Oscars Challenge #95: Everything, Everywhere, All At Once (2022) Movie Review
The 95th Academy Awards proved that even though the award-giving organization has been going on a little below a century, the recent as of this writing still has many historical moments.
It's also a year that A24 dominated the major categories, which has never happened before. The last time it won Best Picture was when the Academy committed an announcing mistake back in 2017.
Everything, Everywhere, All At Once proves that Best Picture winners should belong to those with the grandest ideas.
The movie follows the story of Evelyn Wang, a middle-aged Chinese-American immigrant who runs a laundromat with her husband, Waymond. They live with their daughter, Joy, while caring for her visiting father, Gong Gong.
Evelyn lives a struggling life keeping her business, mending her relationship with her daughter, meeting his father's demands, and keeping her marriage. Waymond tries to present Evelyn with divorce papers, but she struggles to meet the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) demands of paying taxes. Meanwhile, Joy struggles with depression and her mother's reluctance to accept that she's a lesbian.
Evelyn, Waymond, and Gong Gong went to IRS for a tax discussion with the inspector, Deirdre. Suddenly, Waymond's body is taken over by a different Waymond, who informs Evelyn that he comes from a different universe. He explains the existence of multiverses to her clueless mind and that every universe comes up after other life choices. He also explains an Alphaverse led by the late Alpha-Evelyn. She developed a technology that can do verse-jumping that enables people to access the skills acquired by that person. He also says that Jobu Tupaki, or Alpha-Joy threatens the multiverse. She experiences all universes at once and can verse-jump at will. She created a black hole that would destroy the entire multiverse. The only way to save it is for Evelyn to fight and defeat her before it's too late.
Evelyn must quickly choose, on top of her hectic daily activities and struggling relationships, her destiny to save the multiverse.
From the brilliant directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who also directed Swiss Army Man, Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, is a deserving Best Picture winner. It might not have the same depth as other nominees, like the remake of All Quiet On The Western Front, Banshees of Inisherin, or Elvis. Still, it succeeded in creating a vast concept that would either wow or bore the audience. It's very risky, yet so ambitious that it felt like this film was made to win.
This is the very definition of a great movie experience.
It features the talents of deserving winners Michelle Yeoh, the Best Actress, Ke Huy Quan, the Best Supporting Actor; and Jamie Lee Curtis, the Best Supporting Actress. It doesn't please you with star-studded casts, yet they all did their job wonderfully. This movie revealed their hidden talents, and their chemistry worked well.
Everything about this movie is how it plays around with symbols. It doesn't amaze you with action-packed scenes, but it definitely moves you with the emotional and moral lessons it brings.
Despite having a multiversal concept, it's easy to grasp the plot. It perfectly shows the outstanding writing this movie presents. It may not pale compared with The Apartment or any other Best Picture winner driven by screenwriting, but it is still one of the best.
For me, everything, Everywhere, All At Once deserves all the awards it received at the Oscars and from other award-giving bodies. It's a piece of cinematic marvel that contains the perfect balance of universal humor and drama.
A perfect 5 out of 5 stars.