Everything Everywhere All At Once: Paul Rogers Wins the Academy Award for ‘Best Editing’
At the 95th Academy Awards, Everything Everywhere All At Once made history with the most awards won for a single film ever (a monumental seven in total), dominating four of the five major categories: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
A film of gigantic proportions, it is no doubt that it was a juggernaut to edit to balance the fast-paced action and ever-changing, swirling multi-verse with the slower, more emotionally heavy scenes between Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) and Joy Wang/Jobu Tupaki (Stephanie Hsu).
Paul Rogers, the editor of the award-winning film, weaves all these elements with masterful whimsy and skill. In a film where you can easily be lost in the waves of the multi-verse and swept into darkness, Rogers constantly keeps us afloat while maintaining the wonderful chaos of the film. There is not a single thing lost: the humour, the heart of the characters, the spectacle of universe-jumping and the expertly choreographed action sequences are kept in frenzied harmony with each other.
In an interview with Deadline, Rogers speaks about his process when working on the film: “I definitely have a tendency to push it until it breaks as a way of finding how far it can go, and then coming back to a happy place where it’s a little more balanced.” He adds that the performances of Yeoh, Hsu and Quan are what help him dictate what type of cut he would need for the scenes.
Well deserving of his ‘Best Editing’ Oscar, among his other major award wins, it will be immensely exciting to see what Rogers works on next.
By Stella Lau
All Quiet on the Western Front: Volker Bertelmann wins ‘Best Original Score’ at the Academy Awards
In the first blast of All Quiet on the Western Front now immediately recognisable three-note-motif, the track ‘Remains’ carries the tone for the rest of the film. Unlike recent award-winning war movies such as ‘1917‘ and ‘Dunkirk‘, the soundtrack alone creates an immediate warning that hero narratives that include patriotic, heart warming moments will not be present here. The soundtrack succeeds in pulling you into the world of trauma and fear that is experienced by the young protagonist, Paul. Initially, the viewer feels some sense of confusion as to what they are hearing. At first I didn’t know whether to laugh at the bluntness of the motif, but as the film continues, the sound becomes innately linked to dread and the inevitability of death. Often unpredictably inserted over the soft droning of strings, it parallels the sinister notion that for those in the trenches, no peaceful moment was safe. The motif prevents you from ever feeling at ease with the scenes you are watching, even in those quiet moments, reflecting the impossibility of feeling safe even for a moment. Much like the reality of war for the doomed characters in the film, the soundtrack keeps you constantly alert, refusing to allow you a moment to let your guard down.
In spite of winning the 2022 Academy Award for Best Original Score, a large body of criticism exists for the soundtrack largely due to the use of the same monothematic motifs and bleak overture. But again, this film is like no other Hollywood war blockbuster. Whilst other films may focus on more palatable themes such as comradery or a hero’s journey, with sweeping, triumphant orchestral soundtracks, this films focus lies confidently on the brutal destruction of human life. Soft, yet sad, orchestral tracks such as ‘Flares‘ and ‘Comrades‘ offer a brief break from the dominating heaviness of the soundtracks overall voice. In what I see as its most horrific scenes, the tracks ‘War Machines‘ and ‘Tanks‘ reflect a category that war films never quite confidently step into with their portrayal of battle, pure horror. This soundtrack succeeds in immersing you in understanding the trauma experienced during the author of the original novels time on the Western Front. In the same way that the film battles between scenes showing the propaganda of Germanys war machine and the reality of the front lines, the oppressive tone of this soundtrack challenges the commonality of how war is represented in cinema, both visually and musically.
By Kat Munday
Everything Everywhere All at Once: Ke Huy Quan becomes the first Asian actor to win ‘Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role’ at the SAG Awards!
Ke Huy Quan became the first Asian actor to win for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, 26th February, for his portrayal of Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once.
This is a monumental win for Ke Huy Quan, not only as the first Asian actor to win but also personally, to be celebrated after stepping away from acting due to the lack of opportunities given to Asian actors in the 80s in Hollywood. In his speech, he reflects on the present and the future: “The landscape looks so different now than before. Thank you so much to everyone in this room […] who contributed to these changes. To all those at home who are watching and struggling and waiting to be seen, keep going because one day the spotlight will find you.”
Ke Huy Quan’s return to the screen is a triumph and a blessing as we get to watch him work his magic on the script, lifting the words from the page and delivering them with gut-wrenching heartbreak to tender fondness to comical hilarity to grave earnestness. Of course, all of the lines that Ke Huy Quan delivers are full of his magnetic emotion, but he is also a very physical actor, and portrays feeling all the way to his fingertips, not a single muscle or breath wasted. It is why the flashback sequences through Evelyn’s (played by the incomparable Michelle Yeoh) perspective are so evocative and touching, because while Quan does not speak very much throughout them, he embodies Waymond so much that you cannot see the line between actor and character. As an audience, you watch Waymond with the same heartbreak and yearning, because Ke Huy Quan evokes it from within you.
He is a force to be reckoned with and we have much to look forward to, with upcoming films and tv shows slated to come out this year and next, with projects such as Disney’s Loki and American Born Chinese out this year, and the film adaptation of Simon Stålenhag’s The Electric Slate out in 2024. We cannot wait to be graced with the wonderful and great Ke Huy Quan for the rest of time.
By Stella Lau
Everything Everywhere All at Once: Michelle Yeoh’s SAG Win for Outstanding Performance Makes History!
History continued to be made with Michelle Yeoh’s win for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on 26th February, as she became the first Asian woman to win the award. Playing Evelyn Wang in the sprawling sci-fi film of epic proportions, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Michelle Yeoh brings forward every facet of the human wheel of emotion to the screen. A tired matriarch, juggling being a strong mother, wife and caring daughter to every member of her family, Michelle Yeoh weaves the bitter exasperation of Evelyn into the web of her emotional growth and revival, of her fear, her anger, her anguish, and her Joy.
A titan of the screen, it is undeniable that Michelle Yeoh grabs our attention every time she is on it, and it is bolstered by the fact that this role was destined by the universe to be hers. The Daniels, who were the writers and directors of the film, had reworked and rewritten the script for Michelle Yeoh, flipping from a male protagonist to a female one, which “opened up [the film]in a completely different way”.
Speaking in an interview with GQ, she says: “This was something I’ve been waiting for, for a long time. That’s going to give me the opportunity to show my fans, my family, my audience, what I’m capable of. To be funny, to be real, to be sad. Finally, somebody understood that I can do all these things.”
This award season has been a grand shower of flowers for Michelle Yeoh as she takes home the Golden Globe, Academy Award and SAG Award amongst many other recognitions of her work throughout the campaign for Everything Everywhere All at Once. And honestly, she deserves everything, everywhere!
A household name in Asia, Michelle Yeoh’s 40-year career has spanned from Hong Kong cinema in the 80s to American film and television in the late 90s to the present day. Having watched Michelle Yeoh in Hong Kong martial arts and action films from a young age, it is beyond emotional to see her make history time and time again. She is an inspiration, especially to other Asian people, especially Asian women, who are working or looking to work in the film industry, and she says in her acceptance speech: “This is not just for me. This is for every little girl that looks like me.”
A role that cannot be rivalled, and an actress who only elevates every script she touches to heights that cannot be compared, Michelle Yeoh is more than deserving of her flowers this award season and we hope to continue seeing her thrive in her upcoming projects.
By Stella Lau
Harry Styles wins 9 accolades this awards season!
Harry Styles has pretty much cleaned up during this 2023 awards season with 9 awards to his name. Settle in folks and join me whilst I praise Mr Styles for his accolades so far this year.
Brit awards: ‘Best Song’- ‘As It Was’, ‘Best Album’- Harry’s House, ‘Best Artist’, ‘Best Pop/ R&B act’
Grammys: ‘Record of the Year’- ‘As It Was’, ‘Best pop vocal album’ – Harry’s House
The Global Awards: ‘Best Song’ – ‘As It Was’, ‘Best Male Artist’, ‘Best British Act’
In one of the many heartfelt speeches, Harry thanks his mum for signing him up for the X Factor without his knowledge. He recognises his beginnings and the wild journey he’s been on to get to where he is today as a successful solo artist. Even sending thanks to fellow band members of One Direction; Niall (Horan), Louis (Tomlinson), Liam (Payne) and Zayn (Malik) and recognising that he wouldn’t be receiving his awards without his time spent with them.
Considering Harry started off with humble beginnings as a bakery assistant in Crewe, he’s come a long way in his career. In 7 years of being a solo artist, Harry has released 3 studio albums, toured the world and doing so with the message of spreading kindness, sang on stage with Shania Twain (a personal favourite of his), taken on acting roles in indie movies and headlined at Coachella– to name a few successes! With such a huge platform as his, he’s spreading kindness and allowing his fans to be who they want to be at his concerts. An icon and the moment, Mr Harry Styles.
By Rosie Spurrier