‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ goes for sweep



Can “Everything Everywhere All at Once” actually win everything on Oscar night?

The acclaimed sci-fi comedy starring Michelle Yeoh heads into the 95th Academy Awards as a clear favorite to win best picture but also has a good chance to nab other top awards, including best actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, directing and original screenplay. Or maybe Tom Cruise has an ace up his sleeve and “Top Gun: Maverick” will take night’s top prize. (Weirder things have happened.)

Stay tuned for all the winners and highlights from the main Oscar ceremony (airing live on ABC and streaming on ABC.com and the ABC app, 8 p.m. EDT/5 PDT), hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

Sixteen of the 20 acting contenders at Sunday’s Oscars are first-time , including “Everything Everywhere” favorites Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis, as well as best actor candidates Brendan Fraser, Colin Farrell and Austin Butler. The four returnees: Two-time winner Cate Blanchett (“Tár”), Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”) and Judd Hirsch (“The Fabelmans”), who last received an Oscar nod for 1980’s “Ordinary People.”

But the list of thespians who’ve never won an Academy Award is a pretty star-studded affair overall, including Scarlett Johansson, Antonio Banderas, Glenn Close, Willem Dafoe, Amy Adams, Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr.

“Everything Everywhere” star Ke Huy Quan has dominated the competition and rolled through awards season. But his quest for a supporting actor victory has also been a Cinderella story for the actor, who was a child star in the 1980s with roles in “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and then stepped away from Hollywood because of a lack of meaty roles for Asian actors.

“I’m grateful the landscape has changed, there’s a lot more progress now,” Quan said backstage after winning at the Golden Globes. He’s also made sure to have a bunch of fun heading to Oscar night, posting tons of selfies with peers on his Instagram account.

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As far as Oscar predictions go, most of the acting categories are fairly straightforward with a favorite moving out in front. Not so much with supporting actress, which can go a few different ways. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star Angela Bassett – the first actor to be nominated for a Marvel movie – had the early momentum with wins out of the Golden Globes and Critics Choice, but Jamie Lee Curtis of “Everything Everywhere” took an important Screen Actors Guild honor while “The Banshees of Inisherin” actress Kerry Condon picked up the supporting trophy at the British Academy Film Awards.

Given SAG and the “Everything” goodwill, Curtis probably has the best chance over Bassett, though it’s possible the two beloved Hollywood types cancel each other out and Condon sneaks by for a victory.

A bevy of original song contenders are slated for prime-time performances. Rihanna will sing “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Sofia Carson and songwriter Diane Warren are slated to perform “Applause” from “Tell It Like A Woman,” Talking Heads frontman David Byrne teams with “Everything Everywhere All at Once” supporting actress nominee Stephanie Hsu and music trio Son Lux for “This Is A Life,” and Indian singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava will perform the “RRR” song-and-dance number – and the frontrunner in the category – “Naatu Naatu.”

And while Oscar producers previously said she wouldn’t perform, Lady Gaga is now slated to sing “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick,” according to reports from ABC News, Variety and Deadline. USA TODAY has reached out to her representative for confirmation. (Fun fact: She’s shooting “Joker: Folie à Deux” with Joaquin Phoenix, who won best actor for the first “Joker” movie.)

Glenn Close was expected to be among the dozens of A-list stars on tap to hand out trophies and appear on the telecast Sunday but has tested positive for COVID-19. A representative for the actress told The Associated Press she is isolating and resting.

Ariana DeBose, Troy Kotsur, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman and Jessica Chastain are among the previous Oscar winners scheduled to be presenters. Also on the list is a raft of other high-profile names like Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Melissa McCarthy, Janelle Monáe, Zoe Saldaña and Harrison Ford.

Just don’t expect an appearance from Will Smith. Smith, who won best actor last year for “King Richard” and would traditionally present the award for best actress this year, was banned from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences events for 10 years after he slapped Oscar presenter Chris Rock for making a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

All the big stars will be hitting the “champagne carpet” and wearing their Sunday best. E!’s “Live From the Red Carpet” kicks off at 5 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. PDT while ABC starts its pre-show coverage at 6:30 EDT/3:30 PDT. (And check out entertainment.usatoday.com for fashion galleries and analysis.)



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