It’s almost midnight and I just saw the stunning sophomore full-length from the Daniels collective, Everything Everywhere All at Once. Wow is all I can say. To put it simply, this movie is why I love movies. Early supporters of this blog will know that as early as January, in my second post ever, I was noting it as THE film to watch out for in 2022. The trailer gave us so much: martial arts, sci-fi, themes of time and family, it really set my expectations high, and they only got higher once it made waves at SXSW. For me to go in with such huge expectations and still be mindblown just shows how good it is. Even though we’re barely in April, and it’s early in April, it’s safe to say the rest of the industry can pack it up; this is the movie of the year.
There are so many places I can start, but I absolutely have to talk about the core of this film: the actors. Michelle Yeoh gave a breathtaking performance as Evelyn Wang; the range of emotions we got from her was simply astounding. As Evelyn seeks financial stability and a happy family, all of which coincides with her mission to save the multiverse from an agent of chaos, we experience all these broken dreams and revitalized hopes alongside her. Stephanie Hsu’s Joy Wang/Jobu Tupaki is easily one of the most complex, nuanced villains in film history, and Ke Huy Quan’s Waymod Wang is the perfect supporting role, you simply won’t see better this year. Jamie Lee Curtis also had a fantastic performance as an IRS inspector; but this movie didn’t rely only on the actors’ skills. Each of their performances was highlighted by astounding cinematography.
Colors, camerawork and editing really made this one of the more unique watches I’ve ever experienced. You can really tell this was a movie made by movie lovers, with references to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love and even Ratatouille, there’s no denying this film paid homage to a wide range of movies, which matches the unfettered storyline and all the emotions it manages to pack into 139 minutes. It would’ve been easy for this script to turn into a mess with so much going on, but I was never lost or confused, in fact I couldn’t have been more engaged and enthralled. You’re guaranteed to laugh, probably cry, and everything in between. Only Daniels—whose previous Swiss Army Man (2016) showed their unique ability to blend humor and tragedy—could make us cry at rocks and hotdog fingers (trust me). This movie was, for all intents and purposes, perfect. You must watch it, preferably in theaters if you’re able to. It’s one of those movies that’s made for the big screen; but in theaters or at home, I look forward to re-watching again and again, in this universe and all the others.