Review: ‘Snowfall in Taipei’

Exquisite cinematography only just papers over the gaping cracks in this fluffy romancer.

Exquisite cinematography only just papers over the gaping cracks in fluffy romancer “Snowfall in Taipei.” Set on Taiwan but directed by Chinese mainlander Huo Jianqi, this yarn about a singer on the run floats like a delicate bauble before the eyes, but never truly engages the mind or heart. Sleek MTV-style look could hook fest programmers looking to round out Asiaphile sidebars, but commercial prospects in East Asia look to be mostly niche, despite the presence of popular Taiwanese star Chen Bo-lin.

Taipei pop singer May (Tang Yao) has a spat with her music producer/lover, Ray (Yang Yu-ning), and hightails it to the picturesque village of Tungchung. Laryngitis provides a perfect cover story while she takes a dishwashing job and wins the heart of local slacker Seamus (Chen). Story gently unfurls, placing no demands on the audience other than to stare at the beautiful people in the beautiful town. Helmer Huo’s reteaming with his “A Time to Love” lenser, Sun Ming, provides luxuriant images marred only by some unsuccessful experiments with Steadicam and shooting speeds. Performances rarely go beyond model-esque posing but are engaging enough to watch.

Snowfall in Taipei



A Beijing Bona Film & Television Culture Co., Snowfall in Taipei Film Partners, Bona Entertainment Co. presentation of a Bona Entertainment (China)/Three Dots Entertainment (Taiwan) production. (International sales: Distribution Workshop, Hong Kong.) Produced by Liu Jing, Tomoko Fushimi. Executive producers, Yu Dong, Toru Kenjyu, Shiroharu Kawasaki, Hideki Kawamura, Jeffrey Chan. Co-producers, Zhang Hao, Tomoharu Kusunoki, Michelle Yeh.


Directed by Huo Jianqi. Screenplay, Xi Wu, Tashiro Chikayo; idea, Chikayo. Camera (color), Sun Ming; editor, Yan Tao; music, An Wei; production designer, Wu Ming. Reviewed at Tokyo Film Festival (competing), Oct. 19, 2009. Original title: Taibei piao xue . Mandarin dialogue. Running time: 106 MIN.


Chen Bo-lin, Tang Yao, Yang Yu-ning, Morning Mo, Teresa Chi, Janel Tsai.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety