31 May 2012

Film review: The Wedding Banquet, (1993), by Ang Lee, ****

Dig in! This "funny and poignant comedy of manners" (The New York Times), directed and co-written by Oscar(r) nominee* Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility), is an absolutely delicious feast! Winner of the Berlin Film Festival's prestigious Golden Bear, The Wedding Banquet is "top-notch comedy" (Leonard Maltin)! Successful New Yorker Wai Tung and his partner Simon are blissfully happy, except for one thing: Wai Tung's conservative Taiwanese parents are determined he find a nice girl to marry! To please them and get a tax break he arranges a sham marriage to Wei Wei, a sexy go-getter in need of a green card. But when his family swoops down for the extravaganza, Wai Tung would do well to remember that at a traditional Chinese wedding banquet, sexual repression takes the night off!

An almost transgressive foray into traditional Taiwanese family culture. Unpredictable to the last minute, the film is ironical of traditional views over homosexuality but also raises important moral issues concerning family as an institution and abortion. In the end, can the older generation with its deep rooted conservatism and the younger one, with open mind and (they think) no taboos live together? This film will make you think about all this and make you laugh, a lot, as you do so!

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