2022: The Year of Michelle Yeoh

My Year Of posts focusing on a half dozen performers who had us feeling ’22 continues with our second icon who turned the big 6-0 this year. The first was Tom Cruise and if you missed that post, you can find it here:

The next sexagenarian is Michelle Yeoh. For the past three decades, U.S. audiences have seen the Malaysian legend fighting alongside Jackie Chan in the Supercop pics, James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies, and Chow Yun-fat in Ang Lee’s acclaimed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In recent years, she probably came close to a Supporting Actress nomination as the overbearing mother in Crazy Rich Asians. Last year, she joined the MCU in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

There were plenty of projects in 2022. She lent her voice to Minions: The Rise of Gru and Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank. A small role popped up in Netflix’s YA fantasy The School for Good and Evil. None of those projects are why Yeoh made this cut.

Everything Everywhere All at Once is. The sophomore effort of the Daniels (Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) is the multi-genre rumination on life that casts Yeoh as frazzled laundromat owner Evelyn. She also (due to a seemingly infinite multiverse) plays the role in many other iterations including a movie star, a woman with hot dogs for fingers, and a rock. It’s a one-of-a-kind picture with the role of a lifetime for its lead.

An Oscar nomination is a near certainty and a win is quite possible. The box office was impressive with $70 million domestically against a considerably smaller budget. Costars Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, and Jamie Lee Curtis could all be headed for their own awards nods. I currently have Everything listed in 1st to take Best Picture.

A busy 2023 and beyond awaits Yeoh. More voice work is on deck with Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and Kenneth Branagh has put her in the ensemble of his third Poirot mystery A Haunting in Venice. Her Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu will be collaborating with her again on the two planned Wicked films (slated for 2024 and 2025). James Cameron has her showing up (apparently in human form) in the third and fourth Avatar pics.

Yeoh’s part in Everything was originally considered for her old costar Jackie Chan. That’s hard to picture now given her fantastic portrayal. She easily earns a spot in this series. My Year Of posts will continue with an actor who might’ve lost a friend in his Oscar contender, but gained plenty of praise for his body work throughout the year.

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