January 28, 2023

Asian actors and filmmakers dominate Oscar nominations

Asian American-led projects have been the standouts at this year’s award shows, and the Academy Awards nominations, which were announced Tuesday, were no different.

A24’s “Everything Everywhere All At Once” dominated the list with 11 nominations, the most for any film. 

Golden Globe-winning stars Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan were also nominated for best actress and best supporting actor, respectively. Stephanie Hsu, who played Yeoh’s daughter, Joy, and Jamie Lee Curtis, who played Deirdre, an IRS inspector, were also nominated for best supporting actress.

Michelle Yeoh in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”Allyson Riggs / A24

These are Yeoh’s, Quan’s, Hsu’s and Curtis’ first Academy Award nominations.

The film was also nominated for best picture, best costume design, best original screenplay, best original score, best film editing and best original song.

Directing duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert also landed the nomination for best directing.

The sci-fi comedy, which follows a struggling laundromat owner (Yeoh) as she travels through multiple dimensions to save the multiverse with the help of her husband, Waymond (Quan), has won two Golden Globes and five Critics Choice Awards this year.

“As time went by — I turned 60 last year — and I think all of you women understand this as the days, years, numbers get bigger, the opportunities get smaller, as well,” Yeoh said during her emotional acceptance speech at the Golden Globes this month. “Then along came the best gift: ‘Everything, Everywhere All At Once.’”

Hong Chau, who plays Liz in A24’s “The Whale” with Brendan Fraser, was also nominated for best supporting actress.

“Naatu Naatu,” the hit song from the Telugu-language film “RRR,” scored a nomination for best original song, alongside “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” 

The four-and-a-half-minute song was also the surprise winner at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice awards this month, beating out Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. “RRR” also won the best foreign language film accolade at the Critics Choice Awards.

“Turning Red,” the coming-of-age story of eighth grader Chinese Canadian Meilin Lee — who unexpectedly turns into a red panda and must learn how to navigate puberty and be a dutiful daughter — landed the nomination for best animated feature.

In an interview with NBC News last year, director Domee Shi said she hoped immigrant children, especially Asian children, could relate to the changes Meilin went through and how she learned to understand those changes.

“They have to figure out what world they belong to, how to honor their parents and their family’s expectations, but how to carve out this independent identity for themselves in this new world that their family is not from,” Shi said. 

“All That Breathes,” the HBO documentary directed by Shaunak Sen, was nominated for best documentary short. The film follows two brothers who own a bird hospital in New Delhi dedicated to rescuing injured black kites. 

The British drama “Living,” written by Japanese British author Kazuo Ishiguro, was nominated for best adapted screenplay, which was adapted from the 1952 Japanese film “Ikiru.”

The award ceremony will be held March 12 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and air live on ABC.

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