Everything Everywhere All At Once Breaks Multiple Records at the Oscars


Cici He, Managing Editor

Everything Everywhere All At Once first premiered on March 11, 2022, and was released nationwide by A24 on April 8, 2022. This science-fiction multiverse film directed by the Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) gained support from everywhere, grossed $112 million worldwide at the box office, and quickly became A24’s first film to surpass the $100 million mark. At the Oscars this past Sunday, March 12, Everything Everywhere All At Once swept the show, becoming the most-nominated film of the evening and taking home seven awards. What’s even more appreciated is the amount of recognition that shined upon the Asian American acting community, and the hopeful message shared with its viewers. The film won best motion picture of the year, original screenplay, directing, and film editing, as well as three best actor/actress awards. 


This non-traditional film was originally overlooked as a contender for the awards due to its unique and never-seen-before plot, with talking rocks, googly eyes, and hot dog fingers. Kwan described the film as getting “shredded through the blender of the internet.” Reviews of the film on Rotten Tomatoes described it as “chaotic and all over the place, yet down to earth,” “an emotional rollercoaster,” and “utterly bizarre, gloriously acted, tearfully joyful, thought-provoking, beautiful cinema.” 


When diving deeper beyond the quirky characters and plot lines, Everything Everywhere All At Once shines light on the Chinese American experience, and works to debunk the common myths surrounding Asian Americans and the “model minority myth.” As Evelyn Wang travels through the different universes and transforms into a martial arts movie star, famous opera singer, hot-dog-fingered wife of Deidre Beaubeirbre, and finally back to her tired laundromat owner self, these versions of her bring a new lens into all the lives she’s led, which steer away from a two-dimensional stereotypical perspective of an Asian American woman.


EEAAO also explores the common misunderstandings between parents and their children due to the generational gap, LGBTQ+ challenges of coming out, and struggles with depression, nihilism, and suicidal thoughts, as seen in Stephanie Hsu’s character, Joy Wang/Jobu Tupaki. The film evokes important questions for its audience, which is especially relevant in this day and age with political polarity at an all-time high, global warming, and increased mental health issues in youth. The “everything” bagel, created by Jobu Tupaki, represents a giant black void that sucks everything in because “nothing” matters to her. However, the film reminds viewers that because “nothing” matters, every individual can choose what they believe is important in their lives, and that ultimately, it’s the small things in life and the special connections with family and friends that make life worth living. 


Michelle Yeoh, who played the main character, Evelyn Quan Wang, became the first Asian woman to win lead actress, as well as the second woman of color to win in this category. “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof — dream big and dreams do come true,” Yeoh said positively. As for the best supporting actor and actress awards, Ke Huy Quan as Waymond Wang and Jamie Lee Curtis as Deidre Beaubeirdre won in the respective categories. “My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp. And somehow I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage. They say stories like this only happen in the movies…To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive,” Quan said tearfully. 


Everything Everywhere All At Once showcases a fresh perspective and a diverse lens of story-telling into relevant issues in today’s society, gaining the recognition it deserved at the 95th Annual Academy Awards Ceremony this past Sunday, and bringing hope to the future generation of actors and directors to tell important stories. 

Photo credit: https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/13/entertainment/everything-everywhere-all-at-once-academy-awards-takeaways/index.html