Despite a middle bit where it looked like All Quiet on the Western Front might upset the night, Everything Everywhere All At Once started strong and ended strong at the Oscars, winning seven Oscars out of their eleven nominations.
Of course, the feel good story of the year, pretty much, is Ke Huy Quan’s epic comeback, going from child star in the 1980s, to forced retirement in the 1990s, and now he’s an Oscar-winning actor in the 2020s. As expected, he gave a moving, emotional acceptance speech, acknowledging his mother, his past as a refugee, his wife, Echo, and his lifelong friend, Jeff Cohen, who played Chunk in The Goonies and is now a big-deal entertainment lawyer (who represents Quan, among others).
And, at the end of the night, Harrison Ford, Quan’s co-star in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, handed off Best Picture to Everything Everywhere All At Once, capping off the epic run of the little film that could, from SXSW to the Oscar stage one year later.
I feel like someone peeked at the results before booking Ford, to ensure the handoff went more smoothly than, say, presenting Best Actor last, thinking it would be a final acknowledgment for the late Chadwick Boseman, and then Anthony Hopkins won instead. You can’t stunt live unless you know it’s going to work! And this time it worked and was endearing as hell to boot.
That’s producer Jonathan Wang giving the acceptance speech, and the second shoutout of the night to immigrant parents. The team from EEAAO gave good speeches all night, in fact—more on Jamie Lee Curtis later—and the directing duo the Daniels were charmingly dorky and excited to win both Best Original Screenplay and Best Director. Daniel Kwan thanked his own immigrant parents while also assuring his son doesn’t have to live up to Kwan winning an Oscar. Also, Kwan’s embroidered jacket is Evelyn’s “punk” sweater from the movie!
Meanwhile, Best Supporting Actress nominee Stephanie Hsu did double duty, being both a nominee and a performer. She sang the nominated original song “This is a Life” with David Byrne. It was inscrutable and alienating, but if we’re not doing bonkers interpretative dance numbers at the Oscars at least once during the evening, why bother even having live song performances? In all, it was a good night for EEAAO, but it was a PERFECT night for Ke Huy Quan. I guarantee no one had more fun on Oscar night than him.