Comedic adventure flick Everything Everywhere All at Once has won seven Oscars at the 95th Academy Awards in the US, including Best Picture.

Michelle Yeoh
Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh accepts the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” onstage during the 95th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 12, 2023.. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP.

Michelle Yeoh won Best Lead Actress – the first Asian to do so – for her role as a dissatisfied Chinese-American laundromat owner: “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities.”

She thanked her “extended family in Hong Kong where I started my career, thank you for letting me stand on your shoulders, giving me a leg so I could be here today.”

Everything Everywhere All at Once follows Yeoh’s character, Evelyn Quan Wang, who has to connect with parallel universe versions of herself to prevent the multiverse from being destroyed – all whilst facing a tax audit. Released last March, and grossing US$108 million at the box office, the absurdist adventure touched on themes of mental health, transgenerational trauma and Asian-American identity.

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It beat out war epic All Quiet on the Western Front and Tom Cruise hit Top Gun: Maverick for the top prize at the Sunday night awards in Hollywood.

Full nominees for Best Picture – click to view.

All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans
Top Gun: Maverick
Triangle of Sadness
Women Talking

Yeoh rose to fame performing her own stunts in Hong Kong movies such as Yes, Madam and Policy Story 3: Supercop before landing a role in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. She went onto international stardom after starring in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Hong Kong’s culture chief Kevin Yeung, paid tribute in a Monday press release: “Hong Kong’s film sector has nurtured many outstanding actors and filmmakers… Her honour of winning the Oscar award, one of the most significant awards in the film sector, is well deserved. This is a testimony to the strong potential of Hong Kong’s talents and film industry.”

Oscar haul

Ke Huy Quan won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Evelyn’s goofy husband in Everything Everywhere: “My mom is 84 years old and she’s at home watching. Mom, I just won an Oscar… My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp, and somehow I ended up here, on Hollywood’s biggest stage,” he told the Academy.

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Meanwhile, co-star Jamie Lee Curtis won Best Supporting Actress as tax inspector Deirdre Beaubeirdre: “To all of the people who have supported the genre movies that I’ve made for all these years that thousands and hundreds of thousands of people – we just won an Oscar together,” she said.

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Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert won Best Director. Kwan thanked his collaborator “who told me I was a storyteller before I could even say it myself.”

In January, Hong Kong’s Yeung congratulated actor Yeoh after she won a Golden Globe for her role in the movie, describing the Malaysian as a “Hong Kong actor.”

More to follow.

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Tom Grundy

Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.