Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan accept the Oscar for Best Picture. (Image: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)
Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis left the building empty-handed at this year’s Oscars, unable to convert any of its eight nominations.
An upset in the Best Actress category also meant there was no joy for Australia’s other great hope, with Everything Everywhere All At Once‘s Michelle Yeoh bucking the trend of the award season so far to deny Cate Blanchett her third Oscar for Tár and becoming the first Asian woman to win the prize.
It was one of seven gongs for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s multiverse adventure, which also won both of the supporting actor categories, as well as Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Picture.
The next most-awarded film of the evening was Edward Berger’s German-language anti-war film All Quiet on the Western Front with four gongs. They included Best Cinematography, as James Friend denied Elvis lenser Mandy Walker what would have been a history-making moment as the first woman to accept the award, and in a surprise upset, Best Production Design for Christian M. Goldbeckand set decorator Ernestine Hipper, who came in ahead of Elvis trio Catherine Martin, Karen Murphy, and set decorator Bev Dunn.
Martin was also unable to add to her tally of four Oscars in the Best Costume Design category, which went to Ruth Carter for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Of the other awards Luhrmann’s film was up for, Best Makeup and Hairstyling went to The Whale‘s Adrien Morot, Judy Chin, and Annemarie Bradley ahead of Mark Coulier, Jason Baird, and Aldo Signorettite, while Top Gun: Maverick’s Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon, and Mark Taylor beat out David Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson and Michael Keller for Best Sound.
Austin Butler was a front-runner for Best Actor, having already won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for his role as the legendary crooner. However, it was Brendan Fraser that triumphed for his performance as reclusive and unhealthy English teacher, Charlie, in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale.
Despite not being represented on the winners’ list, Luhrmann did give fans of the Queensland-shot biopic some good news prior to the ceremony, telling Variety that a stage version of the production was in the works.
Aside from Elvis, Australia also had a dark horse in the field for Best Animated Short Film, with Lachlan Pendragon’s An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It – made while he was undertaking doctorate studies at Griffith Film School – one of five films nominated. But it was ultimately unsuccessful, the award going to Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.
While there was no shortage of lighter moments from host Jimmy Kimmel, who was quick to make jokes surrounding last year’s slap incident, the In Memoriam segment was one of the more poignant in recent memory, as an emotional John Travolta introduced a performance by Lenny Kravitz that would honour his Grease co-star Olivia Newton-John, among others.