Oscar nominations 2023: A thumbs up for personal stories

5 days ago 16

SINGAPORE – It was an Oscar nominations list that broke barriers, but it was one that held snubs too.

One Asian actress was recognised after a career spanning four decades, while another was left out in the cold.

Malaysian star Michelle Yeoh, 60, is the first Asian to receive a Best Actress nomination for playing laundry owner Evelyn Wang in the comedy Everything Everywhere All At Once.

At the same time, on Tuesday morning in Los Angeles (Tuesday night in Singapore), Filipino actress Dolly de Leon, 54, was left out of the Best Supporting Actress list, to much online anguish – her performance in the black comedy Triangle Of Sadness was the best part of the film, pundits said.

Yeoh’s film romped home with 11 nominations, the most of any film this year. Everything Everywhere is shaping up to be the one to beat, though it will get strong competition from Irish drama The Banshees Of Inisherin, which came in second with nine nods, tied with the German-language war epic All Quiet On The Western Front. All three are in the Best Picture category.

What can be gleaned from Tuesday’s results is that the voters in the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences love a feel-good story. They saw the wave of support coming for Yeoh and her co-stars, Asian-American actors Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu, and rewarded both in the Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress categories respectively.

Quan’s journey is poignant. The 51-year-old of Vietnamese descent got his break as a child actor in a big-budget hit, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984). As what happens to child actors, doors closed in his face as he got older. In a tearful Golden Globes acceptance speech earlier in January after winning ...

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