Everything Everywhere All At Once & Me

“To all the little boys and girls that look like me, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities.  This is proof that dreams, dream big, and dreams do come true.” Michelle Yeoh began her Oscar speech by saying these words, I couldn’t help but feel touched by them and as if she was talking to me.  

I am an early forty something half Asian half Caucasian American, currently residing overseas. When Michelle Yeoh dedicated her speech, she was time travelling and talking to the seven year old me in this image below, dressed as Snow White one Halloween. 

 I wanted to be a princess and live the life all young girls aspire to.  It seemed ridiculous for a Hapa Haole (half Asian half white) girl in middle America to dream such a thing in the 1980’s.  Nobody looked like me on television, film, or cartoons.  Who was I aspire to be like? If I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t achieve it.  So much of my life to this point, I aspired to become that which others expected of me.  And after sometime, one wonders if you are living a life of your dreams or that of others. 

The plot and content of the film and alludes to the possibilities that exist within all of us, as they play with multiverses, time jumping, the unending twists of parallel lives. The film serves as a reminder of the hero’s journey and the numerous archetypes that exist within us.  Who will win?  Which path will we follow? 

The film Everything Everywhere All At Once dominated the Oscars last night winning in numerous categories, such as Best Film, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay to name a few.  Michelle Yeoh was the first Asian female to win Best Actress in Oscar history.

When Ke Huy Quan gave his speech for Best Supporting Actor, I couldn’t help but cry with empathetic joy.    “My journey started on a boat.  I spent a year at a refugee camp and somehow I ended up here, on Hollywood’s biggest stage.  They say stories like this only happens in the movies.  I cannot believe it’s happening to me.  This is the American Dream.”   It was beautiful to watch and witness this.  When one achievement is made by a human, it has the potential to elevate us all.  I know that sounds as if it is euphemism in some way, but watching him win, I felt this win.  I felt within the same year the observed acts of racism and discriminative actions being taken towards Asians within America and around the world.  I feel the triumphs and pain of one’s race, as I am sure so many of us do.  And this is why it is so vital for us to witness the beauty, diversity, and talent finally being celebrated and recognized in the entertainment world.  There is a sense of healing for us all, not just for our current selves, but the younger versions of us who still dream of what may come. 

 Ke Huy Quan ended his speech by saying “Dreams are something you have to believe in.  I almost gave up on mine.  To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive.”  The little 7 year old in me thanks both of you.

For a clip of Ke Huy Quan’s speech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFRIu7ehZl0 and Michelle Yeoh’s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6unrv6–pI . 

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