Everything Everywhere All at Once

The legendary James Hong

Everything Everywhere All at OnceWhen my wife and I went to see Everything Everywhere All at Once at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany in late January, the cashier said, “It’s a wild ride, but it’s worth it.” That’s true.

The IMDb description: “A middle-aged Chinese immigrant is swept up into an insane adventure in which she alone can save existence by exploring other universes and connecting with the lives she could have led.”

It’s very clever that it starts in such a mundane manner, with Evelyn Wang  (Michelle Yeoh) trying to sort through the business receipts for the laundromat that she and her husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), own. She’s preparing for their meeting with scary IRS agent  Deirdre Beaubeirdre (Jamie Lee Curtis).

Also, she’s trying to say the right thing to her daughter Joy  (Stephanie Hsu), who’s in a relationship with non-Asian Becky (Tallie Medel).    To boot, she needs to tend to her father, Gong Gong  (the legendary James Hong).

Then the film takes an unexpected and surreal turn. Which Waymond is she talking with, her familiar or someone from another metaverse? Explaining this further is both difficult and ultimately pointless.


Yes, EEAAO is weird, bonkers, strange, absurd,  often hilarious, and occasionally exhausting. Sentient rocks, a dangerous vortex, and my need to rethink eating hot dogs are all here. The costumes, especially those worn by Joy, are fantastic in every sense of the word.

Yet, at the core of the story by Oscar-nominated writers/directors The Daniels, who are Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, is the conventional story. It’s about a second-generation, sandwich-generation American woman who is contemplating her life choices. At some level, I liked it more when it was over than when I was watching it. My wife wants to see it again.

The Academy Awards buzz is warranted for all the actors nominated but also for costume designer Shirley Kurata.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

2 thoughts on “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

  1. I came here to read your Sunday Stealing answers but got drawn in by this post. I began watching while streaming but just couldn’t get into it. Maybe it was me and not the movie. After all, sometimes when I’m at home and not in the theater, it’s easier for my mind to wander. You — and Oscar — have convinced me to give it another chance.

  2. I think it’s a movie best seen in a theater, which may not be an option for you at this point. I’m REALLY glad I saw it at the cinema.

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