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The 2023 Oscar nominations are here

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

The Oscar nominations are out, and the big movie of the morning is the weird and quirky "Everything Everywhere All At Once," which received 11 nominations. NPR culture desk reporter Andrew Limbong is here to update us on the Oscars. Hi, Andrew.

ANDREW LIMBONG, BYLINE: Hey, Leila.

FADEL: OK, so tell us about "Everything Everywhere All At Once," which seems to have dominated the Oscars this year.

LIMBONG: Yeah, it seems to definitely be a favorite.

FADEL: Yeah.

LIMBONG: At the nominations this morning, it seemed to get the biggest cheers, you know, every time it was mentioned. Like you said, it's a weird and wild movie on its face. It's about a mom who has a hard time connecting with her gay daughter. But it's also a sci-fi, martial arts movie that involves, like, multiple dimensions, a number of alternate realities, and a decent number of butt jokes. Here's a clip of the mom, played by Michelle Yeoh, and the daughter, played by Stephanie Hsu, bickering while making some food.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE")

MICHELLE YEOH: (As Evelyn Wang) You know, he doesn't have to stay here.

STEPHANIE HSU: (As Joy Wang) Who's he?

YEOH: (As Evelyn Wang) Becky.

HSU: (As Joy Wang) Becky's a she.

YEOH: (As Evelyn Wang) You know me. I always mix up he and she. In Chinese, just one word - ta (ph). So easy. And the way you two are dressed, I'm sure I'm not the only one calling him he - I mean, her him.

LIMBONG: And it's nominated in some big categories - right? - like best picture, director. And it's even got two nominees in the best supporting actress category for Stephanie Hsu, who, like I said, plays the daughter, and Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays an IRS auditor.

FADEL: Oh. I have to watch this movie.

LIMBONG: Yeah, it's really good.

FADEL: So what movies are - is it up against in the best picture category?

LIMBONG: The other big movie is the new adaptation of "All Quiet On The Western Front," directed by Edward Berger. That got nine nominations. It's also Germany's bid for best foreign picture. Some of the other movies in the best picture running include big blockbusters like "Avatar: The Way Of Water" and "Top Gun: Maverick." And then, we've got "Tar," "Triangle Of Sadness," "The Banshees Of Inisherin," "Elvis" and "Women Talking," which is about a group of Mennonite women trying to decide what to do after they discover they'd been drugged and attacked by men in the community. Here's a clip.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "WOMEN TALKING")

CLAIRE FOY: (As Salome) We know that we are bruised and infected and pregnant and terrified and insane, and some of us are dead. We know that we must protect our children regardless of who is guilty.

LIMBONG: Now, that movie was directed by Sarah Polley, but she isn't up for best director.

FADEL: And it looks like women were boxed out of the best director race altogether this year, right?

LIMBONG: Yeah. I mean, it happened at the Golden Globes earlier, and it looks like it's happened again at the Oscars. The guys up for best director are Martin McDonagh for "Banshees Of Inisherin," Steven Spielberg for "The Fabelmans," Todd Field for "Tar," Ruben Ostlund for "Triangle Of Sadness." And then, there's the Daniels, Kwan and Scheinert, for "Everything Everywhere."

FADEL: Anything stick out in the acting categories?

LIMBONG: All right. So not to keep going back to this movie, but...

FADEL: But we will.

LIMBONG: ...Michelle Yeoh getting nominated for "Everything Everywhere" for best actress was a - it's a big deal for a longtime movie star getting some attention from the academy.

FADEL: Yeah.

LIMBONG: On the male actors' side, Brendan Fraser was nominated for his role in "The Whale." It's about an obese writer connecting with his daughter, and he's gotten a lot of attention for it, you know, even as the movie has proven to be kind of divisive, you know, after it's come out for its depiction of fat people. But I mean, that aside, everybody's only had good things to say about Fraser's performance.

FADEL: NPR culture desk reporter Andrew Limbong. Thanks, Andrew.

LIMBONG: Thanks, Leila. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Leila Fadel is a national correspondent for NPR based in Los Angeles, covering issues of culture, diversity, and race.
Andrew Limbong is a reporter for NPR's Arts Desk, where he does pieces on anything remotely related to arts or culture, from streamers looking for mental health on Twitch to Britney Spears' fight over her conservatorship. He's also covered the near collapse of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic. He's the host of NPR's Book of the Day podcast and a frequent host on Life Kit.