A pitch to watch this Best Picture nominee

Mark Luetkehoelter, Librarian

The Academy Awards will be presented this year on Sunday, March 12. As usual, there’s no shortage of controversies concerning who or what was or wasn’t nominated.
Instead of focusing on any of those controversies, though, in this column, we’d like to make a pitch for watching one of the Best Picture nominees if you haven’t already seen it.
The film with the most nominations this year is “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” with 11 in total. It is nominated for best film, director, original screenplay, original song, original score, film editing, costume design, lead actress, supporting actor and two supporting actresses.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is the story of Evelyn (played beautifully by Michelle Yeoh), a middle-aged Chinese woman in the U.S. running a failing laundromat. Her business is in the middle of an IRS audit due to some creative accounting. In addition to the business anxiety, she feels her life is mundane and is frustrated by her relationships with her husband, daughter and father.
But as she laments her life being drab and dismal, she receives a visit from a version of her husband named Alpha Waymond from a parallel universe. Alpha has shown up to convince Evelyn she is the key to stopping an evil force that threatens to destroy all the infinite universes that exist. Evelyn bounces around universe to universe, living out different versions of herself (e.g., lifesaving scientist, martial arts master, movie star, chef) to save the multiverse.
There’s a lot going on in the film, with the pace being frenetic at times. It’s visually striking and imaginative, narratively clever and balances being funny and serious. Without giving away too much of the plot, there’s a nice little existential message for all of us about making the best of things in chaotic and worrisome times and embracing the relationships we have. Also, the film just makes you feel good.
The movie is available for checkout from the Madison College Libraries. Other nominated films, from this year and past years, are also available in our library collection. Try searching by title or with the subject term Academy Awards. You can also find many of those films through the library’s streaming movie databases, Swank and Kanopy.
While we’re on the topic of movies, if you’d like to show off your cinematic knowledge and possibly win a prize, check out the library’s Academy Awards trivia contest at https://libguides.madisoncollege.edu/trivia. You can submit an entry through March 10, and the winner will be announced on March 13.