LOS ANGELES (Updated 12:11 p.m.) —“Everything Everywhere All at Once” won the prestigious best picture trophy at the Academy Awards on Sunday as Hollywood embraced an offbeat story about a Chinese-American family working out their problems across multiple dimensions.
The movie claimed three of the four acting Oscars for stars Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis. Yeoh played the lead role of a stressed-out laundromat owner who finds she has superpowers in alternate universes.
“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” the 60-year-old Malaysian actress said on stage. “And ladies, don’t let anybody ever tell you you are ever past your prime.”
Quan, a onetime child star who gave up acting for two decades, and Hollywood veteran Curtis won supporting actor and actress for their roles.
A weeping Quan, who was born in Vietnam, kissed his gold Oscar statuette as he held it on stage in front of the biggest names in show business.
“My journey started on a boat,” Quan said. “I spent a year in a refugee camp. Somehow I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage.”
As a boy, Quan starred in a 1984 “Indiana Jones” movie and “The Goonies” in 1985. The 51-year-old said he had quit acting for years because he saw little opportunity for Asian actors on the big screen.
“They say stories like this only happen in the movies,” he added. “I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This is the American dream.”
Quan’s co-star Curtis, who built a career in horror films such as “Halloween,” won best supporting actress for playing a frumpy tax auditor named Deirdre Beaubeirdre.
Curtis, 64, looked upward and addressed her late parents, Academy award nominees Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. “I just won an Oscar,” she said through tears.
READ: Ke Huy Quan wins best supporting actor Oscar for ‘Everything, Everywhere’ | Jamie Lee Curtis wins best supporting actress Oscar for ‘Everything Everywhere’
“The Whale” star Brendan Fraser won best actor for playing a severely obese man trying to reconnect with his daughter.
“I’m so grateful to you,” he said to the crowd on the Dolby Theatre stage as he held his award.
READ: Brendan Fraser wins best actor Oscar for ‘The Whale’ | Michelle Yeoh wins best actress Oscar for ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’
A German remake of World War One epic “All Quiet on the Western Front” won best international feature. The movie, which streamed on Netflix NFLX.O, depicts the horrors of trench warfare through the eyes of a young man initially keen to join the fight.
Director Edward Berger thanked the film’s young star, Felix Kammerer, who joined him on stage.
“This was your first movie, and you carried us on your shoulders as if it was nothing,” Berger said.
READ: ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ wins Oscar for best international film
The film “Navalny,” about the poisoning that nearly killed Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, and his detention since his 2021 return to Moscow, won the Oscar for best feature documentary.
“Alexei, I am dreaming of the day when you will be free and our country will be free,” his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, said on stage. “Stay strong my love.”
“Naatu Naatu,” a song from Indian movie “RRR” that created a viral dance sensation, won best original song.
READ: ‘Navalny,’ portrait of Kremlin critic, wins best documentary Oscar
Crisis response team on hand
A crisis response team was on hand in case of an unexpected twist. The group was formed after Will Smith smacked Chris Rock on stage last year, tarnishing the film industry’s most prestigious ceremony.
At the start of the show, two U.S. military aircraft flew over the Oscars theater, and host Jimmy Kimmel landed on the stage by parachute, in a tribute to best picture nominee “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Comedian Kimmel joked in his opening monologue about the audience reaction to Smith’s attack last year.
“If anything unpredictable or violent happens at the ceremony, just do what you did last year – nothing,” he told the crowd of A-list celebrities. “Maybe give the assailant a hug.”
READ: Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel hails movie-going rebound, cracks wise about ‘the slap’
Kimmel also brought a surprise guest: Jenny, the scene-stealing donkey from best picture nominee “The Banshees of Inisherin.”
Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” was named best animated feature.
READ: Guillermo del Toro wins best animated feature film for ‘Pinocchio’
The 95th Academy Awards ceremony was broadcast live on Walt Disney Co’s DIS.N ABC network. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hoped to move past the slap and stage a glitzy show and boost sagging TV ratings.
Ahead of the awards, nominees dressed in designer gowns and tuxedos touted their movies on a champagne carpet in place of the traditional red.
READ: Stars flaunt shimmery, bold looks on Oscars ‘champagne’ red carpet
Winners are voted on by the roughly 10,000 actors, producers, directors and film craftspeople who make up the film academy.
—Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Howard Goller; Additional reporting by Danielle Broadway, Dawn Chmielewski and Nichola Groom;Editing by Mary Milliken and Howard Goller
READ: Filmmaking duo behind ‘Everything Everywhere’ win directing Oscar