RTL Today contributor Natalia Dembowska reviews the award-winning film that dominated this year's Oscars.

Once in a while, a movie so iconic and breath-taking comes out that it becomes an instant classic. A movie iconic enough to become its own genre, pushing the very boundary of what we thought was possible to express through cinematic language. I can assure you with an utmost severity that Everything, Everywhere, All At Once is precisely such an instant classic. In fact it’s probably the most legendary cinematic experience you’ve seen in years.

Recently nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and winning seven, including Best PictureEverything, Everywhere, All At Once is not only one of my favourites of 2022 - it’s definitely one of my favourite films of all time. The layered, visually astounding, and epic tale of a Chinese family who fights back against evil in order to save the multi-verse is another masterpiece by studio A24, which time after time has delivered jaw-dropping productions, such as Midsommar, Lady Bird, and Moonlight.


The film is divided into three parts: “everything”, “everywhere”, and “all at once”. “Everything” focuses on illustrating everything one has to deal with in life. We follow stressed-out Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh, now the first Asian woman to win the Best Actress award) running around her family’s laundromat business. Afraid of her father’s opinions while simultaneously seeking his approval, Evelyn is too irritated and tired to even notice that her husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) is thinking about divorcing her. On top of that, she continuously argues with her daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu) who insists on coming out to her grandpa and introducing her girlfriend to him. We see “everything” that Evelyn has to deal with during the day; regret, disappointment, and resentment obviously affect her behaviour and push her loved ones away.

When the struggling family goes to a meeting with their IRS agent, Deirdre Beaubeirdre (played by brilliant Jamie Lee Curtis), Waymond reveals to Evelyn that he’s another version of himself from another dimension and that he switched consciousness with her husband to warn Evelyn about the evil she’s supposed to save them from. Despite her initial disbelief, she quickly realises something’s off as her own consciousness splits into more and more timelines in order for her to gain different abilities from her other potential lives, such as martial arts, cooking, or having hot dogs for fingers.

In the second part of the movie - “everywhere”- as Evelyn faces the evil she starts to understand that things are not as they seem. She starts seeing that everything exists in super-position, that quite literally “everything” is “everywhere”, and that the world exists in complete chaos. That the glimpses of order and happiness are mere moments, specks of time - illusions in a multi-verse filled with nothing.

In the last part, “all at once”, we experience a sort of synthesis of the first two parts alongside the characters. The movie beautifully illustrates the universal lessons to take out from the interaction of light and darkness - after all, one doesn’t exist without the other.


With its unique blend of action, humor and multiverse-hopping heroes and supervillains, 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' dominated nearly every Hollywood awards ceremony in the buildup to the Oscars, including the Screen Actors Guild awards

The amazing thing about this movie is not only what it tackles but how it tackles it. It approaches serious, existential subjects that dwell on interdisciplinary questions relating to notions of quantum physics, philosophy, and unconditional love, with ease, fun, and most of all - relatability. Each character is presented in a number of ways thanks to their personalities from other dimensions making an appearance and activating their potential gifts, making the audience gain compassion and a more complex understanding of why each character is the way they are. There is a certain tenderness to this film that can really capture a heart; a sort of love that one exudes towards a puppy or a small child but instead it’s directed at Jamie Lee Curtis howling and jumping into a split in an attempt to murder the main character. Given that the film tackles such important universal subjects, it is truly an incarnated mastery to achieve the ease and the flow that can be felt in it -  the pure joy of getting taken away by a cinematic experience.

A big aspect of what makes the movie so relatable is the strong commentary on the generational gap between three generations, which the audience may recognise from their own family struggles. We’re following Evelyn, who represents generation X (following baby boomers and preceding millennials). She’s aggressive and irritated, although she thinks she means well. She works very hard and she’s always busy, trying to prove to herself that she’s worthy of her father’s respect despite becoming increasingly closed-off and repressing her pain. Her daughter, Joy, represents Generation Z. She’s depressed and, although she understands her mother, she finds it very hard to deal with her. She understands deep universal truths but she doesn’t feel secure enough to express them and her open-mindedness leads to her downfall, while her intellect leads to her depression. Finally, Evelyn’s father represents the boomer generation. He’s severe, aggressive, and demanding, always complaining and blaming Evelyn for not being good enough.

On the surface level, the film may appear a little ridiculous but as you put pieces together you start realising that as random as it all seems, everything is there for very specific reasons conveying deep universal messages. Whether it’s the weird activities that activate the switch to the meta-verse, the shape of the bagel or the recurring elements and characters that are used differently across dimensions - they’re all there to send subliminal messages about the nature of our universe. Don’t take my word for it and go watch it tonight, I guarantee you won’t regret it.