Everything Everywhere All At Once cleaned up at the Oscars–and I know why


Nguyen Pham

NESPA Winner: Review, 2023

The Graphic, Amherst Regional High School, Amherst, MA

I loved the blockbuster film Everything Everywhere All at Once. The plot focuses on a Chinese-American couple, Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) and her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), who are running the family laundromat and preparing for a Chinese New Year party while stressing about an audit of their business by the IRS. Meanwhile, they are in conflict over their relationship with their daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) and her girlfriend Becky (Tallie Medel), as the older generation loves their child but is resistant to embracing their child’s queer identity.

This seems like a somewhat simple plot, but the movie has garnered a lot of attention for how creative, absurd, and exciting it is, and all of these plots overlap with wild scenes of time travel into a multiverse, where characters’ identities shift as well.

Right off the bat, the movie shed some light on the stigma surrounding LGTBQ identity among traditional, older Chinese family members. Joy wants to introduce her partner to her grandpa at the Chinese New Year party but her mom Everlyn is skeptical about doing so and ends up introducing Becky as a “good friend” of Joy’s instead. In another scene, Everlyn can be seen misgendering Becky, using “he” instead of “she.”


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