiet On The Western Front rounded out the 10-picture list.
Winners of the industry’s highest honours will be unveiled at a Mar 12 ceremony hosted by comedian Jimmy Kimmel and aired live on Walt Disney Co’s ABC network.
The Oscars and other awards shows have been struggling to attract TV viewers, particularly younger ones who spend time on TikTok and YouTube.
Last year’s Academy Awards ceremony, when Will Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock before winning best actor, drew about 15.4 million TV viewers, the second-smallest audience ever.
Having widely seen films, rather than just lesser-known art house movies, may help boost Oscar ratings this year, said Scott Feinberg, awards editor at The Hollywood Reporter. The most-watched Oscars took place 25 years ago as megahit Titanic swept the honours.
“When the movies are popular with the public, the public feels invested and tunes in to see who wins,” Feinberg said. “This is setting them up for success as much as anything could.”
Sixteen of the 20 people who clinched acting nods were first-time nominees.
They included Austin Butler for his portrayal of rock legend Elvis Presley, and Colin Farrell, who starred as an Irish farmer obsessed with restoring a friendship in Banshees. Top Gun star Tom Cruise did not make it into the field.
Butler recalled the positive reaction to his performance from Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley, who died this month of cardiac arrest at age 54.
“I just wish she was here to celebrate today with us,” Butler told the Hollywood Reporter.
For best actress, Cate Blanchett, nominated for her portrayal of a manipulative orchestra conductor in Tar, will compete with Everything Everywhere star Michelle Yeoh and Michelle Williams of The Fabelmans, among others.
Winners will be voted on by the roughly 10,000 actors, producers, directors and film craftspeople who make up the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The academy added more women and people of colour to its ranks after the #OscarsSoWhite uproars of 2015 and 2016, and it increased membership from outside the United States.
This year, seven of the 20 acting nominees were people of colour. They included Everything Everywhere stars Yeoh, Hsu and Quan, a child star in 1984’s Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom and now a front-runner for best supporting actor.
Ke Huy Quan’s reaction to Oscar nomination: ‘I jumped up and I screamed so loud’
For Quan, a much-loved face of the 1980s from Goonies and Temple Of Doom, the nomination was a once-unfathomable pinnacle. After his acting opportunities dried up, Quan quit acting for years before being offered the part of Waymond. Speaking by phone from Los Angeles, Quan remembered having dreams as a child of attending the Academy Awards.
“It just seemed so far-fetched. Especially when I had to step away from acting for so many years, that dream seemed like it was dead,” Quan said. “My whole thing was: I just wanted a job.”
Angela Bassett was nominated for best supporting actress for playing Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Cuban-Spanish actress Ana de Armas received a nomination for her turn as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde.
Smith, who starred in slavery drama Emancipation, was not nominated. He has been banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years after slapping Rock, but he remains eligible for nominations and awards.
The Oscar push for the Indian action sensation RRR landed a sole nomination: Best song for M.M. Keeravaani’s Naatu Naatu.
Traditional studios dominated this year’s nominations after recent inroads from streaming services. Apple TV+ nabbed best picture last year for heartwarming drama CODA.
This time, Disney received the most nominations, a total of 22, for movies including Avatar, Banshees and animated Turning Red. Banshees earned four acting nominations among nine overall nods.
“Massive thanks to the Academy. I think we’re going to have a fun night!” Banshees director Martin McDonagh, also a nominee, said in a statement.
Streaming service Netflix Inc released All Quiet On The Western Front, which tied Banshees with nine nominations.
The following is a list of nominees in leading categories.
All Quiet On The Western Front
Avatar: The Way Of Water
The Banshees Of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Top Gun: Maverick
Triangle Of Sadness
Austin Butler – Elvis
Colin Farrell – The Banshees Of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser – The Whale
Paul Mescal – Aftersun
Bill Nighy – Living
Cate Blanchett – Tár
Ana de Armas – Blonde
Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie
Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans
Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All At Once
Martin McDonagh – The Banshees Of Inisherin
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All At Once
Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans
Todd Field – Tár
Ruben Östlund – Triangle Of Sadness
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees Of Inisherin
Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway
Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans
Barry Keoghan – The Banshees Of Inisherin
Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All At Once
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Hong Chau – The Whale
Kerry Condon – The Banshees Of Inisherin
Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All At Once
Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All At Once
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“The Banshees Of Inisherin, written by Martin McDonagh
Everything Everywhere All At Once, written by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
The Fabelmans, written by Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner
Tár, written by Todd Field
Triangle Of Sadness, written by Ruben Östlund
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
All Quiet On The Western Front, screenplay by Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson and Ian Stokell
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, written by Rian Johnson
Living, written by Kazuo Ishiguro
Top Gun: Maverick, screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie; story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks
Women Talking, screenplay by Sarah Polley
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Marcel The Shell With Shoes On
Puss In Boots: The Last Wish
The Sea Beast
BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM
All That Breathes, Shaunak Sen, Aman Mann and Teddy Leifer
All The Beauty And The Bloodshed, Laura Poitras, Howard Gertler, John Lyons, Nan Goldin and Yoni Golijov
Fire Of Love, Sara Dosa, Shane Boris and Ina Fichman
A House Made Of Splinters, Simon Lereng Wilmont and Monica Hellström
Navalny, Daniel Roher, Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller and Shane Boris
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
All Quiet On The Western Front, Germany
Argentina, 1985, Argentina
The Quiet Girl, Ireland
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
All Quiet On The Western Front, Volker Bertelmann
Babylon, Justin Hurwitz
The Banshees Of Inisherin, Carter Burwell
Everything Everywhere All At Once, Son Lux
The Fabelmans, John Williams
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Applause, from Tell It Like A Woman, music and lyrics by Diane Warren
Hold My Hand, from Top Gun: Maverick, music and lyrics by Lady Gaga and BloodPop
Lift Me Up, from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Goransson, lyrics by Tems and Ryan Coogler
Naatu Naatu, from RRR, music by M.M. Keeravaani; lyrics by Chandrabose
This Is A Life, from Everything Everywhere All At Once, music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne and Mitski; lyrics by Ryan Lott and David Byrne