Thursday, 1 November 2007

A Simple Life (2011)

Chinese title: Sister Peach (桃姐).

A Simple Life (2011)
A housemaid is usually addressed with the 'sister' title. She's a 'sister' to Roger's (played by Andy Lau) parent, but she's more like a 'mother' to Roger. It's funny that I watched a HK movie from 1988 where Yip and Lau played mother and son only last week.

This is a postmodernist film for whatever that word means to me (if I know what it means, then I'm not a post-modernist. But enough about me). It breaks down the barrier between social classes of the old, as recent as less than 2 generations ago in HK society. Sammo Hung, Tsui Hark and Raymond Chow play themselves in this film. Or a version of themselves. And Andy Lau also plays somebody who works in the film industry. Did I mention that this director Ann Hui also made The Postmodern Life of my Aunt?

I may have mentioned somewhere else in this list that she's one of the minority in HK film directors who made few commercial escapist films. Rather she made the kind of art-house films in genres that more similar to Taiwanese, and Mainlanders.

This is a HK movie, or a movie produced, written, acted by HK talents, and yet all the dialogues are delivered in Mandarin!!! Yes, all SB productions are in Mandarin, but this was the situation nearly 3 decades ago.

Nope. It isn't a Cantonese movie dubbed in Putonghua because I could recognise the actors' original voices. And what's more, most of them have Cantonese accents (although Andy Lau, and Deanne Yip's Cantonese accents are quite slight, but still noticeable). Except for Paul Chun ('uncle Kin'), and Anthony Wong whose voice was dubbed, probably because they can't speak Mandarin (it's hard to teach old dogs new dialect. Actually Paul Chun could speak very good Mandarin. Why he's dubbed it's 1 of those showbiz mystery).

And all of these lead me to believe that this HK movie is made for the Mainland market (and/or international market). This explains the low profile of the movie in HK itself. Well HK movie goers don't care about that anyway.

The film is carpeted with dry humour, if you like that, you would be floored.

The emotion in this movie is raw and honest. It's also sad, funny, poignant, heart warming, and even uplifting. You would be anything but unmoved by it.

This movie breaks record in HK film industry for winning the most international film awards as one would expect from a good art-house movie. She continued to outdo herself. Good to see.

See my IMDB list for all my available reviews of Chinese language films.


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