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Oscars 2023: Michelle Yeoh Becomes First Malaysian To Land Best Actress Nomination

The trippy sci-fi dramedy Everything Everywhere All at Once received the most nominations at the 95th Annual Academy Awards.

Michelle Yeoh is not only celebrating Chinese New Year; she’s also celebrating her Best Actress Oscar nomination. It’s also the first time a Malaysian is competing in this category.

Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams announced the 95th Academy Awards nominations in all 23 categories on Tuesday (Jan 24) morning from the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills.

The Ipoh-born Yeoh’s nod for Everything Everywhere All at Once is one of 11 the indie sci-fi comedy received, making it the most-nominated movie this year. It’s also nominated for Best Director (or Directors, in this case) for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Best Supporting Actress (Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu) and Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan).

Responding to her historic nomination on Instagram, Yeoh wrote, "I am overwhelmed and overjoyed with happiness! Every single person who worked on this film poured their heart and soul into it, and we are all so grateful to the Academy for recognizing so many from our EEAAO family.

"Playing Evelyn Wang has been one of the great privileges of my 40-year career. It is truly the role of a lifetime. Thank you to Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for seeing me and for this opportunity, I will forever cherish this moment."

Yeoh’s nomination also sparked debate over whether she is the first Asian to be vying for Best Actress. Malaysian, yes, but Asian? It’s complicated.

Turns out Merle Oberon earned that title for 1935’s The Dark Angel — but only posthumously. Oberon’s South Asian and Maori heritage wasn’t revealed until after her death in 1979. According to The Washington Post, Oberon was born in what is now Mumbai in 1911 and was the daughter of a mother of mixed South Asian (reportedly Sri Lankan) origin and a White British father. She hid her birthplace and biracial ancestry and passed for white. 

Trailing behind Everything Everywhere All at Once, the German WWI picture All Quiet on the Western Front and the period black comedy The Banshees of Inisherin, with nine nominations each.

Mediacorp will livestream the 95th Annual Academy Awards on meWATCH and Channel 5 on March 13 at 6.30am, (Red Carpet) and 8am (main show).

Here are the nominations in the major categories:

Best Picture

All Quiet On The Western Front

Avatar: The Way Of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans


Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

Women Talking

Best Director

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere all at Once

Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Todd Field, Tar

Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Austin Butler, Elvis

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Bill Nighy, Living

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett, Tar

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie

Michelle Williams, The Fablemans

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway

Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

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

Best Animated Feature Film

Guillermo Del Toro's Pinnochio

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish

The Sea Beast

Turning Red

Best International Feature Film

All Quiet on the Western Front, Germany

Argentina, 1985, Argentina

Close, Belgium

EO, Poland

The Quiet Girl, Ireland

For the complete list of nominations, click here.

Photos: TPG News/Click Photos

Related topics

Hollywood 95th Academy Awards Oscars Michelle Yeoh Everything Everywhere All At Once

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