10 Best Films 2022: Sam Sewell-Peterson

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once Review

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s Everything Everywhere All at Once unleashed the full loony potential of multiverse storytelling. And yet, when it came down to it, it was all about family.

Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) has a lot on her plate: a failing laundry business about to be audited, a marriage to Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) that has lost passion, her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) growing apart from her… and the fate of the multiverse in her hands.

Multiverse stories have a new high watermark. The Daniels make their only moderate budget go far, and come up with some truly zany, psychedelic dimension-jumping ideas, but it’s the grounded dysfunctional Asian-American family story that stays with you, plus sausage fingers and “Raccacoonie”.

1. The Quiet Girl

Tactile, humanist and low-key beautiful, this rare Irish language drama by Colm Bairéad is essential viewing for its honesty and its purity.

Solitary nine year-old Cáit (Catherine Clinch) is sent to live on her aunt Eibhlín’s (Carrie Crowley) farm in the country to avoid putting undue stress on her heavily pregnant mother (Kate Nic Chonaonaigh). While living there she discovers a new, more fulfilling and loving way of life.

The Quiet Girl (An Cailín Ciúin in Irish) may be small-scaled and simple, but it overflows with wisdom and truth. Not everyone is cut out to be a good mother or father, some can only really cope up to a point, and some kids will suffer in silence not because they are genuinely emotionally or physically abused but because they won’t make a fuss about the love they aren’t receiving.

Every family has its own issues, but in the right environment, with the right people to provide you the affection and support everyone craves, anyone can flourish. This intimate rural story feels the most real of any film released in 2022 and stands for the experiences of so many children in need of love, one small and unassuming moment shared between Cáit and her uncle Seán (Andrew Bennett) guaranteed to make your heart ache more than any big, manipulative awards-bait scene ever could. 

Recommended for you: 10 Best Films 2021: Sam Sewell-Peterson

Let’s all cross our fingers and hope for a creatively nourishing, original and exciting 2023 in cinema, and for as many true film fans as possible to continue to keep this great art form alive and thriving.

Which films would you include on your end of year top tens? Let us know in the comments and find @thefilmagazine on Facebook and Twitter to be notified of many more articles like this one.

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