Everything Everywhere All at Once, a film about the Asian-American experience with a prominent queer character played by an out actor, swept the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday night. The film, which was nominated for 11 Oscars, scored seven wins, including Best Picture and two historic wins for Michelle Yeoh and Key Huy Quan for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. (Notably, the film was also a huge fave here at LGBTQ Nation!)
Alongside Yeoh and Quan, directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert won for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, and Jamie Lee Curtis won for Best Supporting Actress (beating out co-star Stephanie Hsu who was also nominated in that category).
In Kwan and Scheinert’s acceptance speech for Best Director, Scheinert thanked his parents. “Thank you for not squashing my creativity when I was making really disturbing horror films, or really perverted comedy films,” he said, “or dressing in drag as a kid, which is a threat to nobody.”
Scheinert’s comment was a clear shot at anti-LGBTQ+ laws like the one recently enacted in Tennessee that aim to restrict or ban drag performances.
Following her win for Best Supporting Actress, Curtis was asked how she felt to be nominated alongside the other women nominated this year. “Surreal and proud,” she said. “And, obviously, I would like to see a lot more women be nominated so that there’s gender parity in all the areas and all the branches. And I think we’re getting there. We’re not anywhere near there.”
Curtis went on to address the idea of non-gendered acting categories at the Oscars.
“Of course, inclusivity then involves the bigger question which is, how do you include everyone when there are binary choices? Which is very difficult,” she said. “As the mother of a trans daughter, I completely understand that. And yet to de-gender the [categories] also, I’m concerned will diminish the opportunities for more women, which is something I also have been working hard to try to promote. So, it’s a complicated question. But I think the most important thing is inclusivity and more women.”
Elsewhere in the show, Brendan Fraser won Best Actor for his lead role in the controversial film The Whale. While Fraser’s performance has been praised by critics, the film has been widely criticized for its portrayal of his character, an obese gay man dealing with grief and depression, as well as the decision to have Fraser wear prosthetics and a fat suit rather than hiring an actual fat actor for the role.
As The Advocate notes, Fraser is also the sixth straight man to win an Oscar for portraying a gay character. While Ariana DeBose, Angelina Jolie, and Linda Hunt were all out when they won for Best Supporting Actress, to date no actor who was out at the time has won an Academy Award.
Check out the full list of 2023 Oscar winners below.
Best Picture: Everything Everywhere All at Once
Best Director: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Best Actress: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Best Actor: Brendan Fraser, The Whale
Best Supporting Actress: Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Best Supporting Actor: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Original Screenplay: Everything Everywhere All at Once (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert)
Adapted Screenplay: Women Talking (Sarah Polley)
Editing: Everything Everywhere All at Once (Paul Rogers)
Original Song: “Naatu Naatu,” by M.M. Keeravaani and Chandrabose (RRR)
Original Score: All Quiet on the Western Front (Volker Bertelmann)
Animated Short: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Costume Design: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Ruth E. Carter)
Makeup and Hairstyling: The Whale (Adrien Morot, Judy Chin and Annemarie Bradley)
Cinematography: All Quiet on the Western Front (James Friend)
Live-Action Short: An Irish Goodbye
Visual Effects: Avatar: The Way of Water (Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon and Daniel Barrett)
International Feature: All Quiet on the Western Front
Sound: Top Gun: Maverick (Mark Weingarten, James Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor)
Production Design: All Quiet on the Western Front (Christian M. Goldbeck and Ernestine Hipper)
Documentary Feature: Navalny
Documentary Short: The Elephant Whisperers
Animated Feature: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio