“Everything Everywhere All At Once” offers a masterclass in filmmaking, earning seven Oscar awards including the prestigious “Best Picture” and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.” The latter award is notable, as recipient and film lead Michelle Yeoh is the first Asian woman to receive this honor.
Released in theaters on April 8, 2022, the duo of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinart wrote and directed this imaginative experience through multiple dimensions. The film features action, comedy, romance, family drama, and some elements that I am not sure can be properly described. Kwan and Scheinart present a bizarre, yet surprisingly comforting and heartfelt journey that will stick in audiences’ hearts and minds for a long, long time.
Evelyn Wong (Michelle Yeoh) lives a tiresome life, burdened by the stress of a failing marriage with husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), the tension between her and her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu), and having her struggling laundromat being audited by ruthless IRS auditor Deirdre Beaubeidre (Jamie Lee Curtis). In her attempts to solve her issues, Evelyn learns of a catastrophe happening across many universes, learning that she is the Evelyn to save the multiverse from an all-powerful threat. Thus, Evelyn must harness the knowledge from her alternate lives to defeat the destructive being.
One common issue throughout media centered around time travel and multiple dimensions is that said media becomes overly complicated for the sake of trying to make the world make sense. Fortunately, “Everything Everywhere” explains the film’s rules well, giving proper visuals of how the universes intertwine with one another. The multiverse structure is done excellently and there were never any moments where I was confused about what and why something was happening.
The film strikes a perfect balance between outlandish and consumable, likely being a major factor in the film’s critical and audience acclaim. For example, how characters “jump” between universes is silly, yet consistent with the multiverse’s logic. There are also neat moments where the film goes beyond just the actors and actresses, both making for memorable moments and fitting the theme of the multiverse.
The actors and actresses all do a superb job in their roles. Yeoh certainly earned her Oscar, perfectly switching between the film’s serious and comedic tones depending on what the scene needed. Quan and Curtis also received well-deserved recognition for their supporting roles, with Quan’s portrayal of the timid, yet compassionate Waymond being a personal favorite performance.
Thematically, the film is dense and open to various interpretations. Some may see the film as a critique of the world’s skewed expectations of world-life balances, while others may take the film as an allegory for imposter syndrome. It feels like a film that can be watched at different times in one’s life and be connected to many struggles and emotions in their life.
As mentioned before, variety fuels “Everything Everywhere,” yet each scene type lives up to the same standard of high quality as the other. As an example, the film features very intricate and entertaining fight scenes with choreography that fully takes advantage of the movie’s premise. The fights are just as gripping as scenes of characters sitting in a van and having a life-altering conversation, mainly due to the aforementioned strong performances.
The film is technically immaculate, whether it would be the superb cinematography or the unique editing style. The score also feels perfect for each scene, with the fight scenes’ tracks being notable.
Despite its initial release being nearly a year ago, there is no better time to view this masterpiece. “Everything Everywhere” feels like a generational movie, and is well deserving of its high recognition over the past year.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” gets a 10 out of 10.