'Everything Everywhere' tops Oscar nominations with 11

From left, Michelle Yeoh, James Hong, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hau are shown in a scene from Hsu in Everything Everywhere All at Once. The movie has been nominated for 11 Academy Awards. (imbd photo)

From left, Michelle Yeoh, James Hong, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hau are shown in a scene from Hsu in Everything Everywhere All at Once. The movie has been nominated for 11 Academy Awards. (imbd photo)

NEW YORK – The multiverse-skipping sci-fi indie hit “Everything Everywhere All at Once” led nominations to the 95th Academy Awards as Hollywood heaped honors 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, 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 proven an unlikely Oscar heavyweight against the expectations of even its makers. Yeoh became the first Asian actor nominated for best actress.

"Even just to be nominated means validation, love, from your peers," said an “overwhelmed” Yeoh speaking by phone from London. “What it means for the rest of the Asians around the world, not just in America but globally, is to say we have a seat at the table. We finally have a seat at the table. We are being recognized and being seen."

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 $3.5 billion in box office. Tom Cruise missed out on an acting nomination, but “Top Gun: Maverick” – often credited with bringing many moviegoers back to theaters – walked away with seven nominations, including best sound, best visual effects and best song for Lada Gaga's “Hold My Hand.” Ryan Coogler's “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” made in the wake of Chadwick Boseman's death, also scored five nominations, including the first acting nod for a performance in a Marvel movie: Angela Bassett, the likely favorite to win best supporting actress.

Going by earlier guild nominations, Martin McDonagh's Ireland-set dark comedy “The Banshees of Inisherin" may be the stiffest competition for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” at the Oscars. The Searchlight Pictures film landed nine nominations Tuesday, including nods for McDonagh's directing and screenplay, and a quartet of acting nominations: Colin Farrell for best actor, Kerry Condon for best supporting actress and both Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan for best supporting actor.

Baz Luhrmann's bedazzled biopic “Elvis” – another summer box-office hit, with $287.3 million worldwide – 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. “The Fabelmans” marks Spielberg's 12th best-picture nomination as a producer.

In the ultra-competitive best actress race, “Fabelmans” star Michelle Williams was nominated after being passed over by the Screen Actors Guild. The other nominees for best actress are: Ana de Armas, “Blonde”; Cate Blanchett, “Tár” and Andrea Riseborough, who emerged as a late contender after a host of celebrities rallied around her performance as an alcoholic West Texas mother in the little-seen “To Leslie.” Notably left out of the category were Viola Davis ("Woman King") and Danielle Deadwyler ("Till").

Last year’s Oscar broadcast drew 16.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen, up 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.

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