A modern Taiwanese family of moderate financial success goes through some difficult times, emotionally, financially and mentally. The two children face obstacles in school and with friends. The father faces uncertainty with his job and has to deal with past decisions. The mother leaves to find herself, and the family has to deal with this. And outside of the immediate family, everyone tries to deal with the matriarch's stroke and coma, including the often immature uncle, whose marriage is disapproved.
The review of this Movie prepared by Danielle Petty
To call this a multigenerational family epic suggests more action and sweep than is actually the case. This is a subtle, delicate, beautiful film that manages to touch on almost every aspect of life and death (it opens with a wedding and ends with a funeral) without making a big noise about it. Family matriarch Ru-Yun Tang slips into a coma and the rest of the family reacts as well as faces his and her own problems: daughter Min-Min steals away to a guru, teenaged grand-daughter Ting-Ting becomes fascinated with the battling couple in the next apartment and becomes embroiled in a teen love triangle, and 8-year-old grandson Yang-Yang tries to avoid school bullies and photographs the back of people's heads ("You couldn't see it so I showed you"). But the center of the movie's action is son-in-law NJ, a successful middle-aged businessman whose partners are about to make a disastrous decision against his recommendation, whose irresponsible brother owes him a lot of money, and who runs into his first love again 30 years after he dropped her. The movie is stately and calm; many dramatic shots occur in middle distance, or partially blocked by sets, as if the camera were either embarrassed or respectful of people's dignity. The effect is lovely and spiritual, without being in the least religious. The film was named Best Foreign Language Film of 2000 by the NY Film Critics Circle, the National Society of Film Critics, and the LA Film Critics Association; it was nominated for the Golden Palm at Cannes, and writer-director Edward Yang (a sort of Taiwanese Ozu, to judge by this work) won the best director award at Cannes.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus