Everything Everywhere All at Once, the zany multiverse comedy-drama starring Michelle Yeoh, is the first film from film production company A24 to gross US$100 million worldwide.
It’s quite an achievement: A24 has been behind some hugely successful films, including 2016’s Moonlight, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird and Asif Kapadia’s 2015 documentary Amy. However, if the studio first received notoriety and then accolades, now finally it is money arrived.
Everything Everywhere All at Once has more than A24’s previous top global earners Hereditary ($80 million in sales), Lady Bird ($78 million), Moonlight ($65 million) and Uncut Gems ($50 million). million US dollars).
The film follows the story of a woman who discovers that she must connect with parallel universe versions of herself in order to battle a being that threatens to destroy the multiverse. It’s made waves for being unpredictable, crazy, and brilliantly fun, and bringing the independent film studio to an even wider audience.
Since launching in 2012, A24 has become increasingly successful. The studio, founded by film industry stars Daniel Katz, David Fenkel and John Hodges, began distributing the films A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III and then Spring Breakers.
Over the years it has produced Oscar-winning films including Room, Moonlight, Ex Machina and Minari, and has worked with some of the biggest names in indie Hollywood including Sofia Coppola (the On The Rocks and The Bling Ring with the studio), Gaspar Noé’, James Franco, Andrea Arnold (whose film American Honey won the 2016 Cannes Jury Prize) and Joel Coen (with his 2021 black and white version of Macbeth starring Denzel Washington). A24 is also the studio behind HBO’s hit teen drama series Euphoria.
A24 is showing three films for the first time at the Venice Film Festival this year: Ti West’s Pearl, Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale and Joanna Hogg’s The Eternal Daughter.
If you’re new to A24, you’ll be delighted. The studio has a full list of brilliant films to watch – so many that it’s a really difficult task to narrow down a selection. Nonetheless, here’s our round-up of the best A24 films to date, although they’re almost certainly missing some bobby dazzlers…
1. Gems in the Rough – Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie
If you were on the internet earlier this year, it’s unlikely you missed Julia Fox’s viral soundbite that reads “Uncut Gems.” However, you may have overlooked the source of that infamous phrase: a 2019 crime thriller starring Adam Sandler, Julia Fox and Idina Menzel from the Safdie brothers. Set in New York, it stars Sandler as a jeweler making a series of high-stakes bets around a valuable black opal. It’s fast, loud, bold and extremely, extremely tense. Forget the popcorn watching, invest in a stress ball instead.
2. The Lighthouse – Robert Eggers
American director Robert Eggers, who recently directed The Northman, first found success with the folk horror The Witch, followed by the psychological thriller The Lighthouse with A24. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson play as two lighthouse keepers who are stranded by a particularly violent storm in a small New England outpost in the 19th century. You’re starting to go a little crazy, and it’s a terrifying watch with undertones of Citizen Kane and Hitchcock Psycho.
3. Farewell – Lulu Wang
Awkwafina won an Oscar for her role in this tender comedy about a Chinese-American family who choose not to tell their grandmother that she has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and doesn’t have long to live, and instead calls a family reunion. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It’s both hilarious and deeply moving.
3. The Souvenir – Joanna Hogg
Directed by British director Joanna Hogg, this critically acclaimed 2019 film is a semi-autobiographical retelling of her experiences at film school. It stars Tilda Swinton, daughter of actor Honor, Tom Burke and Richard Ayoade. The story is deliciously told while the film is also an aesthetic treat.
4. The Children Act – Richard Eyre
Starring Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci, 2017’s The Children Act feels like a departure of sorts for A24. Based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Ian McEwan, who also wrote the screenplay, it tells the story of 17-year-old Adam Henry who is diagnosed with leukemia.
His doctors want to give him a blood transfusion, which will help him fight the disease, but Adam and his parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses, so they believe receiving a transfusion is unbiblical. Thompson is a High Court judge tasked with unraveling the dramatic case.
5. Hereditary – Ari Aster
This 2018 film from Midsommar director Ari Aster is one of A24’s biggest earners, and it’s easy to see why. The film, which stars Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne, uses the idea of hereditary trauma and is genuinely chilling, cleverly playing on classic horror tropes. After a family’s mysterious grandmother dies, they are haunted by a dark presence. Absolutely terrifying.
6. Menashe—Joshua Z Weinstein
This 2017 film tells the story of a single father, Menashe, who wants to spend more time with his son. However, in the New York Hasidic community from which he comes, a rabbi has decided that he must be remarried before his son can return to live with him. His first marriage was unhappy, so he hesitates.
Director Joshua Z. Weinstein was praised for giving audiences a glimpse into this often closed-off community through a deeply human story with universal themes.
7. The Killing of a Sacred Deer – Yorgos Lanthimos
This 2017 film by Yorgos Lanthimos from The Lobster and The Favorite, starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman, tells the story of a surgeon who secretly befriends a teenager before sinister and horrific things happen to his family.
The film is said to be inspired by Euripides’ play Iphigenia in Aulis, although the unsettling white hospital walls and stifled conversations between the characters inspire horror as well as tragedy.
8. Lady Bird—Greta Gerwig
Lady Bird, a coming-of-age drama from Little Women director Greta Gerwig, follows the relationship between a teenage girl (Saoirse Ronan) and her mother (Laurie Metcalf). The film received five Academy Award nominations, won two Golden Globe Awards, and was named one of the best films of the year by Time.
9. Good Time – Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie
The Safdie brothers deserve two films to be featured in this roundup – their 2017 crime thriller Good Time is as full throttle as Uncut Gems, backed by an incredible soundtrack. Robert Pattinson and Benny Safdie play two brothers who rob a bank. Safdie’s character, Nick, has an intellectual disability and becomes involved in his brother’s antics, with dire consequences.
The film drew some criticism for Nick’s portrayal, with The New York Times calling him “flabby” – but many praised the high-octane action, including Vulture, who said it was “the kind of thrill that sticks”.
10. Remember – Atom Egoyan
Remember is a drama thriller starring Christopher Plummer as a Holocaust survivor with dementia who decides to kill a Nazi war criminal. It’s a devastating work that plays on themes of regret, revenge, hate and forgiveness, and aging. Director Atom Egoyan received the Vittorio Veneto Film Festival Award 2015 in Venice for the film.
11. Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
We all remember that painful moment when La La Land was announced as the best picture winner at the 2016 Oscars when Moonlight actually won. Well, they got there in the end, and that was a good thing.
The coming-of-age film, starring Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes and André Holland, follows three stages in the life of a man grappling with his sexual identity. The film also garnered Ali Oscars for Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay for Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney. It was also one of A24’s biggest earners.
Another smash hit, Asif Kapadia’s 2015 documentary Amy Winehouse, Amy Winehouse, won an Academy Award for Best Documentary, won Best Music Film at the Grammy Awards and Best Documentary at the British Academy Film Awards. A must read for Amy fans as it follows the singer’s life as she rises to fame and then follows her battle with addiction.
The film was seen as portraying Winehouse’s father, Mitch, in a negative light and was largely avoided by the family. “The film doesn’t represent me in a very good way. There’s no balance, there’s nothing on basis,” Mitch said on ITV’s This Morning in 2015.