Written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, this is my personal favorite to win multiple Oscars this year. The film follows the story of Maureen Folan, who during a contentious IRS audit discovers she is connected to multiple parallel universes and must navigate through them in order to save her family from an ancient evil.
At first, she struggles to believe in the fantastical nature of her situation but soon finds herself transported to a world that is vastly different from her own. Throughout her journey, Maureen is driven by a desire to save her family and as she picks up new information and abilities, she starts to question her own identity and reflect on the choices she has made in her life.
At its core, the film is a story about the power of human connection and despite the vast differences between the parallel universes, Maureen finds there is a common thread that binds them all together. It delivers a message of hope and the belief that even in the face of great adversity, humanity has the power to come together and overcome any obstacle.
I’ve watched this film twice now and it begs to be watched multiple times. The story is extremely complicated and when watching it for the first time, I was confused about what I was witnessing for the first hour of the film. Thankfully, things start to make more sense in the latter half and when it finally reaches its thrilling conclusion, a lightbulb goes off with an “aha” moment. The last film that had this type of impact on my psyche was The Matrix, which was nearly 25 years ago and it’s a film that begs to be watched more than once.
Shot digitally on and Arri Alexa Mini and capture in both 2.8K and 3.4K resolution, I presume it was finished in 4K given the stellar video presentation. I own the disc on UHD Blu-ray and found the Kaleidescape version to look visually identical. Detail in facial pores is excellent and as Maureen sours through the multiverse, you get to see an array of worlds with varying looks and stylistic differences that shine in 4K. This is a variable aspect production, so those with scope screens should plan accordingly.
The Dolby Atmos track is an integral part of the storytelling, and I’m shocked it didn’t get an Oscar nomination for its sound design, although it did receive one for its excellent score. Regardless, it’s a reference quality track from beginning to end and be prepared for your subwoofers to receive a 135-minute workout because they’ll be called upon early and often. There are several monumental moments in the film where your heart will skip a beat due to a blitz of sound aimed to shock your senses. Furthermore, the use of every speaker in the room only heightens the experience of the fantastic visuals.
The supplements are presented in Blu-ray quality and include an audio commentary with the writers/directors, an extensive production featurette about the production and a second featurette featuring the cast and creators about the project. There’s also a quick look at the VFX and stunts, deleted scenes, outtakes, and a music visual. The supplements are identical on the UHD Blu-ray other than the theatrical trailer is missing.
There are six Kaleidescape Scenes in the film and each of them will highlight some of the finer aspects of the production such as the great acting, unique world building, and of course, the kick-ass soundtrack.
• Unconventional Use of a Fanny Pack
• Three Powerful Words
• Jobu Tupaki Arrives
• Escaping from the Panic Room
• The Statue Defense & the Picky Offense
• Waymond’s Plea for Kindness
In total, the film has received 11 Oscar nominations including Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Directing, along with various acting and production categories and expect the film to be a big part of this year’s awards show. If you’re looking for a unique science fiction experience that explores the multiverse with a cast of compelling characters and thought-provoking themes, be sure to check this film out. I was just as captivated the second time through and it’s my pick for Best Picture of 2022. Highly recommended.
Studio: A24 Films
Aspect Ratio: Variable
Download Size: 83.1GB (4K UHD)
HDR Format: 4K HDR
Audio Format: Dolby Atmos
Length: 1 Hours 54 mins
Director: Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis