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Ek Ticket, Ek Black Coffee: One early morning for the best cinema of the year, is full paisa vasool! 95th Academy Awards

Everything Everywhere All At Once is a story that makes even the most cynical hearts melt

Ek Ticket, Ek Black Coffee: One early morning for the best cinema of the year, is full paisa vasool! 95th Academy Awards
A still from Everything Everywhere All At Once

Last Updated: 10.20 AM, Nov 10, 2023


I guess it takes people afflicted with the movie madness to understand why I am driven to get into a Desigual sunflower dress even though it’s dark outside and I have flip flops on to get myself some morning joe… Coffee is going to be salty and watered down because winners like Ke Huay Kwan share their life stories.

An immigrant who lived in a refugee camp, a mother who wanted her child to have a better life, an actor whose wife must have supported him through his struggles… It’s a story that makes even the most cynical hearts melt.


Ke Huay Kwan in Everything Everywhere All At Once was good, but who can forget the mad uncle from The Fabelmans? Judd Hirsch at 88 is the oldest nominee. I will never forget a line from Uncle Boris that seems to have come straight out of my life: Family, art. It will tear you into two…

But before you know it, three hours are gone. You are still stuck on Deepika Padukone’s dimples. The wonderful tribute to cinema by Rolex, and you are watching Son Lux’s other insane videos while you are on the train for your day job.

I loved the cocaine bear miming the nominees for best character designs… Avatar: The Way of Water winning was tough because a whole bunch of Oscar’s have gone to the war film All Quiet On The Western Front

It is an awesome Oscar evening with a snack box under each seat. A bottle of water, hot tamales and pretzel with a note from host Jimmy Kimmel that said, ‘Eat this. You’re hungry!’ 

‘It takes two to tango.’

‘I don’t want to tango.’

This from The Banshees of Inisherin but when the best screenplay writer duo from Everything Everywhere All At Once confessed about how much they owe to their teachers and families that supported them, taught them, my heart was so overwhelmed I missed why Sarah Polley won for Women Talking won… 

The Oscars this year have an interesting thing: you can hear sound designers and people from another category of your preference talk about their work when you click the QR code that shows up on the screen before each Oscar. I have decided I am going to listen in, watch this process during the days of the week. No matter how cynical my friends are: No matter who you share your screenplay with, Manisha, they will be polite, make you sign declarations about how they are working on other similar stories and it is not cheating if they lift your idea at all… No matter what anyone says, you have to celebrate stories that get made, and then keep plugging away at the stories you have to share.

Tom Cruise and James Cameron are missing from the stars sitting in the audience tonight. But the Will Smith jokes aren’t. I wish they’d get over the slapgate from last year. Even fashion is coughing up shows like What’s Next in Fashion…

‘All my life, I’ve been waiting for someone to love…’

Lenny Kravitz and John Travlta made me weep for the loss I have suffered this past year… Usually, the In Memoriam list seems to have more unknown names, but this year the list of familiar faces shattered me.

Google tells me that until the ceremony this morning, 3,140 Oscars have been awarded. I think it is time to share a secret: get on to the Academy mailing list. It’s free and we get to know about their special exhibitions and get to know how Bruce the world famous shark from Jaws was lifted up and placed in the wonderful Academy Museum in Los Angeles. So mark that for your next trip to the city where celluloid dreams come true.

Among the winners is a sleeper hit. While I was rooting for Shaunak Sen’s documentary All that Breathes...all of a sudden I heard the announcement: The Elephant Whisperers win! The documentary of tribals who take care of abandoned elephants and rehabilitate them like they were children is on Netflix. Even though elephants scare me, and I don't like the idea of people riding them (the pictures of elephants getting deformed because of these rides are horrendous), this documentary is beautiful. Get to Mudumalai Elephant sanctuary and see for yourself

This should have been a listicle of winners, but I think The Fabelmans should have won every award. A movie about dreaming, making movies should be winning every film award, no?

Everything Everywhere All At Once is well deserving of all awards it won, because it takes the relationship between a mother and daughter and pushes it to the brink and beyond. So does the animation film Turning Red, but I am thrilled to hear Paul Rogers mum yelling from the nosebleed seats, ‘I’m here!’

Family means everything everywhere you are… And I am distracted by the rosettes on Halle Berry’s white Tamara Ralph gown…So beautiful… And I am dazzled by the performances in the movies I have seen and have not seen. To see Brendan Fraser talk about whale sized hearts of people involved with the film, and Michelle Yeoh talking about possibilities for little boys and girls, and ‘Ladies, don’t let anyone tell you, you’re way past your prime’… I loved how she said ‘moms are the superheroes in this world…’ 

Everything Everywhere All At Once is a wonderful film and all its weirdness won it the best film of the year. It pipped Maverick, All Quiet On The Western Front and even my favourite The Fabelmans. I am glad the movies that we watched won the Oscars, are all playing on screens in Bombay. Except some I suppose, and I hope they will see a release on streaming platforms soon. These are magical movies, and yes, they have great animal actors like Jenny from Banshees of Inisherin show up on stage and upstage all two legged actors. How cute is the donkey!

Don’t listen to the cribbers on social media who wish this film was left out and that was ignored, just celebrate cinema…And yes, join the Bollywood dance class in your neighbourhood and learn the steps to the Oscar winning original song Naatu Naatu!

About the author:

Manisha Lakhe writes on films and TV shows, is a poet, teacher, traveller and mom (and not necessarily in that order). Could sell her soul for Pinot and a good cheesecake.

(Disclaimer: Views expressed in the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of OTTplay. The writer is solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.)

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