‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Is Getting Its Due
This is the best timeline
Everything Everywhere All at Once cleaned up at last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, winning the most SAG Awards of all time. The film took home four awards: cast in a motion picture, female actor in a leading role (Michelle Yeoh), male actor in a supporting role (Ke Huy Quan), and female actor in a supporting role (Jamie Lee Curtis).
Not only that, but the SAG Awards are usually a reliable predictor for the Oscars, with a huge number of SAG winners going on to win Oscars in their respective categories. With 10 Oscar nominations, Everything Everywhere All at Once might clean up on March 12, too.
This is exciting news for so many reasons—the main one being that it’s such a good movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you even doing? How are you living your life? The story focuses on Evelyn (Yeoh), a laundromat owner who discovers that, in another reality, she was a brilliant scientist who unleashed a villain hellbent on destroying the multiverse. The visuals are mesmerizing, and the story goes to some truly strange and unforgettable places. There’s boundless imagination in this movie, with a tender story at its heart: a family struggling to understand and love each other even as they mess up and drift apart.
And, despite the film’s brilliance, it wasn’t inevitable that Everything Everywhere All at Once would get the recognition it deserves.
Everything Everywhere All at Once could have easily been snubbed
It could have gone the other way. Everything about this film is the kind of thing that often isn’t “allowed” to win prestigious awards. It’s a weird, kooky genre film, filled with talking rocks and hotdog fingers. I’ve personally talked to people who refused to take it seriously, dismissing it as fluff because it sounded too quirky.
Plus, as the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag has demonstrated year after year, films led by people of color are often passed over in favor of whiter fare (see, for instance, The Woman King, which was critically acclaimed and yet didn’t receive a single nomination). 2022 was the same year that Turning Red, another film about an Asian mother-daughter relationship, got a dismal review from CinemaBlend after the writer claimed the characters weren’t relatable to anyone outside of the Chinese-Canadian community. In his portion of the cast’s acceptance speech at the SAG Awards, James Hong called out Hollywood’s racism, reminding the audience that in The Good Earth, the leads were played by white actors with their eyes taped because the producers didn’t think Asian actors were good enough for those roles.
This is why it’s so gratifying to see this film succeeding. It’s a massive win for fans of science fiction, experimental storytelling, diverse cinema, and female leads. It’s also heartening to see Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu be recognized for their work.
The best part is that these wins will hopefully open the door for more films like this one: diverse films that take risks and push the boundaries of how we tell stories.
(featured image: A24)
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