95th Academy Awards: Seven Oscars, with ‘Everything’
BY PAUL WILLISTEIN
In the annual Lehigh Valley Press Focus “Readers Pick The Oscar Winners Contest,” the 95th Academy Awards results were not so predictable.
Many among the many who entered the annual contest correctly chose winners in three of the seven categories, a few correctly chose four winners and two chose five winners.
Only one person correctly chose seven winners in the seven categories.
Insert drum roll here, please:
The winner is Ricky Negron of Allentown, who chose Brendan Fraser, Michele Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” and “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.”
As for me, I correctly chose three of seven categories. I just couldn’t bring myself to go for “Everything Everywhere All At Once.“ I think maybe I should bring myself to go see it again.
With predictable predictability, the redundantly-titled “Everything Everywhere All At Once” (“EEAAO”) dominated the 95th Academy Awards, receiving seven Oscars out of 11 Oscar nominations.
“EEAAO” notched several notable wins: Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to receive an Oscar Lead Actress and the first woman of color to win an Oscar Lead Actress in 20 years since Halle Berry for “Monster’s Ball” (2002).
Merle Oberon, who was Asian but did not openly identify as Asian, was nominated for an Oscar as Lead Actress for “Dark Angel” (1935), but Bette Davis won for “Dangerous.”
“EEAAO’s seven Oscars are the most since “Gravity” (2013), which received seven Oscars.
The “EEAAO” directors, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, or “The Daniels” as they are known, became the first co-directors to win an Oscar Best Director since the Coen Brothers for “No Country for Old Men” (2007), which received Oscars for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
“EEAAO” received Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Best Original Screenplay (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), Lead Actress (Michelle Yeoh), Supporting Actress (Jamie Lee Curtis), Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan) and Film Editing (Paul Rogers).
“All Quiet on the Western Front” (“AQOTWF”) received the next most number of Oscars with four Oscars: International Feature Film, Cinematography, Original Score and Production Design. It tied with “The Banshees of Inisherin” for nine Oscar nominations.
“EEAAO” and “AQOTWF” dominated the Oscars. Across Oscar categories, it was a near shut-out.
Brendan Fraser beat the “EEAAO” odds, receiving an Oscar as Lead Actor for “The Whale,” which received the Oscar for Makeup and Hairstyling.
Among other Oscar nominees in major categories, “The Banshees of Inisherin,” nominated for nine Oscars, received no Oscars.
“Elvis” had eight Oscar nominations and received no Oscars.
“The Fabelmans,” with seven Oscar nominations, received no Oscars.
“Tár” had six Oscar nominations and received no Oscars.
“Top Gun: Maverick” had six Oscar nominations and received one Oscar for Sound.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” with five nominations, received one Oscar for Costume Design (Ruth E. Carter, the first black woman to receive two Oscars. She won in the category for “Black Panther,” 2019, the first black woman to win for Costume Design.).
“Avatar: The Way of Water” had four nominations and received one Oscar for Visual Effects.
“Women Talking” received an Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Sarah Polley.
You might say Elvis left the building empty-handed. Austin Butler was a Lead Actor Oscar favorite in the title role of “Elvis,” as was Colin Farrell for his turn in “The Banshees of Inisherin.”
There was no Cate Blanchett Lead Actress Oscar speech for “Tár” nor for Michelle Williams for “The Fabelmans.”
And in what seemed to be an on-camera reaction worthy of Buster Keaton’s stone-face in the silent film era, Angela Bassett, perhaps the most notable African-American movie actress nominated, was shut out of a Supporting Actress Oscar for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
And let’s not forget Steven Spielberg, once a Hollywood wunderkind, who at 76, is the old guard, losing the Best Director Oscar for “The Fabelmans” to “The Daniels,” who at 36, are the new guard.