Directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (who professionally operate under the pen name DANIELS) were first thrust onto the radar of most Letterboxd dorks with their 2016 comedy/fantasy film Swiss Army Man. A bizarrely beautiful comedy about a hopeless man (Paul Dano) stranded on a deserted island, befriending a dead body (Daniel Radcliffe) on a surreal journey to get home. Since then, DANIELS have been working on an even more bizarre, even more beautiful comedy/fantasy film: Everything Everywhere All at Once. Produced by A24, an independent distribution company increasingly known for their mid-budget, often artsy genre films & willingness to give directors full creative control.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is spectacular, the multiverse movie to end all multiverse movies. When an interdimensional rupture unravels reality, an unlikely hero (Michelle Yeoh) must channel her newfound powers to fight bizarre and bewildering dangers from the multiverse as the fate of the world hangs in the balance. This film is absurd, hilarious, overstimulating, unique, breathtaking, existential, life-affirming and deeply impactful, with every filmmaking aspect operating at a consistent masterclass level. There are one-second long shots which clearly took hours and hours of planning, to great effect. You can feel every piece of cinema which inspired this film, just as well as you can feel all of the future filmmakers who will be inspired by it, & we're likely to see its influence on the cinematic craft for decades to come.
Considering its massive scope, Everything Everywhere never forgets the human element which drives the film: an intimate, profound and infinitely relatable story about the paths we take & the importance of the things which matter in our lives over that which could have mattered (among many other poignant themes). It’s a transcending experience, one of those movies so self-reflective you may leave with a new perspective entirely. You will laugh, you’ll probably cry. Most of my theater was doing both. The perfect mesh of almost a dozen genres, all working together in symphony. It's a blast. The action is intensely creative & the visuals are incredibly striking, especially when you take into account that the SFX team only consists of five crewmembers. In an interview, director Daniel Kwan describes that much of the footage used as green screen background for a multiverse jumping scene was simply achieved by him walking through city streets with a pocket camera held at his chest. It's somewhat endearing to see how rooted these directors are in their indie filmmaking techniques even with a larger budget at their disposal. Science Fiction family dramas about everything bagels only come so often, and this one needs your support. Go see it.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is produced by A24 and currently playing at theaters around the U.S.