Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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Year: 2000
USA: Winstar Cinema
UK: ICA Projects
Cast: Nien-Jen Wu, Kelly Lee, Jonathan Chang, Issey Ogata, Elaine Jin, Hsi-Sheng Chen, Su-Yun Ko, Michael Tao, Shu-shen Hsiao, Adrian Lin, Pang Chang Yu, Ru-Yun Tang, Shu-Yuan Hsu, Hsin-Yi Tseng
Director: Edward Yang
Countries: Taiwan / Japan
Language: English / Hokkien / Mandarin (English subtitles)
UK: 173 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains some strong language and infrequent moderate sex references
USA Release Date: 6 October 2000 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 6 April 2001


NJ Jian (Nien-Jen Wu), his wife, Min-Min (Elaine Jin), and their two kids are a typical middle-class family, sharing their Taipei apartment with Min-Min's elderly mother (Ru-Yun Tang). Now in his mid-forties, NJ is a partner in a computer hardware firm which made big profits last year but which will soon go bankrupt if it doesn't change direction. NJ warms to the idea of teaming up with Ota (Issey Ogata), an innovative designer of games software in Japan, and enjoys spending time with the charming and urbane Japanese man.

Things start to go wrong for the Jians on the day that Min-Min's brother A-Di (Hsi-Sheng Chen) gets married. That's the day when Min-Min's mother suffers a stroke and is rushed to hospital in a coma from which she may never awaken. It's also the day when NJ bumps into Sherry (Su-Yun Ko), his first childhood sweetheart, a woman (now married to an American) he hasn't seen for twenty years.

In the following weeks, Min-Min will go through a minor breakdown and disappear to a religious retreat, her daughter Ting-Ting (Kelly Lee) will get her first, rough lessons in love, her son Yang-Yang (Jonathan Chang) will get into trouble at school and her brother A-Di will have to deal with a clash between the bride he chose and the woman he spurned. There will be an ugly murder in the apartment block where the Jians live; a young man will give in to his sense that life is inherently unfair and cruel, and commit a crime which will ruin his own life. Meanwhile NJ will go to Tokyo to negotiate with Ota - but also to secretly meet Sherry and find out if life really can give him a second chance.

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