Monday March 13, 2023
‘Everything Everywhere’ Wins Every Oscar Everywhere
Hollywood loves a comeback story. Here's four of them.
Several people asked us if we were hosting an Oscar party this year, and … Well, even if we were leaning in that direction, there was that Movie Night we hosted mid-January—six people arrived, five got COVID—and that leaned us in the other direction. And then Patricia got sick anyway. (She’s negative thus far; probably one of those “cold” things we keep hearing about.) So it was just the two of us and Jellybean. Plus a lot of texting.
It was fun, actually. I thought the show was great. Jimmy Kimmel did a great job, the Will Smith aftermath was dealt with handily and with humor, it was emotional and fun and you had big names singing: Lady Gaga, Rihanna, David Byrne. A lot of underdogs triumphed—particularly Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan—and the whole thing didn’t feel overlong. My sister’s childhood friend Bill “Billy” Kramer is the new CEO of the Academy, and I’m not saying it went smoothly because of Billy, but it totally went smoothly because of Billy.
The post-Oscar coverage has been a little spotty, though. I don’t think enough has been written about how huge this win was for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
This is what it won:
- Supporting Actress
- Supporting Actor
How many movies in the history of Hollywood have won Oscars for all of the above? None.
You could remove Editing, Screenplay and Director, and it would still be none. Only two other films have ever won three of the four acting awards—“A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Network,” and neither of those won picture or director. “Streetcar” and Elia Kazan lost out to “An American in Paris” and George Stevens (“A Place in the Sun”), while “Network” and Sidney Lumet lost out to “Rocky” and John G. Avildsen (“Rocky”). Those earlier films only won four Oscars total: plus art direction/set direction for “Streetcar” and plus original screenplay for “Network.”
So this is unprecedented for “Everything Everywhere.” It’s not a Big Five win—picture, director, actor, actress, screenplay—which has just gone to “It Happened One Night,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Silence of the Lambs," but it may be deeper.
And does Brooks Barnes mention any of this in The New York Times? Of course not. He leads with the shift to “New Hollywood” in the late 1960s and how maybe we’re in the “New New Hollywood” era, which … I don’t get why exactly. What is that based on? Then he adds one of the oddest asides in the history of the paper of record:
The Daniels, the young filmmaking duo behind the racially diverse “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” won Oscars for their original screenplay and directing. (The Daniels is an oh-so-cool sobriquet for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. They are both 35.)
As an editor, I would’ve struck “an oh-so-cool” and replaced it with “the.” Either say what you really mean in an Op-Ed or give us the news, Brooks. Stop hiding behind parentheses.
Sadly, there’s also been controversy about some of the names/faces that weren’t mentioned in the In Memoriam section, but I have to say—again—I thought that segment was handled well. John Travolta gave an emotional intro—for Olivia Newton-John, but one imagines he was also thinking of his wife Kelly Preston, who died in 2020—and the song Lenny Kravitz sang, “Calling All Angels” (his, not Jane Siberry’s), was quiet and powerful. Yes, some names were left off. And yes, I would’ve included Paul Sorvino, Tom Sizemore and Anne Heche. I would’ve given fewer seconds to Kravitz and more to the dead. But maybe that says something about my age. The telecast included a QR code/link for a more extensive list, and I checked it out, and holy shit, the names. And the faces. So many faces I instantly recognized that were not mentioned in the broadcast. Here. None of these people were mentioned:
- Taurean Blacque, the coolest dude with the coolest name from “Hill Street Blues”
- Robert Clary, who survived Nazi death camps to participate in a comedy about Nazi concentration camps
- Charlbi Dean, the shockingly beautiful model/actress from the Oscar-nominated “Triangle of Sadness”
- Melinda Dillon, the most put-upon comedic wife/mother in one of the best Christmas movies ever
- Bert Fields, one of the biggest entertainment lawyers ever
- Clarence Gilyard, Jr., who played the annoying computer-nerd terrorist in “Die Hard” (“Oh my God, the quarterback is TOAST!”)
- Gilbert Gottfried
- Clu Gulager
- Philip Fucking Baker Hall
- Estelle Harris, George’s mom
- Mike Hodges
- Bo Hopkins
- L.Q. Jones
- Burt Metcalfe, “M*A*S*H”
- Robert Morse
- James Olson, the put-up father in “Ragtime”
- Henry Silva
- Tony “Paulie Walnuts” Sirico
- Stella Stevens
- Larry Storch
- Joe Turkel, the bartender in “The Shining”
- Fred Fucking Ward
- David Fucking Warner
- Cindy Fucking Williams
I mean, these are the people they left off who meant something to me. And I don’t even work in the industry.
So I think we should all take a deep breath. In the end, the sadness is not how many people were left off but how many people have left us.
- “An Oscars Ceremony That Wasn’t Terrible” by David Chen
- “Oscar Ceremony in Review: 10 Moments to Cheer or Jeer At” by Nathaniel Rogers