Everything Everywhere All At Once - Multiverse of madness with Michelle Yeoh

Wife and I saw this last night. We are fortunate to have a small town 20 minutes north of us that has a beautiful old restored theater, and while it has three screens, EEAAO was being shown on the largest of the three and the auditorium is grand.

This was only the second film we’d seen in a theater since the pandemic. The first, two weeks earlier, was Women Talking. I cannot think of two films so wildly different from one another (WT is muted and somber, almost black and white without actually being so) yet each so effective. The juxtaposition of the two conveys the enormous scope of what cinema can be.

As for EEAAO, we both went in knowing very little about the film, for which I’m glad. We sat at a bar after the film and drank whiskey and talked about it. My wife is not someone who enjoys sf or fantastical elements in her fiction in any medium, and throughout the film I was conscious of the possibility that she was hating it because of the multiverse theme and martial arts. In fact, she said she did want to leave at points - but was simultaneously engrossed, fascinated, and was glad she stuck it out, because she found it to be a film unlike any she’d seen and well worth experiencing in a theater.

We both, though, felt it was too long. I think it would have been more effective losing 20-30 minutes, perhaps trimming the racoon story (since the racoon’s chef friend was not a central character) and perhaps a bit less on the hot dogs. I felt exhausted by the intensity of it all and wanted it to end sooner than it did. Plus – with essentially two emotional arcs resolved, Evelyn’s reconciliations with her husband and daughter, the ending as a whole felt drawn out. I feel a tighter film would have made those resolutions more impactful.

Still – I would relegate that complaint about length to a nitpick, because I otherwise thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the boldness of it all. It reminded me, after three years away, that seeing films in a theater is truly an experience like no other. It’s good to be back.

I’m sure it’s not the record holder, but this movie has got to be pushing the lower bound on budget for “You have to see this in a movie theater!” If you know what to look for, you can tell upon closer inspection, certainly more from the physical side of the production than the absolutely outsized special effects. (A baker’s half dozen on special effects?!) But when you’re in the rush of the story, it feels that big.

Watched this yesterday. What a … weird trip. What an awesome movie. Though I’m still surprised that it garnered so many Oscar nominations - it just doesn’t seem like good Oscar material although I guess things have changed since last time I paid any real attention to the oscars (which was many years ago, TBF).

Ke Huy Quan… chef’s kiss. I really hope he wins that Oscar too. And Yeoh for leading lady, of course.

Yeah. My opinion only, not trying to knock anyone else’s experience, but good god I really don’t get this one.

I’m at the hour mark right now and I only just realized this movie is supposed to be funny. But hey Raccaconie got a laugh.

The relationships read as trite and cliche and the premise would perhaps be clever if the execution weren’t so hamfisted. And the mother daughter allegory, if that’s actually where they’re going with this, must be the most obvious thing ever.

I’m going to try to tough out the rest but it says a lot that at the hour mark I went looking for the forum thread to see if I was the only one this wasn’t working for. If they manage to turn this around in the second half it’ll be the most impressive recovery in cinematic history.

Edit: And then I got to the butt plug fight. Yeah, I’m out. Glad you all enjoyed it but it’s definitely not for me.

I’ve not watched The Academy Awards since Kramer vs Kramer beat out Apocalypse Now, so I’ll only be reading about the outcome tomorrow, but my hope is tonight this takes home Oscars for every thing it’s nominated for.

Michelle Yeoh’s awesome and the Oscars have a long history of honoring actors and actresses I like for projects I don’t, so I wish her well on this.

Yeah, if you didn’t appreciate one of the most inventive and entertaining fight scenes in western cinema in a very long time, this very much is not the movie for you. I don’t know what your tastes are, but safe to say yours and mine have very little overlap.

It is over the top absurdity there, and they leaned all the way into that. Using the conceit to give license to show ridiculous fight scenes like that was the reason to watch the film. If you aren’t on board with that, then I can see why you hate it.

I doubt that’s true, actually, you just have a much higher tolerance for (and enjoyment of) gross out humor than I do.

Typically no. Gross out humor isn’t my thing, and most films about it don’t work for me. While it does have moments of gross out humor, it is less a film of gross out humor, and more absurdist. And absurdist, inventive stuff very much is my thing. It’s why I loved RRR, it has over the top absurd action (the anti colonialist dance fight, the train swing, the whole assault on the governors mansion with a zoos worth of wild animals).

If you make a film to show me something I’ve never seen before that makes sense in context, and don’t shy away or get embarrassed ‘I’m only joking, this would be silly right’ that a lot of films did? I tend to really go for that.

Plus the way they weave in those absurdist elements and have emotional pathos tied to those that pay off in the end? I really dig that.

Honestly, usually mine too. I haven’t seen RRR but what from what I’ve heard about it it sounds extremely, ridiculously entertaining.

The problem here, I think is that nothing in this film really worked for me, and without the context of emotional pathos that rang true or absurdism that rang, err, absurdist, that fight scene comes off like something out of a Farrelly brothers comedy.

That’s a purely personal reaction and I really appreciate you explaining why it does work for you because I can absolutely see that, in the abstract. It at least makes it easier to understand why other people are reacting to this movie the way they are.

Well, damn! Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Huy Quan so far!

The theme is actually not (directly) about relationships, it’s a bit of a concession they are easy to suss out. And the absurdities are pretty much a part of the perspective it’s trying to convey.
I’m not saying it’s deep or anything, but it’s certainly meaningful if you allow it to be.

Absolutely destroying so far. Been a few years since a movie has had this kind of an Oscars run, if it continues for Best Picture and Best Actress.

Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best original screenplay
Best Editing
Best Director

Shortly before the Academy Awards, this movie overtook Return of the King as the most awarded movie in history. It’s gonna be celebrated for a very long time, and quite deservedly!

It is also proof that you can make a deeply weird and funny movie and still win awards.

Well, it may not have worked for me at all, but I’m still happy for Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan, and Michelle Yeoh.

When can one rent this digitally?

Looks like Showtime has it

It’s on Showtime so you can get it free pretty easily, actually. Grab one of those free Paramount+ trial codes and then set up a Paramount+ Premium account bundled with Showtime.

The codes listed here work, for example:

Added bonus: Showtime also has Top Gun: Maverick which is much better than it has any right to be.