Enjoy this Monday with Mildred and A 241 Review!
Everything Everywhere All At Once
It stars Michelle Yeow, which should be enough for you to immediately want to see it. I heard a review of it on NPR and as soon as I heard her name I was all in, but once I started watching it I realized this may be the best movie she’s made yet.
Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeow, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Crazy Rich Asians) lives unhappily with her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan, who was Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Goonies) and her Gong Gong (papa, played by 91 year old James Wong, Big Trouble in Little China) above a run down laundromat. She avoids her husband’s attempts to speak to her by struggling with a mountain of receipts for an audit, she avoids introducing her daughter’s girlfriend to her Gong Gong by saying they’re just good friends, then she compounds the insult to her daughter (Stephanie Hsu, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) by telling her she’s fat. Things begin to look a little odd around the fringes, including a clever touch of kung-fu footwork at the laundromat, but then the family gets to the IRS building and things not only go badly with the dangerously evil auditor (Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween, Knives Out), they go completely, utterly, bizarrely and gorgeously absolutely bonkers.
The film is beautifully acted by everyone, but what is most astounding is how visually stunning and frenetic it remains for over an hour. The story is twisty and should have been terribly confusing because the word bizarre doesn’t do it justice. Or, I could use the word “multiverse” to give a better clue to its twisty-ness. I generally feel the same about multiverse stories as Janeway felt about time travel. It’s not usually worth the headache, but this time I loved it a lot. Keeping pace with the incredibly convoluted story is a visually stunning movie that often defies description. Somehow the director kept the film on track and the viewer in the game despite what should have been overwhelming scene changes, sometimes with visuals coming at you too fast to process.
There’s a lot of humor, often of the visual kind. I giggled at the googly eyes visual joke (Get it? A visual joke about funny eyes? Ha!), an awkward snip of dialogue about pronouns, and wondered how in the world the actress wielding the gigantic dildos in a fight scene managed to keep a straight face. (And then I wondered who thought of that scene to write it.). This is a movie chock full of homages, and I noted The Matrix, Ratatouille, Kill Bill, an everything bagel, the Buffyverse, Xena, 2001 A Space Odyssey, and it wasn’t until watching the commentary that I discovered I missed an obvious reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I know I missed some, and all of them were seamless, obvious, and always advanced the plot rather than being just a cute moment.
Another thing I missed until it was pointed out in the commentary was that every single thing that happens or becomes a visually important element after the movie takes its turn to the bizarre is set up in the pre-bizarre portion. Every. Single. Thing. That is a brilliant bit of writing, and I’m so happy I watched it on DVD so I could watch it again instead of having to pay to get in a second time to catch all the references.
This is an amazingly good film that I insist you watch. Get it on DVD, so you can see the outtakes. It’s bizarre, frenetic, visually stunning, has gorgeous fight scenes and a surprisingly understandable storyline. I had to wait a couple of days to digest the experience of watching it, and calm down so I could write about it without gushing too much. I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about it, except maybe the oddly dry commentary track. It’s super informative, but kinda dull. See it! The brain melt you experience is absolutely worth it.
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as Daniels, the film is a hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action adventure about an exhausted Chinese American woman (Michelle Yeoh) who can’t seem to finish her taxes.– From movie Website
OVERALL: Ok, the above quote is just a shoehorn to get you into the movie to maybe come and see it and OOOONNNNNN GAHHHHHH! That was the sound a former boss of mine used to make when happy and had no words to describe what made them happy. THAT’S this movie! OMG! Best Movie Of The Year hands down, no exceptions. GIVE THEM ALL THE AWARDS!
Seriously when the movie was done, it felt like a 20 minute movie. I was so enthralled with it that time flew by. Wow!
And GREAT News!! It will be rereleased back into the theatres on July 29 so I am soooo going!!!! You should too.
POINTS: This movie is perfect. PERFECT. I don’t know how the creators – Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert aka The Daniels – did it. I seriously do not know how they came up with the idea, the perfect script, the fantastic storytelling, editing, lighting, sets, all of it! And they hired Michelle Yeoh!!! Ok these two are geniuses and deserve all praise and money so they can make more great movies. It is entertaining AND touching. Just PERFECT.
Seriously, film schools, THIS movie needs to be taught. It is flawless and needs ALL the Awards!
PITFALLS: It hasn’t won the Oscar yet.
FEMALE CHARACTER(S): YES! Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Stephanie Hsu, and MORE! Lots of women, lots of men, forget stereotypical responses and behavior. Thank you thank you thank you!!
CULTURAL PITFALL(S): None. YAY!
- Michelle Yeoh. She is a Goddess. Worship at her feet and rejoice.
- Film School Study. I may have already said this but seriously, this movie should be taught and studied in all film schools. If you can make a movie this good, this amazing, this perfect, then it must be taught.
- Gay Daughter & Grandpa. Just Smile.
BECHDEL TEST (Website): YES!!!!!! So many times, so good.
RACIAL BECHDEL TEST (Website): YES! Since the characters are primarily Asian, this was a slam dunk and I loved it!
DVD/BLU-RAY and/or STAY STREAMING WORTHY: I already own it.
LION PAW PRINTS: 5.
- Everything Everywhere All At Once – Official Website
- Everything Everywhere All At Once – IMDB
- Everything Everywhere All At Once – Wikipedia