The Michelle Yeoh Moment With ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Is Already Changing Hollywood

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/A24/Getty
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/A24/Getty

This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by editor Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.

This week:

The Everything Everywhere All at Once Moment

There’s a euphoric epiphany that I think most of us had the first time we watched Everything Everywhere All at Once: This movie is going to change the industry.

There were the hot dog fingers, the buttplugs, the raccoons, and the transmogrification of the lead characters into rocks. Plus, on top of that, it had some of the most devastatingly human conversations between family members that have happened on screen this year. The acting, directing, and mainstream Asian representation has been embraced by notoriously stuffy awards organizations. All of that—that strangeness, that boldness, mixed with that esteem—doesn’t happen without upending the industry completely.

<div class="inline-image__credit">A24</div>

What’s been really fun about these last few months is watching that change happen in real-time.

It’s not just that Michelle Yeoh is winning the major awards that she so deserves, and is now a mainstay of a glamorous PR push for an Oscar. It’s also that the opportunity and potential that a moment like this can give a career is being realized. I’m not saying that, for everyone, being cast as Madame Morrible in the upcoming Wicked movies is the end-all, be-all of success for an actor. But I am also… me. In my world, this is the biggest of big deals.

This week, a video of breakout star Stephanie Hsu’s audition for the movie went viral. It is hypnotizing. She killed it. You get the feeling that you’re watching a star being born at that moment.

Another viral moment came from Daniel Kwan, one of “the Daniels,” the masterminds behind the film. He came across a tweet in his timeline singling out examples of EEAAO fans aggressively attacking critics who didn’t include the film in their Best of the Year lists. His reaction was to post his own remarkably reasoned thread in response. He urged the film’s fans to not only back off such toxic and hateful discourse, but to also consider the value of year-end lists that spotlight a variety of films and reflect people’s personal tastes—which obviously aren’t going to match that of every single movie lover.

I’m just saying, it’s all extremely good vibes with this movie. I hope that catches on.

The Wild Career of Kirstie Alley

It’s been difficult to talk about Kirstie Alley and her legacy in the wake of her shocking death this week. For some people, there’s an impulse to dance on the grave, given her involvement with Scientology and some of the more upsetting things she said and tweeted. Others have fierce nostalgic attachments to her best performances in Cheers, Fat Actress, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and Look Who’s Talking—and they were phenomenal performances.

There was a time in the 1990s when she was maybe the world’s most famous actress. Even later in her career, when her views started to rankle her fans, her candor (and humor) about her weight struggles fortified that emotional connection. (It’s embarrassing, but I’ll say it: I voted for her on Dancing With the Stars.)

When a celebrity like Alley dies, figuring out how to harness all of those conflicting feelings can seem like an impossibility. That’s why I’m grateful for this succinct, perfect assessment from radio, podcast, and TV host Michelle Collins:

<div class="inline-image__credit">Twitter Screenshot</div>
Twitter Screenshot

Abbott Elementary Needs to Be Hornier

Like a normal human, I’ve been really enjoying this new season of Abbott Elementary. I’m also, as a Cheers lover, Frasier nerd, The Office obsessive, and New Girl fan, a big proponent of the will-they/won’t-they storyline…to a point.

<div class="inline-image__credit">ABC</div>

I just watched this past week’s Christmas episode (warning: spoiler ahead), in which Janine and Gregory grind on each other at a club and almost kiss. Listen, as much as I appreciate this narrative device, a person only has so much patience. It’s getting to the point that, unless we get a full-on hardcore sex tape from these two, it’s not going to be satisfying when they finally get together. Get these two elementary school teachers boning already!

Julia Roberts, No Notes

Please note the pattern on this dress that Julia Roberts wore to the Kennedy Center Honors pays tribute to George Clooney. She is the best movie star of our generation, and we will not be debating this.

<div class="inline-image__credit">Twitter Screenshot</div>
Twitter Screenshot

What to watch this week:

Little America: “The kind of show everyone needs to see today” is an overused phrase. Pretend it’s not, and watch this show. (Now on Apple TV+)

Baking It: I just learned that Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph co-host a baking competition, so I’m sending a PSA to all of you. (Mon. on Peacock)

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio: The Pinocchio movie from this year that you don’t need to run screaming from. (Now on Netflix)

What to skip this week:

The Whale: It’s a hard one, because Brendan Fraser is so good. But the movie is so manipulative and mean. (Now in theaters)

Empire of Light: It’s a hard one, because Olivia Colman is so good. But the movie is cheesy as hell. (Now in theaters)

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