Joan Chen at Her Best

March 15, 2008

Chen plays a former Hong Kong lounge singer who moves back to Australia with her children. Her life is unstable, and her kids bounce from "uncle" to "uncle."

The story is told from the point of view of the young boy, who sees all these things going on around him, sees his mother's self-destructive ways, and feels invisible. The story is based on Ayres' life.

When the mother meets a younger man, a restaurant cook, their affair takes off. He's one of the only Chinese men that Chen is seen with in the film. They cobble a life together and have their share of lovely moments, but with a lot of troubling signs brewing underneath.

It's a really compelling and sad story about a difficult childhood, and really well written. I won't give away the ending. But all I can say is, you can't make this stuff up. Though I'm casting it as a very serious and sad film, it had me enthralled from the beginning. This is Joan Chen at her best -- lovely, tragic, flawed. Oh yeah, the kid actors are really good too.

It's no wonder the staff at SFIAAFF chose this as the closing film night film. It's really a beautiful film, with a story that's rarely told on the big screen. It really deserves to be seen.

See the festival guide here.

This entry is graciously sponsored by Toyota Matrix.


Momo Chang

Senior Contributing Editor

Momo Chang is the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media, and freelances for magazines, online publications, and weeklies. Her writings focus on Asian American communities, communities of color, and youth culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Her stories range from uncovering working conditions in nail salons, to stories about “invisible minorities” like Tongan youth and Iu Mien farmers. She has freelances The New York Times, WIRED, and East Bay Express, among other publications.



this film was really amazing, and so complex. can't wait to watch it again on dvd.