"Everything Everywhere All at Once," the weirdest movie to win best picture in the 95-year history of the Academy Awards, took home seven trophies Sunday night.
The parallel-universe comedy, partially set in a laundromat whose owners assume multiple identities, won for best actress Michelle Yeoh. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert won three awards each, for writing, directing and producing it.
"Everything" also won for supporting actor Ke Huy Quan and supporting actress Jamie Lee Curtis. That ties it with "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Network," which also took home three of the four acting prizes, for the most performer wins in Oscar history.
The other big victor was the German "All Quiet on the Western Front," which took home not only the international feature award but also cinematography, musical score and production design. "The Whale" won two awards, for best actor Brendan Fraser and the makeup that transformed him into a 600-pound man. Meanwhile, several highly touted movies — including "The Fabelmans," "Tár" and "Elvis" — went home with no gold-plated hardware.
Most emotional speech
Jamie Lee Curtis sobbed through most of her supporting actress acceptance speech, in which she insisted, "I am hundreds of people" who helped her to victory, including late parents Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh (both nominees themselves), her "Everything" colleagues and the fans who enjoyed her "Halloween" movies. "We all won an Oscar!"
Moments of unspoken significance
It definitely seemed like some winners were known in advance — when, for instance Harrison Ford popped up to deliver the picture award to former co-star (in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom") Quan's "Everything." Or when Halle Berry, the last woman of color to win best actress, handed that trophy to Yeoh, who dedicated her prize to "all the boys and girls who look like me, watching tonight." Yeoh is the first Asian performer to win best actress.
Jimmy's best line
Host Jimmy Kimmel opened the evening with a rapid-fire series of jokes, barely pausing for laughs. It was a smart take, given that some are always going to land and some not. In the midst of several jabs directed at absent slapper Will Smith, his best might have been aimed at AMC Theatres pitchwoman Nicole Kidman. He spoofed the bizarre ads in which she extols the virtues of moviegoing while sitting in an empty theater: "Thank you for urging everyone who was already at a movie theater to go to the movie theater."
Not unexpectedly, several Kimmel jokes fell flat. The flattest might have been the bit about having the audience vote whether to include recently deceased Robert Blake in the "in memoriam" segment. For the record, Blake — who was acquitted in the shooting death of his wife in 2001 — was not included.
Comeback moment of the night
This year's acting awards skewed toward veterans, all of whom have had their ups and downs, including Quan, who said he thought about leaving the business. But the biggest comeback probably belonged to one of the last winners. Accepting his best actor award, Fraser acknowledged the vicissitudes of the business. He found early success but said, "I didn't appreciate it until it stopped."
Acting is reacting
The liveliest reaction shot of the night came from best actor contender Colin Farrell ("The Banshees of Inisherin") when Kimmel insisted that the presence of so many Irish nominees in the room made another midshow fight likely. Cut to Farrell, cuffing co-star (and fellow Irishman) Brendan Gleeson in the shoulder.
Truly, the best song
As usual, the performers of the nominated songs reminded us this is a night about movies, not music (have Rihanna or Lady Gaga ever sung more boring numbers?). But "Naatu Naatu" from "RRR," with an energetic cast of dancers, was a highlight of the evening and a deserving winner.
Yep, writers can write
As usual, writers delivered the best crafted speeches of the night. Kwan made "Everything" co-writer Scheinert cry with his acknowledgment, while Scheinert paid sweet tribute to his teachers who "educated me, inspired me and taught me to be less of a butthead." Sarah Polley, who won the adapted screenplay award for "Women Talking," quoted the last line of her film, which envisions a future where compromise is possible: "Your story will be different."
From the land of lakes
That was Minneapolis native and veteran actor James Hong onstage, arm-in-arm with Curtis, as they watched "Everything" take the best picture prize. He has spoken often of growing up downtown, above his family's store.
Burying the lede
Ruth E. Carter, who became the first Black woman to win the costume design award when she took it home for "Black Panther," won again for the sequel, closing her speech by saying, "This is for my mother [who died last week]. She was 101."
Biggest eye roll
That would be Hugh Grant, who's usually a banter pro but appeared to have been prepped for the wrong interview when he chatted with Ashley Graham during the preshow. She kept offering him opportunities to comment on the films and nominees and he kept "no opinion"ing them, finishing up with a stink eye when he thought the camera was off. Grant's opposite was a cool, calm Yeoh, who said her character in "Everything" was a tribute to moms, "our superheroes. They have the superpowers of love and kindness and compassion."
Third time's a charm
Kwan and Scheinert are just the third directing duo to win Oscars. The first? Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins for "West Side Story." And St. Louis Park's Joel and Ethan Coen did it with "No Country for Old Men."