It’s 2015. The Oscar nominations have just been announced. You scroll through Twitter and see #OscarsSoWhite is trending. You think to yourself, “yeah, they really are.”
Although the Oscars have made some strides in diversifying nominations and representation in Hollywood has improved, the progress has merely scratched the surface.
This is why Best Picture nominee Everything Everywhere All At Once is so important.
As a busy university student, I don’t often find the time to watch new movies. When in need of a break, I tend to stick to rewatching my old favourites in the comfort of my own bed. Needless to say, I’m not the most up to date on new releases. But, when everyone and their mom told me to watch Everything Everywhere All At Once, I obliged.
The film follows Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) as she gets swept up in the ultimate interdimensional adventure. It is a comedy, family drama, sci-fi and action all in one. Despite literally everything going on all at once, the film is grounded in its characters and family dynamics that are sure to tug on your heartstrings.
Among reboots, revivals and biopics that are so popular nowadays, it is rare a film is this fresh. It is uniquely hilarious and exhilarating. Name another film that features both generational trauma and hot-dog fingers. You can’t.
Everything Everywhere All At Once has dominated the awards season thus far, and I expect their reign to continue. The film has nabbed Best Picture at the Critics Choice Awards as well as Golden Globes for both lead actress Michelle Yeoh and supporting actor Ke Huy Quan, to name a few.
I was happy to see Stephanie Hsu, who plays the daughter of Yeoh and Quan in the film, receive an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress after, in my opinion, being snubbed this awards season.
Yeoh is also up for Best Actress at the Oscars, making her the second Asian best actress nominee in Oscars history, and the first to be playing an asian identifying character. Not to mention, this is Yeoh’s first lead role in her decades long career. This is not for lack of talent, but lack of opportunity.
The fact is, Hollywood is still so white. Films starring people of colour aren’t made nearly enough. UCLA’s 2021 Hollywood Diversity Report states Latinx, Asian and Indigenous people are among the least represented in film and TV.
So, a film starring not one, not two, but three Asian actors in main roles is more of an exception than it is a rule. However, the success of Everything Everywhere All At Once promises great things for the future. If box office hit Crazy Rich Asians was any indicator, this film just might pave the way for more representation.
I will be tuning in on March 12, hoping and praying for a Best Picture win. If you haven’t seen this film already, give it a shot. With its genre-bending qualities, there is sure to be something for everyone.