2022: A Year For Fantastic Cinema

Tyra Garrett, Section Editor

2022 has been a fantastic year for movies so far, with potential classics being released in theaters and streaming services across the world. Some broke records, while others flew under the radar. I’m going to reflect on four films that stood out to me and fair warning, there will be spoilers for all of the films presented!

 

Everything, Everywhere, All At Once- Rated R

Easily the best film of the year has to go to “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once.” Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh), her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), and her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) are going through a rough time in their life, with the family not being able to pay their mortgage and Evelyn considering a divorce. But the problems quickly change when Evelyn is forced by an alternate version of her husband to save her universe (and many others) from the biggest threat to the multiverse, Jobu Tupaki. At first, it seems like an eccentric comedy with no underlying meaning, but you quickly find out the true goal of this film. 

 

The visuals of “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once” are stunning, with bright lights, amazing costumes, and fantastic set design. In every different universe the sets and costumes drastically change, spanning from ridiculous to insanely realistic. But besides the amazing creative choices made for the visuals of the film, the true heart of this movie are the deeper themes. “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once” not only explores the meaning of life and how precious it is, but also family trauma and how it affects you and everyone around you. 

 

There are truly no words to describe how wonderful this movie is. It was one of the most unique movies I have ever seen as well as one of the most beautiful. After watching this in theaters I have not stopped thinking about the message that this film portrayed. I have recommended this to everyone I have come across because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, and I think it’s an essential movie to watch for any movie lover. However, it does have humor that is not suitable for all ages. Before watching the film, be prepared for inappropriate humor and language.

 

NOPE- Rated R

When “NOPE” was announced, it quickly became one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year due to the director Jordan Peele, who had directed previous films “Us” and “Get Out.” So on opening night, I watched “NOPE” in a packed theater and was immediately entranced. The film follows siblings Emerald (Keke Palmer) and OJ Hayward (Daniel Kaluuya) that discover an otherworldly creature in the skies above their horse ranch. However, as the movie progresses, it reveals much deeper themes.

 

We are introduced to a former child star and now the owner of their local theme park, Ricky “Jupe” Park (Steven Yeun). The film shows us Jupe’s traumatic experience as a child star, highlighting a gruesome animal attack on the fictional “Gordy’s Home” show in which he starred. Not only does this highlight the unsafe working conditions children are put through, but also how childhood trauma is swept under the rug and treated as a joke. Regarding animals in the film, another prevalent theme is the treatment of animals in Hollywood. The treatment of “Gordy” the chimp, as well as the horses on OJ and Emerald’s ranch, highlight how entitled people in Hollywood can be and how vile they are towards animals on set.

 

Overall, “NOPE” had one of the best casts of the year as well as stunning visuals that I am still thinking about months later. This movie is the type of movie that you might need to watch multiple times to catch all of the intricate details, and I encourage those who didn’t like it the first time to try it again, this time with a more open eye. If you aren’t comfortable with gore when it comes to films, this movie may not be for you, as there are some explicit moments in the film. 

 

Crush- PG-13

Compared to the others on the list, “Crush” may stand out the most. The film follows artist Paige Evans (Rowan Blanchard), as she is framed for vandalizing her school. Her goal is to not only find out who the true culprit is but to get closer to her crush Gabriella Campos (Isabella Ferreira), which she does by joining the track team. However, she finds herself getting closer to others on the team. 

 

Hulu quietly released this film and when I first watched I was so taken aback by how good it was. The performance by Rowan Blanchard as the main protagonist is fantastic, hilariously conveying the character’s awkwardness with her comedic timing. Not only did Rowan have a breakout performance, but her co-star Auli’i Cravalho also amazed me in this film as the mysterious AJ Campos, who Evans eventually falls for. The chemistry between the two is amazing and makes the couple feel real to the audience, making the film equally funny and heartwarming to watch.

 

“Crush” is a feel-good LGBTQ+ romcom that many have been waiting for. Teens and young adults will appreciate this movie immensely, so I truly recommend it. This film also features inappropriate language and jokes, so it could put some people off from watching the film.

 

Do Revenge- Rated R

“Do Revenge” is one of Netflix’s newest releases and it is easily one of their best original films in years. With unique dialogue, fun cinematography, and a fantastic cast, the comedy stood out to me. Our main protagonists are Drea (Camila Mendes) and Eleanor (Maya Hawke) who work out a deal to “do revenge” on each other’s rivals. However, as the movie progresses, you see both of the girl’s morals slip as they surround themselves with new people. 

 

“Do Revenge” made me laugh more than any movie on the list, with the amazing comedic timing and chemistry from Mendes and Hawke being a highlight. “Do Revenge” proves that Mendes is a very versatile actress, as she was previously pushed to the side due to her role in the hit teen drama “Riverdale.” I hope to see her in more comedies, as she really shines in this genre. The side characters were hilarious as well, specifically Sophie Turner as Erica, who had some of the funniest performances of the whole film. But besides the comedy, the movie’s values shine. It highlights how white male privilege affects young women, as well as how unity amongst women is extremely important. 

 

In more recent years, the teen comedy genre has fallen off of the radar due to lackluster performances and cringe dialogue, but “Do Revenge” has proved that the genre is still able to capture viewers’ attention. I highly recommend this movie to anyone in our generation, as it seems to represent our humor in a unique and fun way. Once again, the language and inappropriate humor make this film unsuitable for younger audiences.

 

PHOTO ATTRIBUTION: CC by Harkins.com