The multiverse-skipping sci-fi indie hit Everything Everywhere All At Once led nominations to the 95th Academy Awards as Hollywood heaped honours on big-screen spectacles like Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way Of Water a year after a streaming service won best picture for the first time.
Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan’s Everything Everywhere All At Once landed a leading 11 nominations on Tuesday (Jan 24), including nods for Michelle Yeoh and comeback kid Ke Huy Quan, the former child star of Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom.
Released back in March, the A24 film has proved an unlikely Oscar heavyweight against the expectations of even its makers.
Yeoh became the first Asian actor nominated for Best Actress.
The 10 movies up for Best Picture are: Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Banshees Of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way Of Water, Elvis, All Quiet on the Western Front, Women Talking and Triangle Of Sadness.
Nominations were announced Tuesday from the academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, by Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams.
If last year’s Oscars were dominated by streaming – Apple TV+’s CODA won Best Picture and Netflix landed a leading 27 nominations – movies that drew moviegoers to multiplexes after two years of pandemic make up many of this year’s top contenders.
For the first time, two sequels – Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way Of Water – were nominated for Best Picture.
The two films together account for some US$3.5bil in box office.
Tom Cruise missed out on an acting nomination, but the film credited with bringing many moviegoers back to theatres walked away with seven nominations.
Ryan Coogler's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, made in the wake of Chadwick Boseman's death, scored five nominations, including the first acting nod for a performance in a Marvel movie: Angela Bassett, the likely favourite to win Best Supporting Actress.
Baz Luhrmanns' bedazzled biopic Elvis came away with eight nominations, including a Best Actor nod for star Austin Butler and nominations for its costumes, sound and production design.
Though Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans struggled to catch on with audiences, the director’s autobiographical coming-of-age tale landed Spielberg his 20th Oscar nomination and eighth nod for best-director.
John Williams, his longtime composer, extended his record for the most Oscar nominations for a living person.
Williams' 53rd nominations trails only Walt Disney’s 59.
Only one streaming title broke into the best-picture field: The German WWI film All Quiet on the Western Front.
Though Netflix for the first time in years lacks a possible Best Picture frontrunner, All Quiet on the Western Front landed a better-than-expected nine nominations.
The other nominees for Best Actress are: Ana de Armas, Blonde; Cate Blanchett, Tár; Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie; Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans;
The nominees for Best Actor: Brendan Fraser, The Whale; Colin Farrell, The Banshees Of Inisherin; Austin Butler, Elvis; Bill Nighy, Living; Paul Mescal, Aftersun
The nominees for Best Supporting Actress are: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever; Hong Chau, The Whale; Kerry Condon, The Banshees Of Inisherin; Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All At Once; Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All At Once.
The nominees for Best Supporting Actor are: Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway; Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans; Brendan Gleeson, Banshees Of Inisherin; Barry Keoghan, Banshees Of Inisherin; Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All At Once.
The nominees for International Film are: All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany); Argentina, 1985 (Argentina); Close (Belgium); EO (Poland); The Quiet Girl (Ireland).
The nominees for Original Screenplay are: Everything Everywhere All at Once; The Banshees Of Inisherin; The Fabelmans; Tár, Triangle Of Sadness.
The nominees for Best Original Score are: Volker Bertelmann, All Quiet on the Western Front; Justin Hurwitz, Babylon; Carter Burwell, The Banshees Of Inisherin; Son Lux, Everything Everywhere All At Once; John Williams, The Fabelmans.
The nominees for best animated film are: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio; Marcel the Shell With Shoes On; Puss in Boots: The Last Wish; The Sea Beast; Turning Red.
Last year's broadcast drew 15.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen, up 56% from the record-low audience of 10.5 million for the pandemic-marred 2021 telecast.
This year, ABC is bringing back Jimmy Kimmel to host the March 12 ceremony, one that will surely be seen as a return to the site of the slap.
But larger concerns are swirling around the movie business.
Last year saw flashes of triumphant resurrection for theatres, like the success of Top Gun: Maverick, after two years of pandemic.
But partially due to a less steady stream of major releases, ticket sales for the year recovered only about 70% of pre-pandemic business.
Regal Cinemas, the nation's second-largest chain, announced the closure of 39 cinemas this month.
At the same time, storm clouds swept into the streaming world after years of once-seemingly boundless growth.
Stocks plunged as Wall Street looked to streaming services to earn profits, not just add subscribers.
A retrenchment has followed, as the industry again enters an uncertain chapter. – AP