Everything, Everywhere, All At once

Where I Watched it: VOD

English Audio Description?: Yes

Narrated By: Laura Post

You have to be careful when reviewing an A24 film. There’s a devoted army of fans now. Luckily for them, and myself, I thought this film kicked ass. You might have heard of this little film that could, as it started in limited release, and now has over 100M worldwide gross, and is considered a solid contender for the Oscars. That’s right, the mother flipping Oscars.

How did a film that managed to get the kid from indiana Jones back on the big screen find a harem of followers rooting for its chances to be Best Picture? Hot dog fingers? Likely. But, at the heart of this story is one that Turning Red really wanted to tell, the relationship between an Asian mother and daughter. Granted, this duo has wildly different circumstances, but there’s still very much a same singular thought.

Mother (Yeoh) is trying to do her best to keep her family, and especially her daughter (Hzu) as well. But, without spoiling too much, there’s a realization about a transformation, and some connections that only a mother and daughter can make. But instead of using a red panda, the fate of the multiverses are at stake. yes, i saw the film, and i remember they don’t use “multiverse”, but I am.

What this one does is create an even more complex story that seems very much nonsensical and totally batshit crazy at times, but as you continue to follow the film, you start to realize you’ve been on a flight this whole time, and your pilot is about to land this plane like a boss. And that’s exactly what the Daniels do, is create something so unique, so visually and conceptually outlandish, that when they sneak the emotional punch in, you’re not ready for it. You can’t even believe that it could be possible.

There’s a reason that Michelle Yeoh is being suggested for Best Actress, and it’s not because she’s cute. it’s because this really is a multi-dimensional performance sandwiched in a literal multi-dimensional role. It’s a hell of a lot more grounded than you might initially believe, but the ride that The Daniels want to take you on is the reward. The end of the film is what convinces you that you weren’t just high and watching Adult Swim the whole time. The end is what makes The Daniels, and this film, truly exceptional.

I had the honor of seeing this film right after seeing The Black Phone, and honestly, I think I was always programmed to love this film. Even blind, I just had to accept that this film was going to have a lot of batshit crazy stufff going on in the background that we couldn’t possibly fit in. The editing here alone deserves Oscar consideration. What a beast of a project to have to write narration for.

The Black Phone is another animal altogether, in a genre I don’t always like, so when it blew my mind, it really surprised me. I kind of always assumed I’d love this film, I just wasn’t expecting it to be so emotionally complex. So, while it may not be my favorite film of the year, it is almost. And I definitely think that it was worth the VOD rental fee.

Final Grade: A

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