“Everything Everywhere All at Once” sweeps at the SAG awards leading up to the Oscars


photo courtesy of wikimedia commons

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” broke SAG (Screen Actors Guild) awards records on February 26 after the film won four out of the five categories.

Senior Nathan Hill loves watching films and shared his thoughts on the potential for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” to win the Oscar for best picture. 

“I am hesitant to say that I expect it to win, cause I don’t want to jinx it. But the film received the top prizes at the Screen Actors, Writers Guild, Directors Guild, and Producers Guild Awards, in addition to its incredible 11 total nominations, edges me towards the likelihood of it getting the win. It is personally my choice for best picture, but I would not be upset if a movie like “Avatar: The Way of the Water,” “Top Gun Maverick,” or “Tár” took home the award,” Hill shared.

The film follows Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh), a Chinese-American immigrant, as she finds her family-run business in trouble with the IRS. Her relationship with her family remains complicated as her daughter (Stephanie Hsu) tries to gain her mother’s respect while her relationship with her husband (Ke Huy Quan) teeters on divorce. These relationships lead Evelyn to travel into a multiverse where she has to save the entire universe by stopping the alternate versions of her daughter from destroying the world. 

Senior Ella Synder enjoyed the themes “Everything Everywhere All at Once” explored.

“At the end of the day, the message was that even if I could be anywhere in the universe, I want to spend my life with you. The whole point of the movie was Michelle Yeoh’s character realizing that she wanted to spend that life with her family and that optimism could be good, and I think that a lot of people needed to hear that and it delivered it in a fun, new way,” Snyder explained.

At the SAGs, Yeoh won best actress, Quan won best supporting actor, Jamie Lee Curtis won best supporting actress, and the entire cast won best ensemble.

“Their performances were amazing,” Snyder said. “Jamie Curtis was insane. To watch the different emotions and the subtleties she brought to her character and Michelle Yeoh — that was the first time I’ve seen her — she was just really good. She carried that story so well.”

With her recent Oscar nomination, Yeoh became the first openly Asian woman to receive recognition in the highly coveted best actress category. In her acceptance speech at the SAG awards, she opened up about the struggles she faced as an Asian actress in Hollywood.

“This is not just for me. This is for every little girl that looks like me. Thank you for giving me a seat at the table because so many of us need this. We want to be seen, we want to be heard, and tonight you’ve shown us that it is possible, and I’m grateful. And my mom will be eternally grateful to you,” Yeoh said.

Curtis also shocked film fans with her win as many predicted the award to go to either Angela Bassett for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” or Kerry Condon for “The Banshees of Inisherin”. In her speech, she thanked her famous parents’ hard work for the opportunity to act herself.

“I’m wearing the wedding ring my father gave my mother. They hated each other, by the way. But my sister Kelly and I were born from love. My father was from Hungary and my mother was from Denmark. They had nothing, and they became these monstrous stars in this industry they loved so much. My parents were actors,” Curtis shared.

Her co-star Quan also shared his own admiration for the film after winning best supporting actor. As a child, Quan played Short Round in Steven Spielburg’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” along with Data in the 1985 adventure film “Goonies”. After trying for years to get a role in Hollywood, Quan stepped away from acting and did a variety of jobs behind the scenes of films. 

Senior Ella Cimperman enjoyed seeing Quan return to the spotlight this year.

“I was surprised to see him have such a comeback. I hadn’t heard about him in anything newer and I only knew him from his movies as a kid. When I heard he won a bunch of stuff, I was surprised and really happy for him that he had another opportunity,” Cimperman described.

When Quan decided to start acting again after turning fifty, the Daniels, the directors of “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, reached out to him to play Evelyn’s husband in the film.

“This is a really emotional moment for me,” Quan shared during his SAG acceptance speech. “Recently I was told that if I was to win tonight, I would become the very first Asian actor to win in this category. When I heard this, I quickly realized that this moment no longer belongs to just me, it also belongs to everyone who has asked for change.”

For the SAG ensemble award, the 94-year-old actor James Hong, who played Evelyn’s father in the film, reflected on his career culminating towards this award in his speech.

“Back in those days, I have to tell you, there’s “The Good Earth,” the leading role was played by these guys with their eyes taped up like this, who talk like this,” Hong shared as he impersonated the stereotypical portrayal of Asians in old Hollywood films. “The producer said the Asians are not good enough, and they are not box office. But look at us now.”

The Oscars will take place on March 12 and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” earned 11 nominations. Although the film is predicted to win in many of its categories, a lot of film fans wonder how the Oscars recognized such a unique Sci-fi film when they typically award dramas.

“I think because the film tackles such a wide variety of topics and genres in clear and accessible ways, it is able to appeal to people on a near-universal level,” Hill explained. “I watched it with friends, my sister, and my mom — there was something in it that connected with all of them. I also think that because the people involved — actors, writers, directors, crew, editors, musicians, costume designers — have so much passion and love for the movie, the care they put in transcends the screen and the audience can feel how much time and effort was made for this film.”