Cheshire, UK – Everything Everywhere All at Once, which triumped at the Oscars, deserved its seven Academy Awards, including the top prize, Best Motion Picture of the Year.
Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinbert – who won Best Director – the story is told through the perspective of Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) who lives in the United States with her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) and her father, Gong Gong (James Hong).
Evelyn and Waymond are navigating their way through their failing laundromat business and own marital difficulties, while Joy struggles to introduce her non-Chinese girlfriend to Gong Gong.
After a meeting with IRS inspector Deidre Beaubeirdre (Jamie Lee Curtis) about their taxes, versions of themselves from alternate universes show up and inform them that they must save the world from Jobu Tupaki (Stephanie Hsu), an alternate universe version of Joy. This alternate version has created the “Everything Bagel” which she will use to destroy the multiverse.
This story is chaotic and fun, with its themes including absurdist comedy, animation, martial arts, and science fiction. While it made me laugh, it made me sad and tense merely scenes after each other, showing that this film really does include it all.
Another credit to the film alongside the actors is the aesthetic and editing. I’m not alone in this view – Paul Rogers won the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Film Editing.
The colourful palette sets it apart from many of the other films released this year and its fast-paced editing keeps the viewer interested and engaged. Even in slower, quieter and more emotional moments, the silence seems deafening, and you can’t help but divulge your entire attention to the screen.
What the cast showed their audience is that it’s no easy feat playing multiple versions of your character in a movie, and they showed this by nailing it, with the four leads all securing Oscar nominations and three winning the prize.
One more thing I loved about this film is its diverse cast. It’s uncommon (especially in the UK) to have such a buzz around a film with an Asian-led cast. I’m so happy that it has received the recognition it deserved at this year’s Oscars.
Michelle Yeoh, in particular, who won the Oscar for Best Actress, really out-did herself in this film. With her phenomenal body of work, she was long overdue for some proper credit.
Not only did she deserve it, but it also meant the world to the Asian community to see her win.
Overall, this film was exciting, funny, and heart-breaking, not just considering the end of the world threat but also the complicated nature of relationships between parents and children.
It feels empowering to so many to have such a diverse film triumph in the award season this year.
Gemma Christie is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.