Michelle Yeoh becomes first Asian star to win best actress Oscar
Malaysia's Michelle Yeoh won the Academy Award on Sunday for best lead actress for her role as a Chinese American laundromat owner dealing with family turmoil in "Everything Everywhere All at Once," becoming the first Asian star to win in that category.
Yeoh, 60, was widely regarded as the front-runner for the award after claiming a Screen Actors Guild honour and a Golden Globe award for the role. This was her first Oscar nomination.
"For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof that dream big and dreams do come true," Yeoh said while accepting her award. "And ladies, don't let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime."
In "Everything Everywhere," Yeoh's character, Evelyn Wang, is struggling to finish her taxes when she is swept into alternate universes. The science-fiction film was a critical and commercial success and is vying for the best picture Oscar.
Yeoh got her start in Hong Kong action movies in the 1990s and broke through in Hollywood when she was cast as the first ethnic Chinese Bond girl in 1997's "Tomorrow Never Dies" opposite Pierce Brosnan.
Since then, she has enjoyed success in a range of genres, solidifying her reputation as both a big-budget action star and formidable acting talent.
Her best-known films include Ang Lee's 2000 martial arts movie "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon," the 2005 period drama "Memoirs of a Geisha" and the 2018 romantic comedy "Crazy Rich Asians."
Brendan Fraser takes home best actor Oscar for "The Whale"
Brendan Fraser won his first Academy Award for his performance as a 600-pound (270-kg) gay man trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter in 2022's "The Whale."
Fraser was already touted as an Oscar contender when Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller premiered at last summer’s Venice Film Festival. The film was adapted from Samuel Hunter's 2012 play of the same name.
With tears in his eyes, an emotional Fraser accepted the award, acknowledging his long and strenuous road in the film industry and thanking those that have stuck by his side.
"I started in this business 30 years ago, and things, they didn't come easily to me," said Fraser. "It's been like I've been on a diving expedition on the bottom of the ocean and the air on the line to the surface is on a launch being watched over by some people in my life, like my sons Holden and Leland and Griffin. I love you, Griffy. My manager, JoAnne Colonna. Jennifer Plant. And my best first mate, Jeanie."
The role marked his return to the big screen as a leading man after a nine-year absence from major roles. Once the star of big releases like “George of the Jungle” and the action-packed “Mummy” trilogy, Fraser had largely retreated from the limelight, in part due to injuries sustained from doing stunts.
The 54-year-old actor took on a new set of physical challenges for "The Whale.” He wore a heavy bodysuit, prosthetics and makeup, which could take up to six hours to apply, to embody the story's obese hero, Charlie. The result left him barely able to walk in his character's cramped home.
The film drew criticism from some reviewers who said its depiction of Charlie relied on tropes of depressed, obese people. Some spoke out against its use of prosthetics rather than casting an obese actor.
The 95th Academy Awards took place at a ceremony in Los Angeles and were broadcast live on ABC television.
The following is the full list of 2023 Oscar winners:
"Everything Everywhere All at Once"
Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once"
Brendan Fraser, "The Whale"
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, "Everything Everywhere All at Once"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Ke Huy Quan, "Everything Everywhere All at Once"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jamie Lee Curtis, "Everything Everywhere All at Once"
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
"All Quiet on the Western Front," Germany
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
"Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio"
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
"Everything Everywhere All at Once," written by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
"Women Talking," screenplay by Sarah Polley
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
"All Quiet on the Western Front," Volker Bertelmann
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Naatu Naatu," from "RRR," music by M.M. Keeravaani; lyrics by Chandrabose
"All Quiet On The Western Front," James Friend
"Avatar: The Way of Water"
"Top Gun: Maverick"
"Everything Everywhere All at Once"
"All Quiet On The Western Front"
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Ruth Carter
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM
"The Elephant Whisperers"
SHORT FILM, LIVE ACTION
"An Irish Goodbye"
SHORT FILM, ANIMATED
"The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse"