“Everything” Creates Multiverse of Emotion

Oscar-nominated “Everything Everywhere All At Once” offers a unique and emotional viewing experience.

First released in March 2022, the film “Everything Everywhere All At Once” became an instant favorite to movie lovers and critics alike. Already having won two Golden Globes, the film is now nominated for 11 Oscars, including the coveted Best Picture award. On the social networking and film review app Letterboxd, it boasts 558.6k five star ratings. Reactions to the film range from think-pieces written for the New York Times, to TikToks of teenagers explaining how the ending left them sobbing, to people painstakingly creating art and costumes based on the characters. 

But what is it that makes this film so loved and engaging? And what does a title like “Everything Everywhere All At Once” even mean? 

“Everything Everywhere All At Once” follows a Chinese immigrant, Evelyn, on a quest through the multiverse to save the fabric of reality from a mysterious threat, all while trying to cope with her own crumbling reality of an IRS audit, a shaky marriage and the strained relationships she has with her father and daughter. As she connects with her alternative lives, Evelyn grows in skill, but also begins to call into question the choices she made and the purpose of life itself.

This is a film that cannot be easily explained or summarized. It truly is like no other, bending and mixing genres to create a unique experience. Its absurdity and humor treat the film as a surreal sort of comedy, while its action-packed fight scenes call upon martial arts flicks of the past. Present too are raw, emotional moments of pain and joy, weaving together themes of healing from generational trauma, discovery of one’s self and the human experience into a moving drama. 

More than anything, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is a story about empathy. In the current climate of nonstop stimulation, endless monotony and constant struggle that so many people find themselves in, this film offers an outlook that meets us where we are. It takes those dark thoughts that ‘nothing matters’ and turns them into a celebration of the absurdity of life, focusing on the love we find in connection with others as what gives it meaning.

It’s important to be advised that the film is rated R for language, moderate violence and some sexual material, so some content may be inappropriate for younger teens or uncomfortable in general. But even still, the content is all part of the larger environment of the film. Each element is included for a purpose and helps to make the film feel more complete by the inclusion of both absurd, vulgar humor and grounded use of language. Its sometimes challenging content is balanced by the captivating plot and themes which will speak to the viewer in ways unique to each individual. 

It’s a wacky, experimental and bizarre film, but in that there is so much beauty. Of course, that beauty lies not only in the technical skills of amazing actors, stunning effects and enthralling music that earns praise from award ceremonies and critics, but also in the invigorating, radical optimism it gives the common viewer.