Can “Everything Everywhere All at Once” actually win everything on Oscar night?
The acclaimed sci-fi comedy starring Michelle Yeoh heads into the 95th Academy Awards as a clear favorite to win best picture but the film also has a good chance to nab other top awards, including best actress, directing and original screenplay after Jamie Lee Curtis wins best supporting actress and Ke Huy Quan gets supporting actor. Or maybe Tom Cruise has an ace up his sleeve and “Top Gun: Maverick” will take night’s top prize. (Weirder things have happened.)
Here are all the winners and highlights from the main Oscar ceremony (airing live on ABC), hosted by Jimmy Kimmel:
‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ gets the gold for visual effects
Elizabeth Banks and the Cocaine Bear come out to present the award for visual effects. The Oscar goes to “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which makes sense because the Na’vi main characters are all digital. Afterward, Jimmy Kimmel is ready with an A-plus dad joke: “The afterparty is at CGI Friday’s.”
‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ wins two more technical honors
The Netflix war movie is starting to gain some momentum, as “All Quiet on the Western Front” runs over the likes of “Babylon,” “The Fabelmans” and other Oscar favorites for best production design and score.
Lady Gaga sings a raw, rousing version of ‘Top Gun’ song ‘Hold My Hand’
“It’s deeply personal for me and we all need a lot of love to walk through this life. And we all need a hero sometimes. You might find that you can be your own hero, even if you feel broken inside,” Lady Gaga says before performing her nominated song “Hold My Hand” (from “Top Gun: Maverick”) with stripped-down piano, guitar, bass and drums.
‘Elephant Whisperers’ and ‘The Boy, the Mole’ conquer shorts categories
“The Elephant Whisperers,” about an Indian couple that cares for an orphaned baby elephant, wins for best documentary short. And animated short goes to “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,” based on Charlie Mackesy’s book.
‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ wins best international film
This isn’t a surprise: After ruling the BAFTAs (and with Indian action epic “RRR” not in its category), “All Quiet on the Western Front” takes the international film Oscar, its second honor of the night. “This means so much to us,” says director Edward Berger. He also thanks star Felix Kammerer: “Without you, none of us would be here.”
‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ nabs costume design honor
“Nice to see you again,” Ruth Carter says, winning costume design for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” – the same honor she took home for 2018’s original “Panther.” The first Black woman to win two Oscars, Carter dedicates the award to her mom, who recently died at age 101, and thanks director Ryan Coogler and producer Nate Moore: “We are reshaping how culture is represented.” if that wasn’t exciting enough, the original song performance of “RRR” tune “Naatu Naatu” deliver a ton of rousing dance moves that get the Oscar crowd going.
Brendan Fraser’s ‘The Whale’ wins for best makeup and hairstyling
Digital and physical prosthetics were used to transform Brendan Fraser into the 600-pound main character of “The Whale,” and it pays off with an Oscar for makeup. Fraser is one of the first to get on his feet and excitedly cheer the win.
Best cinematography Oscar goes to ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’
Netflix’s acclaimed German war drama earns its first technical honor of the night. “My fellow nominees, your work is just outstanding and inspiring,” says James Friend, who wins best cinematography for “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Donnie Yen arrives on stage afterward to introduce the next original song nominee: “Everything Everywhere” star Stephanie Hsu, Son Lux and David Byrne doing a weird, ethereal performance of “This Is a Life.”
‘Navalny’ is named best documentary
Director Daniel Roher’s film about Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny wins the Oscar for best documentary. “We must not be afraid to oppose dictators,” says Roher while Navalny’s wife Yulia addresses her husband, currently being held in solitary confinement in Russia: “I’m dreaming of the day you will be free and our country will be free.” And the award for live-action short goes to “The Irish Goodbye.”
Jamie Lee Curtis wins her first Oscar, for supporting actress in ‘Everything’
“Woo hoo,” Jamie Lee Curtis exclaims, hugging Ariana DeBose and taking her supporting actress trophy for “Everything Everywhere.” “I know it looks like I’m standing up here by myself but I am hundreds of people,” Curtis says, shouting out her directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “my bae” Michelle Yeoh, all her horror folks and her late Hollywood parents, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. “We all just won an Oscar together.” She leaves the stage and then Sofia Carson and Diane Warren arrive with a choir to perform their original song nominee, “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman.”
Ke Huy Quan takes best supporting actor for ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’
After hugging co-star Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan goes to the stage to take his supporting actor trophy for “Everything Everywhere” and immediately starts crying. “My mom is 84 years old and she’s at home watching. Mom, I just won an Oscar!” he says through tears. He tells how his journey started on a boat, involved spending a year in a refugee camp and “somehow ended up on the Oscar stage. This is the American dream.” He concludes by saying that “dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine. Everyone out there, keep your dreams alive.”
Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pinocchio’ wins best animated feature
Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson arrive on stage to give out the first award of the night: best animated feature. And the winner is … director Guillermo del Toro’s Netflix stop-motion feature “Pinocchio”! “Animation is cinema, animation is not a genre. Animation is ready to be taken to the next step. Please help us keep animation in the conversation,” del Toro says, tearing up when thanking his parents. According to Netflix, del Toro becomes the first person to win best picture, best director and best animated feature Oscars.
Jimmy Kimmel gets the ‘Top Gun’ treatment to begin the show
Jimmy Kimmel starts the show by being “ejected” out of a fighter jet by Tom Cruise and parachutes onto the Dolby Theatre stage. “Give me a second to adjust my Danger Zone here. My Banshees are caught in my Inisherin,” he jokes. Kimmel shouts out audiences returning to the theater to see movies and is also glad to see Nicole Kidman out of that “abandoned AMC, where she has been held captive for two whole years now.”
The host points out first-time nominees Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan as well as Brendan Fraser: “Two guys from ‘Encino Man’ are nominated for Oscar.” Kimmel calls Steven Spielberg and Seth Rogen “the Joe and Hunter Biden of Hollywood” and can’t believe Spielberg was sober doing “E.T.” “You were high as a bike when you made that movie,” Kimmel cracks. He also gives props to John Williams being a nominee at 91 – “He’s still scoring – if you know what I mean” – and mentions the absence of Cruise and James Cameron: “Two guys who insisted we go to the theater didn’t come to the theater.”
For Angela Bassett, the Oscars are all about ‘the spirit of never giving up’
Supporting actress contender Angela Bassett, the first actor from a Marvel superhero movie to garner a nod, told USA TODAY that her husband Courtney B. Vance has been an essential support system this Oscar season, accompanying her to awards shows and filming her acceptance speeches on his smartphone. “He was supportive before the whirlwind,” says the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star. “He always trusted and believed that a nomination like this might one day happen for me.”
In addition to being the subject of Ariana DeBose’s viral rap, Bassett has loved going through the awards process with her fellow thespians: “When I think of my girl Michelle Yeoh and it being her first nomination, it really is about the spirit of never giving up.”
A Brendan Fraser win would complete an epic Oscar comeback story
The best actor race seems to be down to Austin Butler, Colin Farrell and Brendan Fraser, though a win by the latter would finish one of this year’s most noteworthy comebacks. After becoming a major Hollywood star in the 1990s, Fraser has been honest about his career hardships, including being sexually assaulted, and won accolades for his role in “The Whale.”
In an emotional Screen Actor Guild speech, Fraser shouted out to other actors who’ve weathered struggles: “I know how you feel. But believe me, if you just stay in there and you put one foot in front of the other, you’ll get to where you need to go.”
The new Oscar best picture winner will join Hollywood’s most hallowed hall
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is in the pole position to win best picture over “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “The Fabelmans” and “Elvis,” among others.
The victor will join a long list filled with some of the greatest movies ever (and a few that don’t quite fit that bill). We watched all 94 so far and ranked them, from the first winner – the 1927 silent war drama “Wings,” which holds up well! – to the feel-good 2022 Oscar champ “CODA.”
Get a video tour of the ultra-exclusive green room at the Oscars
USA TODAY’s Ralphie Aversa has been in LA all week for events leading up to the Academy Awards, and one of them was getting a look at the ultra-exclusive, swanky green room backstage at the Oscars. He was able to do a fun video tour for our readers but come Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre, no cameras will be allowed in – only performers, presenters and winners will be able to enjoy the comfy furniture, floral arrangements and food by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.
Michelle Yeoh, Colin Farrell could be first-time Academy Award winners
Sixteen of the 20 acting contenders at Sunday’s Oscars are first-time , including “Everything Everywhere” favorites Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis, as well as best actor candidates Brendan Fraser, Colin Farrell and Austin Butler. The four returnees: Two-time winner Cate Blanchett (“Tár”), Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”) and Judd Hirsch (“The Fabelmans”), who last received an Oscar nod for 1980’s “Ordinary People.”
But the list of thespians who’ve never won an Academy Award is a pretty star-studded affair overall, including Scarlett Johansson, Antonio Banderas, Glenn Close, Willem Dafoe, Amy Adams, Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr.
Supporting actor is Ke Huy Quan’s to lose
“Everything Everywhere” star Ke Huy Quan has dominated the competition and rolled through awards season. But his quest for a supporting actor victory has also been a Cinderella story for the actor, who was a child star in the 1980s with roles in “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and then stepped away from Hollywood because of a lack of meaty roles for Asian actors.
“I’m grateful the landscape has changed, there’s a lot more progress now,” Quan said backstage after winning at the Golden Globes. He’s also made sure to have a bunch of fun heading to Oscar night, posting tons of selfies with peers on his Instagram account.
Best supporting actress is a toss-up
As far as Oscar predictions go, most of the acting categories are fairly straightforward with a favorite moving out in front. Not so much with supporting actress, which can go a few different ways. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star Angela Bassett – the first actor to be nominated for a Marvel movie – had the early momentum with wins out of the Golden Globes and Critics Choice, but Jamie Lee Curtis of “Everything Everywhere” took an important Screen Actors Guild honor while “The Banshees of Inisherin” actress Kerry Condon picked up the supporting trophy at the British Academy Film Awards.
Given SAG and the “Everything” goodwill, Curtis probably has the best chance over Bassett, though it’s possible the two beloved Hollywood types cancel each other out and Condon sneaks by for a victory.
Good news: Lady Gaga will be performing ‘Hold My Hand’ after all!
A bevy of original song contenders are slated for prime-time performances. Rihanna will sing “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Sofia Carson and songwriter Diane Warren are slated to perform “Applause” from “Tell It Like A Woman,” Talking Heads frontman David Byrne teams with “Everything Everywhere All at Once” supporting actress nominee Stephanie Hsu and music trio Son Lux for “This Is A Life,” and Indian singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava will perform the “RRR” song-and-dance number – and the frontrunner in the category – “Naatu Naatu.”
And while Oscar producers previously said she wouldn’t perform, Lady Gaga is now slated to sing “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick,” a person familiar with the production but not authorized to speak publicly told USA TODAY. (Fun fact: Gaga is shooting “Joker: Folie à Deux” with Joaquin Phoenix, who won best actor for the first “Joker” movie.)
Glenn Close tests positive for COVID-19, won’t be among Oscar presenters
Glenn Close was expected to be among the dozens of A-list stars on tap to hand out trophies and appear on the telecast Sunday but has tested positive for COVID-19. A representative for the actress told The Associated Press she is isolating and resting.
Ariana DeBose, Troy Kotsur, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman and Jessica Chastain are among the previous Oscar winners scheduled to be presenters. Also on the list is a raft of other high-profile names like Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Melissa McCarthy, Janelle Monáe, Zoe Saldaña and Harrison Ford.
Just don’t expect an appearance from Will Smith. Smith, who won best actor last year for “King Richard” and would traditionally present the award for best actress this year, was banned from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences events for 10 years after he slapped Oscar presenter Chris Rock for making a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Red carpet coverage is coming for the fashionistas
All the big stars will be hitting the “champagne carpet” and wearing their Sunday best. E!’s “Live From the Red Carpet” kicks off at 5 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. PDT while ABC starts its pre-show coverage at 6:30 EDT/3:30 PDT. (And check out entertainment.usatoday.com for fashion galleries and analysis.)
Read more about the Academy Awards:
Contributing: Bryan Alexander, Patrick