Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another Five Star Gem

Ang Lee has emerged as one of my favorite directors. He has previously made three films I consider five-star gems: The Ice Storm, Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I had read many times that one of his first films, Eat Drink Man Woman, was a classic, but the descriptions I had read made it sound like a chick flick. To wit:
Every Sunday, venerable chef Chu (Sihung Lung) prepares an elaborate dinner for
his three lovely daughters. Despite Chu's exotic dishes, the family barely
nibbles at the food. The listless mealtime ritual mirrors the foursome's general
lack of appetite for life: Chu has lost his sense of taste, and his daughters
just want to go on with their separate, lonely lives. But something new is
cooking that is about to spice up everyone's existence, and three marriages and
a funeral later, the Chu family will learn to embrace life's unpredictabilty.

Cheesy plot synopsis aside, I watched it anyway this morning, and it's the first film I've seen since Children of Men that made me want to watch it again right after I was done the first time. It has sumptuous cinematography, the setting is a fascinating modern Taiwan, the script is at turns funny and affecting, and most importantly of all it is fun to watch.

This movie reminds me of a story. A friend of mine was discussing the movie The Hours with her mother-in-law, I think it was, who expressed that she didn't like the movie. My friend blurted out, "You didn't like that movie? Are you dead inside?" I feel the same way about this movie. Anyone who doesn't like Eat Drink Man Woman is dead inside.


MC said...

Great movie I saw this one in the theaters when it first came out. I always thought it would be a good double feature with Big Night. But what to eat Chinese or Italian?

dave starry said...

I'll have to add this one to my Blockbuster queue.

Speaking of Ang Lee, have you seen "Lust, Caution" yet? I belive it hits DVD in the next week or two.

Eric said...

I haven't seen it yet, but I really want to. You just reminded me to add it to my queue.