‘EEAAO’ wins everything everywhere all at once

Talia Bumanglag ’24, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The phenomenon of Everything Everywhere All At Once has found success around the world, and continues to do so through this awards season. Though the film came out in early 2022, with the major awards happening within the last three months, it has gained even more popularity and made history within the entertainment industry.

The movie touches on the Asian American experience, and the relationships between mothers and daughters. Evelyn Wang, portrayed by Michelle Yeoh, is a laundromat owner trying to balance a rocky relationship with her daughter, and saving the universes from an evil entity that wants to destroy the universe; that entity being her daughter. 

Gabriel Llaguna ’24 shared his interest in the movie explaining, “My initial thoughts were that it was confusing. You really have to pay attention to the movie because there’s three sections, and at the end I realized all three were happening at the same time. Hence the title.”

This multiversal comedy-drama takes you on a ride through the endless possibilities of one’s life, and the regrets and blessings that come along the way. Its existentialism and themes of the hardships between children and their immigrant parents warmed hearts around the world and was relatable for a vast majority of audiences.  

Counselor Melanie Aguas excitedly expressed her love for the movie saying, “I loved Everything Everywhere All At Once! I laughed, cried, gasped, and experienced a rollercoaster of emotions as I watched it.”

Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, and Key Huy Quan’s portrayals of the Wang family have received worldwide praise for their range of performances throughout this movie alone. Specifically Quan, who had not received his first  major role in decades, but has been congratulated for his outstanding performance, and has deeply displayed his gratitude along the way. 

However, both Quan and Yeoh have expressed the difficulties with gaining opportunities in the film industry as an asian. Yeoh explained these hardships in an interview with Variety Magazine explaining, “At that point, people in the industry couldn’t really tell the difference between whether I was Chinese or Japanese or Korean or if I even spoke English…I didn’t work for almost two years, until ‘Crouching Tiger,’ simply because I could not agree with the stereotypical roles that were put forward to me.”


Within the recent decades, more POC led films have broadened the spectrum of new actors and stories being told. Audiences of all avenues seeing people that look and represent them is important for international growth and acceptance.

Aguas continued, “I think it is imperative for people to see themselves represented on screen. Specifically for the Asian community, it’s a triumph to see Asians onscreen in a positive light and not as caricatures or stereotypes. We need that film representation, to inspire the younger generations, and affirm that their stories are worth telling and watching.”

Llaguna later explained how seeing people that look like him on screen, presents a sense of pride as well, saying, “My first thought is always ‘oh they’re Asian, I should support them because they’re Asian,’ as I know in the movie industry Asians are the lower level minority. So just seeing an Asian movie being recognized globally makes me feel proud to be Asian.”

During this awards season, Everything Everywhere All At Once, received a multitude of awards, nominations, and made history. The film racked up a total of 264 awards so far, across many different categories and ceremonies, including a record-breaking four wins at the SAG awards, and seven Oscar wins: best picture, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best director, best original screenplay, and best film editing. It has become the most awarded Best Picture, since Slumdog Millionaire in 2008.

Along with the many awards it has won, most recently Yeoh has become the first Asian woman to win Best Actress in a leading role at the SAG awards, became the first Asian best actress nominee at the Oscars, and the first Asian best actress winner, making her only the second person of color to ever win that award. 

Quan has also won Best Actor in a supporting role at the SAG Awards, and similarly was nominated for best supporting actor at the Oscars, which he won and accepted with a heart-warming speech.

Both actors have broken barrier after barrier, making history as the pioneer Asians that opened up opportunities for all. These wins are big within the Asian community and all around the globe have felt senses of pride for finally being recognized.

Aguas commented, “I believe the popularity and critical acclaim of EEAAO will help put Asian and Asian-American experiences at the forefront in the movie industry. Some recent Asian-centered movies, such as Parasite and Crazy Rich Asians, have helped put Asian stories and stars on the map.”

She added, “EEAAO is a fantasy movie, but with its depiction of immigration, familial relationships, and contemplating one’s life choices, it has something that many people can relate to, regardless of ethnicity or nationality.”

The rise of Asian stories being told in the film industry, has opened up the floodgates for more opportunities for other Asian actors in this historically exclusive environment. Even now, older actors like Quan and Yeoh, are finally finding opportunities for themselves that showcase their talent for more than what they look like or where they come from.

The more people’s stories are told, the further society is able to progress and accept all of those who make up the nation.