“Everything Everywhere All at Once” won the coveted best picture trophy at the Academy Awards on Sunday as Hollywood embraced an off-kilter story about a Chinese-American family working out their problems across multiple dimensions. The movie claimed seven awards overall, including three of the four acting Oscars for stars Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Indians erupted in celebration on Monday after “Naatu Naatu,” the breakout hit from the action movie “RRR,” won the Academy Award for best original song, making history as the first movie from the country to win the honour.
Naatu Naatu beat a slate of big competitors – Lady Gaga’s Hold My Hand from Top Gun: Maverick, Rihanna’s Lift Me Up from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, This Is A Life from Everything Everywhere All At Once, and Applause from Tell It Like A Woman.
The song – a fast-paced number that has found fans all over the world, spawned a TikTok challenge and has millions of views on YouTube – won a standing ovation when it was performed at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday night.
In the film, made in the South Indian language – Telugu, and directed by S.S. Rajamouli, “Naatu Naatu” begins when the two leads, played by Ram Charan and N.T. Rama Rao Jr., flaunt their dance skills after being bullied as the only Indian people invited to a British party in colonial times.
Indians had won Oscars previously, but no Indian film had won an Academy Award before Sunday night in Los Angeles.
Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, who was a presenter this year, graced the Oscars 2023 stage to announce the performance of RRR’s ‘Naatu Naatu’ and even gave a special mention briefing the audience about the song amidst loud cheers
“The Elephant Whisperers,” won best documentary short film, giving India two Oscar-winning films in one night. This short documentary movie explores the tentative yet precious bond between Raghu, an orphaned baby elephant, and his caretakers – a mahout couple named Bomman and Bellie – who devote their lives to protect him from poachers and raise him.
One of India’s biggest stars Shah Rukh Khan tweeted: “Big hug to @guneetm & @EarthSpectrum for Elephant Whisperers. And @mmkeeravaani #ChandraBose ji @ssrajamouli @AlwaysRamCharan @tarak9999 thank u for showing us all, the way to do it. Both Oscars truly inspirational!!”
Hrithik Roshan, another Bollywood star said, “Such a historic, proud & happy moment for Indian Cinema at #Oscars95 ! Many congratulations to the team of Best Documentary Short Film #TheElephantWhisperers & Team RRR for Best Original Song #NaatuNaatu !! More power to you all”.
“The Whale” star Brendan Fraser, known for 1990s roles such as “The Mummy” and “Encino Man,” won best actor for playing a severely obese man trying to reconnect with his daughter.
The 54-year-old actor took on a new set of physical challenges for “The Whale.” He wore a heavy bodysuit, prosthetics and makeup, which could take up to six hours to apply, to embody the story’s obese hero, Charlie. The result left him barely able to walk in his character’s cramped home.
“Navalny,” about the poisoning that nearly killed Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, and his detention since his 2021 return to Moscow, won the Oscar for best feature documentary.
Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” was named best animated feature.
At the start of the show, two US military aircraft flew over the Oscars theatre, and host Jimmy Kimmel landed on the stage by parachute, in a tribute to best picture nominee “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Comedian Kimmel joked in his opening monologue about the audience reaction to Smith’s attack last year.
“If anything unpredictable or violent happens at the ceremony, just do what you did last year – nothing,” he told the crowd of A-list celebrities. “Maybe give the assailant a hug.”
The 95th Academy Awards ceremony was broadcast live on Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) ABC network. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hoped to move past the slap and stage a glitzy show and boost sagging TV ratings.
Ahead of the awards, nominees dressed in designer gowns and tuxedos touted their movies on a champagne carpet in place of the traditional red.
Winners are voted on by the roughly 10,000 actors, producers, directors and film craftspeople who make up the film academy.