Michelle Yeoh creates history by winning the Oscar for best actress on 12th March 2023. She won for her portrayal of a wife, mother, and laundromat owner who is constantly struggling with her life.
In A24’s popular film “Everything, Everywhere All at Once,” her life changes dramatically when she is transported into different parallel universes. With this win, she becomes the first Asian actor in the Academy Awards’ 95-year history to receive the prestigious award for best actress.
How Did Michelle Yeoh Award Create A Moment Of History?
Michelle Yeoh, a celebrated actress known for her dynamic performances in action-packed films” won her first Oscar for Best Actress on Sunday. Yeoh received the award for her role in A24’s “Everything, Everywhere All at Once” as a struggling wife, mother, and laundromat owner who finds herself in multiple parallel universes.
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She was up against four other talented actresses, including Andrea Riseborough for “To Leslie,” Cate Blanchett for “Tar,” Michelle Williams for “The Fabelmans,” and Ana de Armas for “Blonde.”
Blanchett, who won the BAFTA for Best Actress, was considered a top contender but faced tough competition after Yeoh made history by becoming the first Asian actress to win the Screen Actors Guild’s Best Actress award.
Why Is Yeoh’s Victory So Special?
Yeoh’s Best Actress Oscar win is especially noteworthy when considering the Academy Awards’ past treatment of Asian actors. As a Malaysian-born actress, Yeoh is only the second Asian woman to receive a nomination in her category.
However, she is the first to do so while openly identifying as Asian, as previous nominee Merle Oberon concealed her South Asian background throughout her career. Additionally, Luise Rainer, a white actress, won the same category for her role as a Chinese slave in “The Good Earth” in 1937.
Yeoh’s Other Awards And Allocades
Yeoh’s triumph at the Oscars marks the end of an impressive awards season for her. Throughout the season, Yeoh has been widely praised for her portrayal of the stressed-out mother and laundromat owner, Evelyn Wang, who is thrust into the task of saving the multiverse from doom.
This month, Yeoh was also honored with the best lead performance award at the Independent Spirit Awards, which combined their acting categories into a gender-neutral one for the first time. Additionally, in January, she won the Golden Globe for best actress in a motion picture comedy or musical, among other accolades.
Yeoh’s Note Worthy Performances
Although Yeoh is now being recognized as a rising star in Hollywood for her role in “Everything Everywhere, All At Once” she is actually an industry veteran with an extensive career that spans decades, countries, and languages.
Yeoh first became well-known in Hong Kong cinema during the late 1980s and 1990s, establishing herself as a respected martial arts action icon. She was known for breaking the “damsel in distress” stereotype in action movies by portraying strong, crime-fighting heroines, and she became a trailblazer for feminist representation in the entertainment industry.
Yeoh has said in interviews that she works hard to make clear choices about the roles she takes on and seeks out movies that portray women in a positive and empowering way. She actively avoids roles that do not align with her beliefs about how women should be depicted on screen.
Yeoh’s introduction to Hollywood was in 1997 with her role in the James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies”. After that, she appeared in numerous box office hits, such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in 2000 and “Crazy Rich Asians” in 2018. However, it was her first time starring in a lead role in “Everything Everywhere All At Once”.
Yeoh acknowledged the years of dedicated activism by the Asian community that has paved the way for Asian actors to obtain prominent roles in the film industry, unlike before when they were mostly confined to being background or side characters.
Yeoh Pave The Way For Other Asian Artists
Throughout the season, Yeoh has been vocal about the challenges that she and other Asian performers have encountered in Hollywood. In January, when the Oscar nominations were announced, Yeoh expressed mixed feelings in an interview with The Times.
While she was ecstatic about her nomination, she also felt a sense of sadness, recognizing that there were many talented actresses of Asian descent who came before her and paved the way for her success. Yeoh hoped that her win would break down the barriers that have prevented Asian performers from getting equal opportunities in Hollywood.
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