The Oscars await the 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' wave
< /p> UPDATE DAY
Will the promised surge take place? The Oscars open on Sunday with an unorthodox ultra-favorite: “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” a wacky comedy that intertwines a bagel-shaped black hole and sex toys used as nunchakus.  ;
The Academy hopes that the audience of the big nights will be there to witness the announced triumph of this wacky film, nominated in 11 categories and which was a great success in theaters, with 100 million dollars at the box -office.
What may finally make people forget the famous slap in the face of Will Smith, which hit the headlines last year.
Combining action, schoolboy humor and science fiction, “Everything Everywhere” tells the adventures of an overworked laundromat owner, played by Michelle Yeoh, suddenly summoned to save a multitude of parallel universes from an evil force: the alter ego of her depressed daughter.
To achieve this, she must use the powers of her various alternative lives, visiting often completely crazy worlds, where some humans have, for example, fingers in the shape of hot dogs.< /p>
A moving reflection on family love, the film is carried by a brilliant cast, mostly Asian. It swept most of the awards before the Oscars.
“Behind the film, there is a group of very endearing people, for whom it is impossible not to feel sympathy”, summarizes Scott Feinberg, specialist columnist for the Hollywood Reporter.
But this domination, prophesied for weeks, could come up against the voting system for the Best Picture Oscar, which tends to penalize polarizing works.
One of the Oscar voters thus confided to AFP that certain members of the Academy, in particular among the oldest, have reservations about the success of the film.
“It was a very audacious and unique, but not a traditional film, (…) it could end up higher in the rankings for a lot of people,” he explains on condition of anonymity.
This could benefit the German adaptation of the pacifist novel “In the West, nothing new”, or Tom Cruise's blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick”, a popular card which has allowed the public to finally reconnect with dark rooms. after the pandemic.
The competition between actors is much tighter.
“I don't remember a year (…) where three of the four categories actors were really double or quits,” observes Mr. Feinberg.
The Oscar for best actress is played between Cate Blanchett, ruthless conductor in “Tar”, and Michelle Yeoh, the heroine of “Everything Everywhere”, who could become the first winner of Asian origin to win this prize.
For best actor, Austin Butler (“Elvis”), Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”) and Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) are neck and neck .
Just like Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”) and Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) for the statuette of the Best Supporting Actress.
Only Ke Huy Quan, former child star of “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” forgotten by Hollywood for more than 20 years, seems almost certain to win an Oscar, by dint of accumulating the rewards for his second role of husband touching in “Everything Everywhere”.
The shadow of the famous slap in the face last year by Will Smith to comedian Chris Rock, after a joke about his wife's alopecia, also hovers over this ceremony.
The episode should generate some inevitable banter, but Oscars executive producer Molly McNearney clearly wants closure. “We are going to talk about the event (…) and move on,” she said this week.
Last year, the Academy was criticized for leaving M Smith receiving his best actor award on stage after his assault. He has since been banned from ceremonies for 10 years and this year, a “crisis team” must work behind the scenes to prepare for any eventuality.
The ceremony counts on the presence of the sequels of “Top Gun” and “Avatar”, two major blockbusters, to try to counter the general decline in its audience.
Because despite a rebound last year, interest in the Oscars has crumbled considerably since the golden age of the 90s. In 1998, 57 million viewers – an absolute record – witnessed the triumph of “Titanic”, rewarded with 11 statuettes.
“This world has disappeared”, observes Mr. Feinberg. “But if viewership doesn't grow from last year, the Academy will have a big problem.”