A year ago, the world was reminded of the talent that is Michelle Yeoh. With her performance in the multiple award-winning movie Everything Everywhere All At Once, it became evident that Michelle Yeoh is one of those actresses whose legacy will live on much longer than she will. However, the truth is that Michelle Yeoh has always been a force.
This is an attempt to pick six of her top performances in a career that has spanned many years. From award-winning performances to voicing characters in animated films, Yeoh has been a brilliant actress for as long as she has acted. Her performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once only served as an introduction to a generation of film lovers who might not be familiar with her earlier work. Here are the top six movie roles Michelle Yeoh’s career.
Tomorrow Never Dies
In entertainment, there is an elite group of women who are called Bond Girls. They are the women who have played the romantic interests of the character James Bond. There is also the Bond Girl Curse where actresses who have been Bond Girls struggle to have great careers after their stint in a Bond film. Yeoh is one of the handful of Bond girls who have defied the curse. Her performance in the 1997 Tomorrow Never Dies was her debut in Hollywood and since then she has not looked back and has gone on to become a great star. This was partly due to her brilliant performance as Wai Lin.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The 2007 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon film was an excellent addition to the Martial arts films that have regaled Hollywood. In it, Yeoh is Yu Shu Lien the friend of a renowned swordsman, Lin Mu Bai. The two go on an adventure to avenge the death of his master while taking on a new student who is bent on killing him. This film was borne out of multinational collaborations between the US, China and Taiwan. It was a commercial and critical success and its legacy remains a key part of Martial arts films. Michelle Yeoh also reprised her role in the movie’s sequel.
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Everything Everywhere All At Once tells a timeless story of mother-daughter relationships set against the backdrop of the multiverse and VFX effects that are unlike any other movie that has ever existed. This was the best film of 2022, deservedly sweeping the awards categories and giving Yeoh the chance to win her first Oscar and Golden Golden awards. Michelle Yeoh was brilliantly able to pull off the life of a woman who had failed at everything she has ever done including being a daughter, wife and mother, navigating the world with the burden of her failures and when she has to decide to either kill her daughter and save the world she decided to save her daughter instead, which inadvertently saves the world.
Memoirs of a Geisha
Just as the title of the film goes, it is the story of a Geisha. Chronicling her life from the time she was a child taken to a Geisha house to the end of her life ending up with the man she had loved all of her life. Michelle Yeoh plays the role of Mameha, an older Geisha who takes the protagonist under her wings and gives her the training she needs. Michelle Yeoh only functions in the capacity of a supporting actress in the movie but she was able to put on a performance that is riveting and entertaining.
Kung Fu Panda
Michelle Yeoh’s skill as an actress is not limited to just physical acting, the actress has also lent her talents to speaking roles. In the second Kung Fu Panda film, she voices the Soothsayer and helps guide the lead character on his journey to avenge his parents who he assumes are dead. This film was a huge success and was a great sequel to the first film of the series.
Crazy Rich Asians
In this highly successful movie, Michelle Yeoh is the mother of the lead actor, who does not approve of his relationship with his Asian-American girlfriend. Yeoh artfully pulls off the role of a woman who does not like outsiders especially those she suspects of having ulterior motives. This is one of her few movies where she plays the villain and she does a good job at portraying this.