The Oscar Project Reviews
A tour-de-force of visual stylings, The Daniels (Scheinert and Kwan) deliver the best multiversal story of the year in Everything Everywhere All at Once (affiliate link).
By now, you’ve likely heard someone raving about this film and it’s definitely one I think everyone should experience. It is just that, an experience, and you need to be open to thinking about film in new ways, something that doesn’t happen that often in film.
Everything Everywhere All at Once (affiliate link) is many things, and that’s what gives it broad appeal. It is an immigrant story, a family drama, a science fiction dimension travelling epic, and a kung fu action film all rolled into one. Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wang is the heart and soul of the film. She is not only the glue holding the film together, but similarly strives to hold together her family across time and space. Ke Huy Quan is similarly wonderful as Evelyn’s husband Waymond Wang. It was great to see him in a role completely different from his most famous roles as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (affiliate link) and Data in Goonies (affiliate link) even if Waymond retains some of the goofiness of those characters from Quan’s youth.
Stephanie Hsu looks to be a star on the rise and her portrayal of Joy, Evelyn and Waymond’s 20-something daughter is spot on. The other star of the film is Jamie Lee Curtis as the IRS inspector auditing the Wang’s finances. She feels deliberately out of place in the film and is so much fun to watch as she changes characters based on which universe we see her in.
We need to talk about the rock scene. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more deep and emotional heart to heart talk between a mother and a daughter than when they are simply rocks on the edge of a cliff. Everything leading up to that moment has made the audience invested in the characters, that we absolutely believe that these two random rocks are the characters we have seen over an hour and a half. I also love the fact that the Daniels included actual footage of Michelle Yeoh as an actor on red carpets and such for the universe where Evelyn is a movie star.
Not to spoil too much, but I understand the “happy” ending that the film provides. Personally, I almost wish it would have concluded on a more somber note, but understand the decision to end it the way it did. I hope that the buzz about this film continues strongly enough as we head into Oscar season and it gets the recognition it deserves in categories like Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Screenplay. I doubt that any of the acting will be recognized, but think it could be a long shot for a Best Director nomination and even perhaps Best Picture.
9 out of 10