Winning everything, everywhere, all at once: A24’s new film becomes most awarded movie in history

Photo by: Brenden Cowan

After this year’s award season, A24’s Everything Everywhere All At Once (EEAAO) became the most awarded movie in history.

This year at the Academy Awards, EEAAO was nominated 11 times in 10 different categories. It won seven of these: best leading actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best editing, best original screenplay, best directing and — the crown jewel of the Oscars — best picture. 

This, when added to a pre-Oscars tally from IGN, places it at 165 accolades from major critics organizations and awards bodies. This handily surpasses the previous record-holder, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, which holds 101 awards.

EEAAO has been widely discussed not only for the number of accolades it has received, but also for what they mean. Michelle Yeoh, who played Evelyn Wang in the movie, is the first Asian actor to win the Academy Award for best leading actress, as well as the second person of colour. 

She is also the first Asian-identifying actor to be nominated for this award; while 1935 nominee Merle Oberon had Asian heritage, she hid it due to a concern that it would impact her career.

During her acceptance speech, she also highlighted the fact that she is much older than the women who typically get recognized for their work in Hollywood.

“This is proof that [you can] dream big, and that dreams do come true,” she said. “And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you that you are past your prime.”

Alongside Yeoh’s win, many also focused on the best supporting actor award won by Ke Huy Quan. Quan, who previously was most recognized for his role as Shortstop in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, had given up acting for two decades due to the difficulty in finding new roles. The praise he has received for his depiction of Waymond Wang in EEAAO has revitalized his prospects in Hollywood.

“I’m still processing it. I didn’t have much sleep last night — I think it was only an hour,” he said in an interview with Variety. “When I woke up, I took a minute or two wondering whether this was a dream. But I’ve been doing that a lot lately, because so many things have happened this past year and it feels surreal.”

Like Yeoh, Quan is also the first Asian actor to win an award in his nominated category: the Screen Actors Guild Award for best supporting actor. At the Oscars, Quan is the second Asian actor to win best supporting actor, following Haing S. Ngor’s win in 1985. 

EEAAO has left its impact on audiences and on cinema as a whole, as seen by its accolades, and the story it tells is equally as compelling as the stories around it. EEAAO is a promising sign for representation in the industry, combating stigma around both marginalized actors and older actresses. 

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