Eat Drink Man Woman

Taiwan (1994)
Dir: Ang Lee

Cast: Lung Shihung, Chien-Lien Wu, Kuie-Mei Yang, Yu-Wen Wang, Ah-Leh Gua, Jui Wang, Winston Chao

A delightful, light-hearted comedy about a widowed chef and his three daughters living in modern-day Taipei. The youngest girl inadvertently steals a friend's boyfriend, while the eldest daughter, repressed and delusional, seeks solace in opera and religion. Middle daughter, glamorous and successful, struggles to find her own identity in the midst of failed relationships and a high-flying executive career. Meanwhile, daddy has some other plans....

Rating: 7.0

The English Patient

USA (1996)
Dir: Anthony Minghella

Cast: Ralph Feinnes, Kristen Scott-Thomas, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe

A rather loose adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's epic novel, this story is told in a series of the dying Count Almasy's flashbacks of a passionate romance between himself and a diplomat's beautiful and charismatic wife Katherine. It also follows the life of a young nurse Hana working near the front lines in Tuscany near the liberation of Europe in WWII. Hana tends to the burned Almasy and tries to recover from her own emotional wounds from the war.

This movie is lavishly shot, sparing no expense - and there are some very memorable scenes including that of Almasy flying his plane over the beautifully undulating desert sands which resemble his lover's body... and the desperately lonely death of his beloved Katherine in a cave - very haunting images, but ultimately still a piece of slick Hollywood film-making. I found some turns in this movie rather predictable, and its attempts to elicit sympathy and tears quickly wear thin on this jaded cinema-goer.

Rating: 5.5


China/Hong Kong (1994)
Dir: Zhou Xiaowen

Cast: Ailiya, Liu Deiqui, Ge Zhijun

A Chinese peasant woman who slaves over her noodle-making implements, trapped in marriage to an ineffectual, malingering older man, soon develops a fascination for a television set she sees in town. The acquisition of the largest colour television on sale becomes her raison d'etre and she sells noodles and takes up part-time jobs in order to make her dream become reality. An oddly feminist tale set in rural China - there is much more to this film than meets the eye.

Rating: 7.5

Copyright 2002 ArtemisWorks