BrayMitch01’s review published on Letterboxd:
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Everything Everywhere All At Once is a cinematic achievement. Originally when I first saw the trailer for this film I thought it would be a fun, well made film I’d like to eventually see but after the past few weeks my expectations had grown to be sky high as it continued to rack up praises claiming it to be a masterpiece and stole Parasite’s spot for the highest rated film here on the Letterboxd home turf. Fortunately those expectations I had built for it were met and the film I went to see in theaters offered an experience that will easily be one of, if not, my favorite of the year. I know it’s early and there’s a good chance another film will take it’s spot, I’m eying Chazelle’s Babylon as it looks to be one I’ll adore, but I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if this film ends up being my top favorite of 2022 because how could it not be. There’s an impeccable amount of craft and unique ability of storytelling behind every frame of this film that’s practically bait for cinephiles. The directing, script, editing, sound, cinematography, and almost every other aspect of this film follows to a rhythm which makes for an atmosphere matched with a balanced story a force of nature in entertainment. Every few years there’s a film that comes around leaving me in awe of it’s craft and further rekindling my love of filmmaking and this one certainly accomplished that for me in impactful way. It’s truly impressive how this film that was made on a relatively low budget managed to be one of the richest and most visually stunning films I’ve seen in a while but then again that’s a feat A24 has got really good at doing.
When it comes to indie studios that can market and popularize their films across the world no studio does it better than them, heck they even got one of their films to beat a double digit nominated Hollywood musical epic for the Best Picture Oscar. I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll gladly mention it again, A24 is absolutely one of my favorite studios in the film business. With a consistent amount of hits releasing each year, can’t wait to see Men and Marcel the Shell later this year, how could it not be. Also something that came to mind while watching this film was how refreshing it’s been to see Asian representation in both the realms of film and TV in the past few years. After Parasite became such a big hit I think everyone including myself worried that the movement of showcasing Asian talent would be stunted but fortunately it’s only been increasing since then.
The plot is great it’s an incredibly enjoyable and beautifully told story. A story with all these genres, plot points, and tones blended together shouldn’t work well at all but since it was executed with such a pure amount of focus and passion it wholeheartedly does. The blending of heart and humor in particular is something that should be studied in films classes for decades to come, one moment it’s so emotional you’re close to tears then seconds later you’re rolling over laughing. It’s absolutely some of the smartest and most effective blending of the two that I’ve ever seen. Speaking of effectiveness the multiple heavy themes tackled are brilliantly done as well. The way this story conveys messages of finding meaning in the meaningless and showcasing how love triumphs all is incredibly touching. There’s a few minor issues with the story the biggest one being that I wish we would have spent some more time learning about the Alpha-universe. The pacing is great since it’s such an entertaining story there isn’t a single slow or boring moment.
The acting is fantastic Michelle Yeoh gives a fantastic performance. She delivers an emotionally driven performance full of passion and understanding of the character she’s taken on. It’s a role that requires various acting skills in the fields of comedy, both subtle and loud drama, martial arts, etc. and fortunately she checks every box with the intention of bringing the audience a protagonist that’s truly loveable being a clear motivation. Ke Huy Quan gives a fantastic performance too. We all know him from his iconically nostalgic performances as a child in The Goonies and Temple of Doom so it’s awesome to see him back on screen delivering a very rich performance. I kept finding myself impressed with how well he fits into the role and how much I ended up loving the way he plays this meaningful character. Not to mention Stephanie Hsu who gives an excellent performance full of emotion and energy.
Similar to this film as a whole, the three make for unconventional contenders but I would love to see them gain some awards attention. Also after the trailers didn’t show her in an attentive light I didn’t think Jamie Lee Curtis would get but one or two scenes so it was a pleasant surprise to me that she was a consistent cast member that has a number of very memorable moments especially her scenes in the hot dog universe. I’d even go as far to say she delivers one of the best performances of her long, amazing career. James Hong, Tallie Medel, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., and Biff Wiff give very good supporting performances as well.
The direction is phenomenal from the Daniels, the way they’re able to bring everything together with such a precise sense of craftsmanship while at the same time never ceasing to let out a feeling of fun and energy towards filmmaking is incredible. In my last review, which was of their other hit film Swiss Army Man, I mentioned how they could eventually become two of my favorite directors and now that I’ve seen this film I can solidify my thoughts and say they now definitely are. How can someone not watch this film and be utterly impressed with how well it was directed. The script is phenomenal it’s an incredibly creative and layered script that deserves to be both studied and marveled over for years to come. The cinematography is great this film is filled with consistent and inspired shots that match the tones very well.
The editing is probably the best part of the entire film though. It’s ability to embody the stress and overwhelming emotions our main characters are going through and put the audience in their shoes is outstanding. The edits are wild but always on track with a stern dedication towards conveying an array of differing emotions. The visual effects and sound are excellent as well. The action sequences are all bonkers crazy with top notch fun choreography and constant excitement. It’s difficult to single out just one as the best but my favorite was probably Jobu’s introduction fight in the hallway.
The humor is absolutely amazing as I’ve mentioned multiple times before in this review. The first time we’re introduced to the hot dog universe and the Racoon-y gags got some seriously loud belly laughs out of me especially due to how unexpected they’re executed. My entire theater was blowing up with laughter a ton of times throughout the film. In terms of the Oscars I honestly can’t see this film getting many nominations despite how much love it’s currently getting and the fact it practically already deserves a number of wins but one or two nods isn’t too far off the table in my opinion. I very much hope I’m wrong and I can quote this sentence in January of next year on a rewatch review, discussing how I was wrong about this film’s run in the awards race but for now all we can do is hope. If this film were to get any nominations I’d say it’s best shot is in Best Original Screenplay since with enough support or love a script can slip into that category, proved recently with The Worst Person in the World’s nomination. A visual effects or sound nod is a slight possibility too. The ending is an emotionally satisfying ending that leaves you to reflect on the trip you just took and immediately look forward to going through it again. Overall Everything Everywhere All At Once is a stroke of brilliance in conveying pure movie magic that people will not soon forget, it’s without a doubt one of the best films to come out in this century so far.
🔙Swiss Army Man