Everything Everywhere All At Once Co-Director Urges Fans Not To Attack Critics Online

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once
(Image credit: A24)

As many best-of lists start to drop from various publications, including this one, and 2022 comes to a close the online discourse has started to become aggressive from fans when their favorite films don’t end up on said end-of-year lists. Everything Everywhere All At Once has been praised since its release in March, I know I was telling everyone I knew to go see it, however, it hasn't ended up in some publications lists. With awards season upon us, the A24 hit is not only in contention but a frontrunner, so when it’s not on the best of lists, its fans have been getting angry. However one of the directors, Daniel Kwan is urging fans to stay calm, and not attack critics online. 

Kwan co-directed Everything Everywhere All At Once with Daniel Scheinert, they go by The Daniels, and they have been collaborators for a long time. The director recently took to Twitter because he had been made aware of people getting angry at critics for not adding their A24 film to some best-of lists, in response Kwan tweeted

The algorithm pushed this onto my timeline, and as one of the people who made the film, this aggression will not stand, man. I know the end of year discourse on film twitter can be toxic af with all of the ‘Best of’ lists that come out, but this really needs to stop. The act of ranking any piece of art is so absurd and should only be seen as an incredibly personal and subjective endeavor.

He then went on to say the 2022 movie schedule was full of remarkable films that all deserve to be celebrated, and he asked viewers why they’d want to spend their time being angry, when they could watch these amazing movies. Kwan also explained how end-of-the-year lists can cause toxic discourse, but he did say they are a great opportunity “for people to discover films they haven’t heard of,” and celebrate the work of artists who wouldn't be recognized otherwise. 

Kwan continued: 

A healthy industry requires a diverse range of films finding their own versions of success. Every list that deviates from the norm should be celebrated (unless they're shilling problematic shit hah) I am so grateful to the fans who love this film and have made it their own. I know for many, this story and characters mean a lot so any slight towards the film feels like a personal attack, but lashing out does everyone a disservice (and is counteractive to the film's message).

This film has been praised loudly by critics, viewers and even celebrities like Andrew Garfield who rocked the film’s hot dog fingers, and Brendan Fraser who enthusiastically praised Ke Huy Quan’s performance in the film. While Kwan made it clear he is eternally grateful for all the praise, he also said it’s wonderful for films that would not have been heard of otherwise to end up on these end-of-year lists. 

On this note, he ended his messages to Everything Everywhere All At Once fans by saying: 

Next time you see something about our film that makes you angry, take a step back, remind yourself why you fell in love with our movie. Those feelings are infinitely more important to you than any list from some critic who has a completely different lived experience from you.

Kwan ended his thread by talking about how the discourse around the Daniels' films has always been “polarizing,” referencing the conversation around their film Swiss Army Man, and he likes seeing everyone's unique views. 

He closed out his thread saying he doesn't want to see any “bullies,” “meanies” or “buttheads” as we go into Oscar season. Kwan also urged fans to calmly ask people to think about their actions and repost this tweet if they see anything mean: 

So, as end-of-the-year lists continue to come out, remember Kwan’s words and remember that these lists are subjective views from one person or a small team of people. They can be used as a tool to find new amazing films for your viewing pleasure, and based on what the EEAAO co-director has tweeted that’s also how he thinks they should be viewed. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.