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Oscar Night had a whole lot of ‘Everything’

There are quibbles, but overall good night

Everything Everywhere All at Once, starring, from left, Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh, and Ke Huy Quan, took home seven Oscars. Among the wins were Yeoh for Actress in a Leading Role and Quan for Actor in a Supporting Role.

Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published March 15, 2023

As soon as this year’s Oscars telecast concluded, I had the urge to dig out my Encino Man DVD. That 1992 version of Brendan Fraser has stayed with me for more than 30 years, and seeing him panic through a too-long, too-awkward, borderline desperate acceptance speech for the Best Actor honor was, well, sad. 

I really enjoyed The Whale, and was impressed by Fraser’s performance, but whoa, that speech was a whopper. I can’t help but imagine what the Encino Man-era Fraser would have said.

Had it been up to me, I’d have awarded the young Eden Dambrine the award for his performance in the film Close. But no one’s asking me.

The night belonged mostly to the Everything Everywhere All at Once gang, which I’m perfectly fine with. It’s not a film I really enjoyed, but I found it to be impressive and imaginative. Of the film’s nominated, I’d have preferred a night where The Banshees of Inisherin or Tár won Best Picture. But I’m old, and I like poems and nuance. That’s out. 

What’s in is very fast, very flashy, whimsical, outrageous storytelling. This huge night for Everything Everywhere All at Once, in which the film won seven statues (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Original Screenplay, wow) feels like the beginning of a new era for cinema. 

Don’t be surprised if the Superhero Era fades away to make room for the hyperactive TikTok and influencer-inspired creatives. Will Martin Scorsese once again be able to adapt?

So who else won besides Encino Man, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, a.k.a. The Daniels, Paul Rogers (Best Editing), Ke Huy Quan (Best Supporting Actor), Michelle Yeoh (Best Actress), and Jamie Lee Curtis (Best Supporting Actress)?

For starters, the great Sarah Polley won Best Adapted Screenplay for her brilliant Women Talking script. Along with the Yeoh win, the Polley win was my favorite of the night. Best Cinematography went to James Friend and All Quiet on the Western Front, though I happen to think it should have gone to Darius Khondji for the gorgeous Bardo. All Quiet is a great example of the new formalism while Bardo is experimental and exciting.

Best Production Design, Best Original Score, and Best Foreign Film also went to All Quiet, making it inarguably the night’s second-biggest winner, taking home four Oscar statues. 

Guillermo del Toro won yet another Oscar for Best Animated Feature (Pinocchio), while Diane Warren, Euzhan Palcy, and ScreenTime favorite Peter Weir were all given Honorary Oscars.

Was it a good show? Yeah, I think it was. Host Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes were smart and edgy without being politically charged or cringy. His dry delivery had me chuckling a whole lot more than I had expected to.

But real talk: Is it worrisome that both the most masterfully made film of the year (Tár) and the bravest major studio production of the year (Babylon) were shut out, going 0-9? Yeah, that’s shocking. But hey, this year’s Oscars weren’t about cinema, really. They were about two things: lifetime achievement awards and a radical new style/era for film. 

So it goes, etc.


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