HONG KONG — Movie fans, famous moms and world leaders from across Asia celebrated Monday after some history-making moments at the 2023 Academy Awards.
As Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian to win Best Actress and India got its first Oscar for not just one but two films, the successes sparked social media rejoicings, punches at viewing parties and impromptu dancing in the streets.
The Malaysian actor, 60, won for her role as an immigrant mother and laundromat owner in the psychedelic comedy drama “Everything Everywhere at Once,” which also won best picture.
In his acceptance speech, Yeoh said, “To all the little boys and girls who look like me tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibility.” “It’s proof that dreams dream big and dreams come true.”
Yeoh’s family and friends were watching on the other side of the world in Kuala Lumpur, where billboards in recent days called him the “Pride of Malaysia”.
Her mother, Janet Yeoh, 84, said she had no doubt that her daughter would win.
“She is a very hardworking girl,” he told a news conference after a special viewing party, which was also attended by cabinet ministers. Janet Yeoh said, “I love my daughter very much and she has made Malaysia proud.”
one in statementMalaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said his government joined the nation in congratulating Yeoh, who is best known for such films as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” Has also appeared in films.
“With this latest achievement, Michelle’s illustrious and exemplary career in this field will surely continue to be a source of great inspiration and motivation for our domestic actors and actresses and will further accelerate the development of our local industry,” he added. Said. “Way to go, Michelle!”
Yeoh mentioned this in his speech at the viewing party, dedicating his Oscar to his mother and “all the mothers in the world, because they really are superheroes.”
“I love you guys, I’m bringing this home to you,” she said.
Yeoh also thanked her “extended family” in Hong Kong, the Asian filmmaking center where she first rose to prominence as a martial arts star in the 1980s and ’90s. Hong Kong’s Secretary for Culture, Kevin Yeung, called Yeoh’s award “well-deserved”.
A hashtag about Yeoh’s victory was trending on the popular Chinese social media platform Weibo on Monday, with 520 million views and 250,000 posts.
One user wrote, “It makes me so proud that Asian faces can be recognized on the world stage.”
Yeoh’s Oscar was one of seven “Everything Everything” nods collected on Sunday, which also included a best supporting actor nod for his co-star Hui Kwan. Quan, who fled Vietnam to Hong Kong with several family members as a child in the late 1970s before resettling in the United States, referred to that experience in his acceptance speech.
“My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp. And somehow I ended up here on the biggest stage in Hollywood.
Sunday night was also a big night for India with blockbuster film “RRR” and documentary short “The Elephant Whispers” becoming the country’s first two films to win Oscars.
The Telugu-language, dance-craze-inspiring hit “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR” won Best Original Song and received a standing ovation during its performance at the award ceremony. Back home TV showed pictures of people dancing to the song in the streets minutes after the award was announced.
The victory of composer MM Keeravani and lyricist Chandrabose was congratulated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said that India was “elated and proud”.
Keeravani told reporters after winning, “I think this is the beginning of everything so that the world – especially the Western world – focuses more on Indian music and Asian music.”
Modi congratulated Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga, producers of ‘The Elephant Whispers’, for winning the best documentary short. The Netflix film is about a couple taking care of an orphaned baby elephant in South India.
“I stand here today to speak up for the sacred bond between us and our natural world, respect for indigenous communities, and empathy for the other living beings with whom we share our space,” Gonsalves said before thanking her colleagues. do and eventually co-exist.” , his family and “my motherland, India.”
Mumbai-based director Madhur Bhandarkar told Reuters on Monday that it was “a proud moment for all of us.”
He said, “I think this is a great moment for the film fraternity as well, for the Indian film fraternity.” “I think that’s absolutely great news this morning.”
Stanley Lay, carina cheng, Mithil Agarwal, Brigitte Pu, sing larissa, reuters And associated Press Contribution,