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Is All in Everywhere at Once deserving of an Oscar? see review

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Perhaps you are already tired of hearing about the “multiverse”, which is offered to us in technology articles as a novelty capable of changing our lives. After all, at least since The Matrix, from 1999, the idea of ​​the existence of a universe parallel to ours – in which we would live in an alienated and blind way, while the truth would be “out there” – has seduced us or, sometimes, sounded like ours. ears like a big nonsense.

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But how about talking about these parallel realities within a comedy? In a way, this is what happens in Everything Everywhere at the Same Time Oscar winner for Best Picture and more statuettes during the awards. It is a work that achieves what is often the objective of its directors: it manages to attract fans and haters to the same extent.

Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (double who signs as “The Daniels”), the film transits between genres (it is within comedy, but also science fiction and in the adventure niche) to tell us the story of Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh). She is a Chinese immigrant in the United States who, alongside her husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), runs a business: a small laundry that, from what we understand, is not doing very well on the legs.

  • Where to Watch Everything, Everywhere, at the Same Time, Oscar 2023 Success

But this is not the only problem in his life. Her marriage is going down the drain and her husband, a much nicer and more relaxed guy than she is, is about to ask for a divorce. She doesn’t take kindly to her daughter Joy’s (Stephanie Hsu) homosexuality, and worries about her father Gong Gong’s (veteran James Hong) reaction when he finds out she has a girlfriend.

But the icing on the cake, which will start the plot, is that the Wang couple’s laundry is about to fall into the fine mesh of the Federal Revenue, for having declared the useless purchase of a karaoke in their business. When they’re in front of the IRS inspector (played by Jamie Lee Curtis, in a hilarious role – or roles? –), Evelyn is about to have a meltdown: she just can’t handle it anymore.

If the film followed the path of Evelyn’s crisis, perhaps we would be facing a new version of Dog Day Afternoon (a classic by Sidney Lumet from 1975). But the Daniels decide to go to a much stranger place: the multiverse – or, as we see in the film, the Alphaverse.

This universe opens up when Evelyn is faced with another version of her husband Waymond, who is very different from the original: instead of being sweet and passive, this one is intelligent, resourceful and capable of fighting like a master of weapons. Kung Fu (using only a fanny pack with a keyring attached!). And Waymond came to bring an important message: the world is threatened by an agent of chaos called Jobu Tupaki – who is none other than Joy, the couple’s daughter.

All at once

If this summary seemed too confusing for you, don’t be alarmed: Everything in Everywhere at the Same Time is more a work to be enjoyed than to be understood. What we have in hand is a film that tries to balance itself between action scenes that are not very believable (perhaps there is a reference here to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ang Lee’s fight film in which Michelle Yeoh starred in 2000), comic shots (like the moment when anal plugs serve as a key to the multiverse) and a touching story involving an immigrant family.

In fact, it can be said that “all at the same time” is a great title for a frantic film in which there is not much time to breathe – which, on the other hand, makes it tiring in several moments, in addition to a little more longer than it could be.

For those willing to face this journey, the film brings 2 and a half hours of light fun – although it may not remain in the memory long after. But there is a philosophical background that may please those who put The Butterfly Effect (the one from 2004, with Ashton Kutscher) on the list of their favorite films.

The logic is similar: Everything and Everywhere at the Same Time explores the idea that any small action (like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings) is capable of changing the future. In the Alphaverse, Evelyn has the opportunity to visit the other realities she could have existed in.

Almost all of them are hilarious: in one, she’s a movie star who specializes in blockbuster movies. Kung Fu; in another, it is a cook who denounces a colleague who has the help of a raccoon hidden in his hat. chef, a la Ratatouille; in yet another, she lives in a world where people have sausages for fingers.

Doesn’t make any sense, right? Another plausible question would be: do you need it? Perhaps this unpretentiousness is precisely the grace of the Daniels’ film.

outstanding performances

Source: Amazon Prime

But if you can say that there is something memorable about Everything and Everywhere at the Same Time, I would put the performance of the main actors here. Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu face roles that demand a lot from them with great competence: seriousness in the drama, dynamism in the action scenes and (the most difficult) lightness to deliver the humor.

All are great – not by chance, they were nominated for an Oscar. But I think that the central glow is in Joy, the multifaceted daughter played by Stephanie Hsu in a stupendous way. The character has a lot of density when evidencing the generational conflicts between a girl who wants to follow her ways, but who is pressured (even in a veiled way) to obey the “traditions” of her ancestors.

It is this drama that seems to give birth to the “monster” Jobu Tupaki – who, probably, has the function of incarnating all the fears that surround these immigrants. The fascinating Jobu, with his wonderful costumes, is, in my view, the main attraction of this film/ game.

In summary: All and Everywhere at Once is top-notch fun for anyone who can immerse themselves in this crazy opus and just enjoy the scenes. For those who expect genius, maybe leave with some frustration.

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