View Poll Results: A Simple Life (Ann Hui)

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Thread: A Simple Life (Ann Hui)

  1. #1
    White Tiger Field Stay Puft's Avatar
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    A Simple Life (Ann Hui)

    TAO JIE (A SIMPLE LIFE)
    Director: Ann Hui

    IMDb page

    Making yet another effort again in 2018.

    Interchange (Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky) **
    Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (Ari Sandel) *
    Project Gutenberg (Felix Chong) **
    Venom (Ruben Fleischer) *
    Killing (Shinya Tsukamoto) **

  2. #2
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    Ann Hui + Andy Lau?

  3. #3
    White Tiger Field Stay Puft's Avatar
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    I enjoyed this a lot.

    Both of the lead performances (Deannie Yip and Andy Lau) are fantastic. Yip in particular I can see being a year end favorite for me (Matchie nomination almost guaranteed). Lau's performance is quiet but surprisingly rich. He nails the scene in the car with his sister, and of course the big decision he is forced to make at the end. I'd have to see it again to be sure, but I sense a bit of confusion, frustration, even hypocrisy... the relationship between Roger and Ah Tao is not without its ambiguities, with the film's socio-economic concerns seemingly manifesting only indirectly through their emotions (I initially found the final scene a bit confusing in this regard, as it focuses on a minor character from the home, though in retrospect I suppose it's just the film's way of showing how Ah Tao's small kindness affected this individual, but it does seem to leave some of the ambiguities of Roger and Ah Tao's relationship unsatisfyingly resolved).

    There's a good amount of humor in the film, as well, which mostly works. I particularly enjoyed the cameos from Sammo Hung and Tsui Hark. Anthony Wong shows up in a couple scenes, too, though his character seems mostly incidental (the subplot with the squatter never really going anywhere). Nelson Yu Lik-wai, Jia Zhangke's regular cinematographer, lenses this film, and lends it some breakthaking sequences (particularly the new year celebrations, and the penultimate scene).

    As far as major reservations go, I did find a couple important dramatic moments to be poorly done, particularly one scene involving a character collapsing in the home. It was a contrived and clumsy sequence from a narrative and editing standpoint, and a bit disappointing to see Ann Hui apparently feeling the need to dramatize a scene in such a way, given the beautiful subtlety and grace with which she approaches the rest of the film (there are also a few scenes where the musical score is overbearing and again forces too much "emotional signposting" on what should otherwise be a small, quiet, subtle scene).

    Anyways, reservations aside, this is a wonderful film. It's also the first film I've seen from Ann Hui, but I'm eager now to check out more.
    Making yet another effort again in 2018.

    Interchange (Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky) **
    Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (Ari Sandel) *
    Project Gutenberg (Felix Chong) **
    Venom (Ruben Fleischer) *
    Killing (Shinya Tsukamoto) **

  4. #4
    Errant Girl Li Lili's Avatar
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    You probably will like The Postmodern Life of My Aunt with Chow Yun Fat and Night and Fog with Simon Yam; both actors are excellent and in different roles.

  5. #5
    i am the great went ledfloyd's Avatar
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    i'll admit i kept putting this off because i wasn't sure what a film about an old maid moving to a nursing home could have to offer me, and now i feel silly. what a delightful film, wonderfully human. two fantastic lead performances and great direction as well. sublime.

  6. #6
    Ain't that just the way EyesWideOpen's Avatar
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    This is on dvd/blu-ray now for anyone who didn't get a chance to see it in theaters. I would have loved for this to get some of the same critical/award buzz that Amour got.
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  7. #7
    i am the great went ledfloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting EyesWideOpen (view post)
    This is on dvd/blu-ray now for anyone who didn't get a chance to see it in theaters. I would have loved for this to get some of the same critical/award buzz that Amour got.
    Yeah. I feel like it's a much stronger film than Amour.

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