LOS ANGELES: Surreal science fiction movie Everything Everywhere All At Once topped the Oscar nominations on Tuesday with 11, as Hollywood formally kicked off the race to the all-important Academy Awards.

It was followed by German anti-war movie, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Irish black comedy The Banshees of Inisherin, which each received nine nominations from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

As expected, Academy voters also rewarded blockbusters such as Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water for helping to bring audiences back to movie theatres after the pandemic.

Both were nominated for best picture, Tinseltown’s most coveted prize, although another crowd-pleaser, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, missed out.

The remaining best picture slots went to rock-and-roll biopic Elvis, Steven Spielberg’s quasi-memoir The Fabelmans, Cate Blanchett’s latest tour-de-force Tar, Cannes festival winner Triangle of Sadness and literary adaptation Women Talking.

Absurdist indie film Everything Everywhere All At Once portrays a Chinese-American immigrant family undergoing a tax audit, who are quickly drawn into an inter-dimensional battle to save the multiverse from a powerful villain.

It became a huge word of mouth hit and has grossed over $100 million worldwide.

The film earned four acting nominations for its cast, including best supporting actor for Ke Huy Quan, who appeared as a child in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom almost four decades ago, and best lead actress for Michelle Yeoh.

Yeoh becomes just the second Asian woman ever nominated for lead actress in 95 years of Oscars history, and will compete with double Oscar-winner Blanchett for the prize.

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2023

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