Everything Everywhere All At Once is one of those rare, magical movies that is almost unbearably wonderful.
What more is there to say about it than that? I sat in the cinema last week, holding my partner’s hand and smiling so wide for two straight hours I thought my head might fall off. Directors Daniel Scheinert and Dan Kwan have made what is an undeniably fantastic cinematic classic; the kind of joyful, abundant, creative, and movie-loving movie that practically shines off the screen with every lusciously-crafted frame.
I mean, I will try to find more to say about it than that. I could start with Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wang, who hardly had anything to prove with regards to her own illustrious cinematic career, but does just that anyway, with not only the performance of a career but the performance of several all at once. Ke Huy Quan, as her near-impossibly lovable husband Waymond, makes an inarguable case for his own return to the acting profession after a good couple of decades away from it, while Stephanie Hsu as their daughter/danger to the universe seems only naturally destined for absurd levels of stardom after this. Speaking of, Jamie Lee Curtis stars in what is probably my favourite-ever role of her’s, an IRS agent with a nose constantly twitching for blood in the water, and the fact she’s been posting bad reviews of this movie’s competitors on her social media only makes me love it even more.
Or I could talk about the action, the effects, the sheer enormity of what Scheinert and Kwan have pulled off in terms of visual artistry: the last decade and a half of superhero movies has delivered what I find to be a relatively uniform and uninteresting visual and action style, but Everything Everywhere is determined to undo that. Endlessly inventive, whether it’s shooting a pair of rocks on the side of a canyon or a sausage-fingered love scene, it’s gleeful in pushing the boundaries of what it can do, not just trying new things but nailing them, too.
But what I think really stood out to me above all else is its sincerity. It is absurd, yes, and it is ambitious, it is complex and chaotic and confusing, but more than anything, it is a film about finding the small snatches of happiness you are able to and hanging on to them for dear life. It’s a joyful celebration of that, a glorious and unrepentant rejection of giving in to nihilism and angst, though it’s not afraid to acknowledge and even justify their existence, too. It’s about the strength of optimism, kindness, and the search for understanding, the fight to find snatches of love in a universe that seems indifferent. It’s a love story to human nature, in a way I don’t think I’ve ever seen pulled off before.
In short, it’s a fucking masterpiece. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’m telling you, your life will be better once you have. And what better review could I possibly give it?
By Lou MacGregor
(header image via Corejumping.com)