I've seen some weird movies in my life. I have. "Eraserhead," "Paprika," Jodorowsky's "The Dance of Reality," and "Rubber" to name a few. But this - this easily ranks in the top five, and may just have taken the number one spot. Imagine if "Amelie" took LSD and amphetamines at the same time ...
The incomparable Michelle Yeoh is Evelyn Quan Wang, a stressed out Chinese-American woman running a laundromat with her goofy and charming husband. Evelyn's demanding father (James Hong - it's always James Hong) has just arrived from Hong Kong, their business is being audited, their daughter is gay, it's Chinese New Year, and her husband may be divorcing her. Everything All at Once. And then she starts crossing the multiverse.
The movie is at its core about a woman struggling to both find herself and connect with her daughter. To that end, we're subjected to possibly the trippiest movie in the history of cinema as Evelyn tries to stay grounded and connect with her daughter. I gotta say ... I'm still processing this one.
This was directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the pair that brought us "Swiss Army Man." I thought that one was interesting, but not good (but it readily qualified for the "weird" list above). This is an order of magnitude better - while simultaneously making the very weird "Swiss Army Man" look sane and boring. Also filed under "very weird" is the lead pair of producers: Joe and Anthony Russo, the pair who directed the four biggest Marvel movies.
The second most important person in this movie is probably Ke Huy Quan as Evelyn's husband Waymond. Reading about him on Wikipedia is interesting: 'Quan played Short Round in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984) and Data in "The Goonies" (1985). ... Quan stopped acting due to a lack of opportunity in the late 1990s ... He returned to acting as Waymond Wang in the film "Everything Everywhere All at Once" (2022), a role for which he received critical acclaim.' And well he should have: he was wonderful.
Movie references abound: the most obvious one - named out loud - is "Ratatouille," but close on its heels is a blatant visual reference to "The Matrix" (actually "Reloaded," but who's counting?). I have to admit I needed Wikipedia's assistance to notice that the version of Evelyn that's a martial arts movie star was a tribute to Wong Kar-wai (one critic referenced the "exquisite romantic yearning," which is perfect) and as soon as I read that I thought "Oh hell yes!" I suspect there are more references I'll spot on a rewatch.