Everything Everywhere All at Once ruled the Oscars with seven wins, including Best Picture and Best Director for The Daniels, the duo of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who dominated the 95th Academy Awards with their deeply moving family story that bends reality as seamlessly as it blends genres.
Kwan and Scheinert also won for Best Original Screenplay, Michelle Yeoh won for Best Actress, Ke Huy Quan won for Best Supporting Actor, and Jamie Lee Curtis won for Best Supporting Actress. Paul Rogers won for Best Editing. (Rogers said from the stage that Everything Everywhere was only his second film.)
What The Daniels Did Before Everything Everywhere
The film is the second that The Daniels have made together. After meeting at Emerson College in Boston, they collaborated on music videos before breaking through with the 2016 feature Swiss Army Man.
Yeoh was the first Asian woman to win a Best Actress Oscar. She broke into films as an action star in Hong Kong action films — despite no formal martial arts training — before gaining international recognition for films like Tomorrow Never Dies and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is proof… that dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t ever let anybody tell you you are past your prime,” said Yeoh, 60.
The weirdness of that The Daniels’ Swiss Army Man — Daniel Radcliffe plays a corpse — hinted at the wildness of Everything Everywhere All at Once, in which Yeoh plays a laundry operator who begins skipping through alternate universes while being audited by the IRS.
One of the only major awards that didn’t go to Everything Everywhere All at Once was Best Actor — perhaps because no one from the film was nominated in the category. Brendan Fraser won for playing a 600-pound shut-in teacher, trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter, in The Whale.
“So this is what the multiverse looks like,” said Brendan Fraser as he accepted the award.
From the moment Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis won their back-to-back Oscars — for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively — it was clear that the night belonged to Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Ke Huy Quan, who fought back tears while accepting the award, did not have a film role for 25 years before Everything Everywhere All at Once. He is a former child star of The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
“Dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine.” he said to an audience that included Steven Spielberg, who cast him as Short Round in Temple of Doom back in 1984. “To all of you out there. Please keep your dreams alive.”
Spielberg was among those who gave Everything Everywhere a standing ovation as it won Best Picture. Among the films it beat was Spielberg’s The Fabelmans.
It also defeated Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water, which will have to console themselves with being the top-grossing films of last year. (And The Way of Water is the No. 3 movie in box office overall.) Tom Cruise and James Cameron, the driving forces between those films, did not attend Sunday’s ceremony.
As she accepted her award, Curtis noted that hundreds of people were behind her win, telling them: “We just won an Oscar.” (She almost turned down the role, but Russell Goldman, the young head of her production company, Comet Pictures, was a huge fan of The Daniels and urged her to give it another chance.)
Everything Everywhere All at Once earned 11 nominations in all, the most of any film.