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Oscar Nominations: Everything Goes to Eleven

Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan in Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

When SXSW attendees settled in for the world premiere of Everything Everywhere All at Once last March, many were probably anticipating a wackadoo cult favorite along the lines of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s previous—and first—feature, Swiss Army Man (2016). After the credits rolled, some might have dared to forecast a robust summer at the box office for the Daniels’ genre-blender, and they would have been right on the money. Few, though, would have predicted that Everything would lead the nominations for the ninety-fifth Academy Awards.

Everything goes to eleven, including Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay (the Daniels), Editing (Paul Rogers), Costume Design (Shirley Kurata), Score (Son Lux), and Song (“This Is a Life” by Ryan Lott, David Byrne, and Mitski). Malaysian-born Michelle Yeoh, who plays Evelyn, a worn-out laundromat owner who must leap from one parallel universe to the next in order to save all of life as we know it, is the first Best Actress nominee who identifies as an Asian woman. Ke Huy Quan, the former child actor (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Goonies) staging a remarkable comeback as Evelyn’s husband, Waymond, has scored a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Stephanie Hsu, who wows as Evelyn and Waymond’s daughter, and Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays an IRS auditor, are facing off against each other in the Best Supporting Actress category.

Close behind Everything in terms of the sheer number of nominations—with nine each—are Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin and Edward Berger’s All Quiet on the Western Front. Critics and audiences alike immediately warmed to Banshees, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson—nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively—as former friends who fall out in the worst way. But All Quiet, the first German-language adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic World War One novel, wasn’t making much of a showing this awards season until, seemingly out of nowhere, it became the front-runner for the BAFTAs last Thursday.

The other seven films nominated for Best Picture are Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis (scoring a total of eight nominations), Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans (seven), Todd Field’s Tár (six), Christopher McQuarrie’s Top Gun: Maverick (six), James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water (four), Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness (three), and Sarah Polley’s Women Talking (two). The New York TimesKyle Buchanan, the Playlist’s Gregory Ellwood, Variety’s Todd Gilchrist and Jenelle Riley, the Hollywood Reporter’s Hilary Lewis, Time’s Moises Mendez II and Laura Zornosa, and Deadline’s Dominic Patten are all sorting through the snubs and surprises, but few stories can match Andrea Riseborough’s. She stars as an alcoholic who has squandered her lottery winnings in Michael Morris’s directorial debut, To Leslie, a film that came and went with little notice and paltry ticket sales. Over the past few weeks, though, a last-minute, celebrity-led campaign has propelled Riseborough to a Best Actress nomination.

In the running for Best International Feature Film are All Quiet on the Western Front; Santiago Mitre’s Argentina, 1985, a dramatization of the Trial of the Juntas; Lukas Dhont’s Close, the story of two thirteen-year-old boys’ tragic friendship; Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO, an enthralling, picaresque journey through modern Europe with a deeply sympathetic donkey; and Colm Bairéad’s The Quiet Girl, in which an introverted nine-year-old girl finds a new home. With The Quiet Girl, Banshees, and Paul Mescal’s (Aftersun) nomination for Best Actor, Ireland is having a very fine year.

The Best Documentary nominees are Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes, the story of two brothers who rescue birds in New Delhi and already the winner of top documentary awards at Sundance and Cannes; Laura Poitras’s All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, an electrifying portrait of artist and activist Nan Goldin; Sara Dosa’s Fire of Love, featuring awe-inspiring footage shot by French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft; Simon Lereng Wilmont’s A House Made of Splinters, which was shot at the Lysychansk Center, a temporary home for children with unfit parents in eastern Ukraine; and Daniel Roher’s Navalny, which depicts a dramatic chapter in the life of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

On March 12, one year and one day after Everything’s premiere in Austin, Jimmy Kimmel will return to host the Oscars for a third time.

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