The story's combination of action, humor, and philosophical struggles made it stand out.
Surreal sci-fi film "Everything Everywhere All at Once" dominated the Oscars, winning seven golden statuettes including best picture, Hollywood's most coveted prize.
The unorthodox but beloved movie also won best director, best actress, best original screenplay, best editing, and both the best supporting actor and actress prizes on Sunday.
Michelle Yeoh, who is Malaysian, becomes the first ever Asian woman to win best actress, for her portrayal of an exhausted Chinese laundromat owner embroiled in battle with an inter-dimensional supervillain - who happens to be her daughter.
"Thank you to the Academy, this is history in the making!" she said.
"Ladies, don't let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime," added the 60-year-old, whose career began decades ago with martial arts films in Hong Kong.
Brendan Fraser won best actor for playing a morbidly obese teacher in "The Whale," capping a remarkable career comeback.
Fraser was a major action star in the late 1990s with films like "The Mummy," before largely disappearing from the public view.
He thanked director Darren Aronofsky for "throwing me a creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship 'The Whale.'"
"All Quiet on the Western Front," Netflix's German-language World War I, finished the night in second place with four awards.
It won best international feature and best cinematography early in Sunday's ceremony.
In the night's other prizes, Women Talking, a story about the abused women of an isolated religious colony, won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio won the golden statuette for Best Animated Feature Film.
Navalny, which revolves around Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the events related to his poisoning, took home the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature Film.
Avatar: The Way of Water picked up the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and Top Gun: Maverick won the award for Best Sound.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever won the golden statuette for best Costume Design and The Whale took home a second Oscar, winning the prize for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
Naatu Naatu by M.M. Keeravaani and Chandrabose won the Oscar for Best Song from the Indian drama film RRR.
Michelle Yeoh makes history as the first Asian woman to win the Best Actress Oscar. #Oscars95 https://t.co/35YGivGFhF— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 13, 2023