If you have not heard of 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' by now then where have you been? Hidding under a googly eyed rock from another multiverse world?
While I question whether the feature film should be prized for 🥇 Best Picture, EEAAO is certainly deserving to clean up the 95th Oscars in 🥇Best Actress - Michelle Yeoh, 🥇Best Director - Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert aka Daniel Sons, 🥇Best Supporting Actress - Jamie Lee Curtis, 🥇Best Supporting Actor - Ke Huy Kwan, 🥇Best Screenplay and 🥇Best Film Editing.
As described by Executive Producer, Jonathan Wang, it really was just a bunch of weirdos making a movie about a first migrant family which many of the creatives shared as a common thread. Now throw in a multitude of multiverse featuring Charlie Chaplin style silent dialogue between googly eyed mother and daughter rocks, sexualised hot dog love scene between Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon take, and many more... oops forgot to mention my favourite, Ratatouille Raccoon, that not even Marvel could imagine or avenge with.
So, who comes up with this S*@T?
Because it is the weird, yet entertaining that moves the audience that counts now.
Photograph. Michelle Yeoh awarded Best Actress for Oscars 2023. Straight from my tv.
Overall, the impact to EEAAO is unimaginable. Why?
“Everyone, Everywhere” of Asian heritage now that “All At Once” we are being seen and recognised 👏 Thank you Hollywood 👏
I mean it took Hollywood long enough to recognise the audience landscape and appetite for a unique level of entertainment. Today, international audiences are far reaching by the likes of streamers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney, so now more than ever we are given the opportunity to experience so much content diversity and tailored algorithms to appease what we like. We have so much access to independent and 'eccentric' content, not even the glitzy shores of Hollywood can dictate what we should like anymore.
Photograph. Jonathan Wang accepting Best Picture for Oscars 2023. Straight from my tv.
If four vampires living 'harmoniously' together in a share house is a winning combo, then the realms of content possibility and viewership is beyond all our imagination. *Yes, I am referring to 'What We Do In The Shadows'... so good.
FIRST ASIAN WOMAN TO WIN BEST ACTRESS
For Michelle Yeoh to win best actress is an epic moment to signify that times have changed and Hollywood is an open slate for all multinational narratives. This is a stark reminder that the only time a leading female actress with Asian origins won an Oscar was back in 1935 by Merle Oberon of Sri Lankan heritage.
Yeoh's win is so epic because she said out loud all the things audiences wanted to hear and one that could destroy a celebrity's future outlook before campaigns such as #MeToo and #Racism #ItStopsWithMe
What resonated with me the most was when Yeoh said, “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof - dream big and dreams do come true.”
Yeoh also hit a g spot for standing up to the image of women who are shunned after their prime, “And ladies, don't let anybody tell you you're ever past your prime." Maybe Leonardo Dicaprio could consider raising his bar above 30 years old or more.
There is nothing worse than tabloids and every day conversations empowering men as silver foxes and sugar daddies, when mature women are just as entitled to be sexy and enticing in their old age.
Didn't you get turned on when Yeoh and Lee Curtis went for it with hot dog fingers?
WHAT ABOUT ASIAN MEN?
While the community celebrates a much needed win on the Best Actress front, let’s see how long it would take for a leading male with Asian heritage to win another Oscar. It’s been over 40 years since Ben Kingsley won it for Gandhi. Perhaps, it's Jackie Chan's turn?
Nevertheless, a big shout out to Ke Huy Kwan winning Best Supporting Actor. You have come a long way since Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. As a kid, I was friggin' scared of the sequel, but I watched it over and over again anyway, because it resonated with me. Why?
You. A Chinese kid.
Back in my day in the late 80s, there weren't many movies in Australia or in the US with Chinese kids on the silver screen.
Maybe, Eddie Murphy's Golden Child came close.
Photograph. Ke Huy Kwan awarded Best Supporting Actor for Oscars 2023. Straight from my tv.
EEAAO IS SO CONFUSING
Yes, it certainly is a confusing storyline. In fact, there are two distinctive storylines.
One being the obvious, Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Kwan saving each other across multiverses whilst fighting off their evil daughter. Or, so she is portrayed in the movie due to many childhood traumas inflicted by the Michelle Yeoh X Ke Huy Kwan combo.
Second, like Jamie Lee Curtis stated at the Oscars, it is a story about love. Love that is expressed by a first migrant family. One of duty as opposed to romance. If you want romance, then flick to multiverse of Michelle Yeoh X Ke Huy Kwan as mega celebrities slash power couple.
How is love expressed by a first migrant family? The answer is duty to family. This is the sacrifice you make as a family member to give the next generation the best opportunity to pursue success. What does success look like to a typical migrant family?
It's definitely not happiness at first sight.
And, that is what EEAAO is all about. Traversing the multiverse to find happiness for all three generations under one roof.
I won't give the movie away any further, but I will conclude with an emotive note. All the Chinese sons and daughters of first migrants to the West wept during this movie. I may have exaggerated based on three accounts.
No matter if you are in Australia or in the US or further afield, we salute to EEAAO - a truth of our parents' suffering and sacrifice. It represents their duty to love and to protect, and to build a better future for their children. But at the end of the day, we as sons and daughters missed out on what we wanted most, that emotional connection to be happy and to express it wholeheartedly.
Happiness is a luxury when you are a first migrant family.
And, EEAAO said it all.
Thank you Daniels and the fantastic cast behind EEAAO, you have opened the Asian Box to what might be possible and palatable to the rest of the world. Fingers crossed, as Asian Westerns, we no longer need to be portrayed as ninjas, triads or ladies of the night. Let us be seen as individuals in mainstream stories.
Founder of CBMP