🏆 2023 Oscar WINNERS: Everything Everywhere All at Once


"Everything Everywhere All at Once" is a visually stunning film that explores family dynamics, regret, and the power of communication. Michelle Yeoh leads a talented cast in this imaginative and touching story.

Is it illegal to sing karaoke?

With a hole in the center, a bagel is round-shaped but never full. They are like hoops as if people have to be trapped all their lives. Unable to get rid of, or avoid repeating the same mistakes. How do we find the round piece to fill our bagel? Will we be happy if we find it? Or what if we did not find it? Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) begins with a shot of Evelyn, Waymond, and Joy singing happily through a circular mirror. Sometimes happiness looks simple and ordinary, but also very tiny and short-lived because Bagel despises it.

The film starring Michelle Yeoh rides the energy of countless universes in an attempt to shake the dust of a family. The protagonist, Evelyn, is too busy with family matters to take a break, but she also inexplicably needs to save people from being swallowed by a black hole of bagels. Countless images of circles are in the film, including the mirror, the bagel, the eye patch, and the black one on the bill. Circles emphasize the powerless feeling of being confined and trapped in the story. Yet they can also be a warm and touching embrace.

The story contains a lot of fantasy, science fiction, and Chinese Kong Fu. The directors brought a lot of crazy imagination into the narrative, successfully subverting my viewing experience. Inevitably I felt exhausted and confused by the absorption of information during the process, I think it is a result of careful planning because this confusing and overwhelming feeling is exactly the emotion that Evelyn experienced in the film.

Even though the plot is unpredictable, the intention is simple and touching. Through the projection of multiple universes, the film demonstrated different life possibilities for Evelyn and provided a glimpse into the frictions of educational concepts and the unspoken love in the Pan-Chinese community.

Evelyn's large laundromat is on the edge of closing down. There must be more serious operational or financial problems than the jukebox. Seeing so many bills on the table, why did the tax inspector point out that the jukebox was a tax concern and repeatedly circled it with a black marker? The jukebox represents the family's fortune, but it also implies that the family relationship is collapsing. The black circle looks like a bagel hole, so, what does it represent?

The bagel hole is a visualization of the pain and regret that people constantly feel about reality, and it can be so painful, taking your breath away. Ironically, the villain creates the bagel, while Evelyn creates the villain. The birth of the villain comes from an accidental overload from α Evelyn's constant experiment of consciousness crossing, where Joy could not bear it and went degradation. It is a black hole that the parents are overprotective, spying, and controlling their children, in the name of "good for you.

Evelyn was faced with a career crisis and struggled to devote herself to her family; her husband was obedient but had long planned to divorce; her daughter could never get approval and understanding from her mother; her father, who had mobility problems, had not come to the United States voluntarily. All the crap of life gently rested on Evelyn's shoulders until a huge black hole grew in her heart. She was consumed by the hole since her youth, gradually losing the spark of life. Does a person have to meet society's expectations and frameworks to be considered successful in becoming a human being?

Therefore, the villain Joy wanted to use the powerful black hole of Bagel to "free" everything in the universe from pain. Instead of saying Joy planned to take revenge on Evelyn, I would rather say she was to help her mother eradicate her inner despair. But the question is, is the black hole the only way to relieve the pain?

So Waymond, no matter what version of the universe he was in, believed that communication, understanding, and kindness truly shake up and stop the pain from spreading. It may sound a bit corny, but it's practical. For Waymond, as a second protagonist, this is his multiverse. See his abdominal injuries, but also hanging a fanny pack, full of tears to speak the truth and stand in front of Evelyn to protect her, when the suit Waymond standing in the alleyway saying heartfelt words to Evelyn- the actor's interpretation is both touching and handsome, directly brings my tears out. The main point of this segment is to show that Waymond's love for Evelyn is unconditional. Whether he had a failed marriage with her or broke up with her for a few years and then reunited after a long time. Because he can always see the good side of Evelyn, he can finally reconcile with Hsiu-lien and the regret he has felt for years. With his touching feelings, Evelyn is also willing to re-examine herself, which I think is the most beautiful scenery in the whole film.

It is then that Evelyn finally has a moment of respite to clear her blind spot. Now she realizes how precious her loved ones are and how she has neglected the happiness she took for granted. So she tries to reach out to pull joy in, and in the parking lot, the two most fragile souls embrace each other. Evelyn finally managed to let go of her obsessions, let go of the disappointment her father brought her, and overcome the frustration in her love life and marriage. Evelyn understands how depressing the pain is, and no could she let her daughter suffer the same way. Even if the pain will not vanish, one will not feel alone surrounded by a family to share it.

The story of Everything Everywhere All at Once extends from Evelyn herself to her loved ones and then to different universes. No matter in which universe, good and evil, decisions and consequences, happiness and regrets in life would exist altogether. It is only when you return to the self that was on the verge of collapse that you realize that the essence of life is to be with the love of your life. The story goes from everything in the world to the root of everything in three acts, finally merging joy and sadness into one, forming a healing circle. Because understanding is a superpower that can penetrate different universes and love is a substance that can travel through time and space.

Finally, I'd like to share another cool quote from Waymond: "When I choose to see the good side of things, I’m not being naive. It is strategic and necessary.”

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