For viewers who tuned into the 95th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 12, 2023, it may have felt like the filmmakers behind Everything Everywhere All at Once should have just remained on stage to cut down on their commute. The film, which was nominated for 11 Oscars, won seven, including Best Picture, Best Director(s), Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Editing.
While impressive, the total number of wins didn’t quite match the big three: Ben-Hur (1959), Titanic (1997), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) each won 11 Oscars (including Best Picture) their respective years. And of those three, only Peter Jackson’s film went undefeated, scoring a win in every category it was nominated in.
But EEAAO managed to score a number of other laudable achievements. Per Newsweek, the film marks the first time a pure science-fiction film has earned a Best Picture trophy, though that depends somewhat on how you define sci-fi. The Lord of the Rings franchise is more readily classified as fantasy; one could also argue the merits of 2017’s Best Picture winner The Shape of Water as sci-fi or fantasy. In any case, the Academy often seems reticent to acknowledge genre pictures, making EEAAO part of some exclusive company.
Another first: Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian performer to win a Best Actress trophy. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, known collectively as the Daniels, also became the first non-sibling directors to win a directing trophy. (The Coens did it in 2007 for No Country for Old Men.)
And while it wasn’t a first, the film’s three acting trophies (for Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Ke Huy Quan) mark just the third time a film has scored three wins in the four major acting categories. The other two: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and Network (1976).