You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

City of Glass

Executive producer, Alex Law.

Executive producer, Alex Law.

Directed by Mabel Cheung. Screenplay, Alex Law, Cheung. Camera (color), Jingle Ma, Arthur Wong (U.K. scenes); editor, Maurice Li; music, Dick Lee; art director, Bruce Yu. Reviewed at Golden Gateway 3, Kowloon, Hong Kong, Dec. 9, 1998. Original Cantonese title: Bolei chi sing. (Cantonese and English dialogue.) Running time: 110 MIN.

With: Leon Lai, Shu Qi, Nicola Cheung, Daniel Wu, Enson Chan, Yam Bo-lam, Vincent Kuk, Elaine Chin, Joe Cheung.

Following her flawed epic of 20th-century Chinese history, “The Soong Sisters ,” Hong Kong helmer Mabel Cheung returns to more familiar ground with “City of Glass,” an almost Lelouchian saga of how chance marks people’s lives and human behavior repeats itself across generations. Pic’s high-gloss romanticism, showcasing heartthrobs Leon Lai and Shu Qi, may alienate viewers who recall subtler Cheung works like “Eight Taels of Gold,” but on its own terms the movie is a good wallow. It performed reasonably, grossing HK$ 9 million ($ 1.2 million) in late ’98.

Married (but not to each other) lovers Raphael (Lai) and Vivian (Shu Qi) are killed in a car crash in London on New Year’s Eve 1997, and their respective son (Daniel Wu) and daughter (Nicola Cheung) meet in Hong Kong when returning their parents’ ashes. As the youngsters slowly bond, pic cleverly intercuts flashbacks limning Raphael and Vivian’s long affair of the past quarter-century, which also mirrors the territory’sgrowing sophistication and internationalization. Though she ages unconvincingly, Taiwanese actress Shu Qi is thoroughly engaging, and pic has some lovely moments of stillness and beauty between the large dollops of melodrama.

City of Glass


Production: A Golden Harvest release (in Hong Kong) of a United Filmmakers Organization production for Golden Harvest/Amuse Inc. (International sales: Golden Harvest, Hong Kong.) Produced by Raymond Chow, Yokiichi Osato.

More Film

  • Aquaman 2018

    'Aquaman' Crosses $250 Million at Foreign Box Office

    Things are going swimmingly at the box office for “Aquaman” as the Warner Bros.’ superhero flick hits another major milestone overseas. James Wan’s take on the ruler of the seven seas just passed $250 million internationally, and a weekend haul of $126.4 million from 43 territories brings its foreign tally to $261.3 million. “Aquaman” — [...]

  • Mortal Engines

    'Mortal Engines' to Lose More Than $100 Million at Box Office

    “Mortal Engines,” a steampunk fantasy adventure, is also an epic flop. With a budget of just over $100 million and tens of millions in global marketing costs, executives at rival studios estimate that the movie will lose upwards of $100 million. Some even project that number could float to more than $125 million. “Mortal Engines” [...]

  • Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Honored

    Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Named Honorary Argentine Academy Members

    BUENOS AIRES — In a ceremony just before Friday’s prize announcements at Ventana Sur, Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux and José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Festival, were named honorary members of Argentina’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a new move for the Academy, out through by its new president, Bernardo [...]

  • Nona

    Film Review: 'Nona'

    Twenty years and 12 features down the line, it’s still hard to peg the directorial sensibility of Michael Polish, with or without the presence of brother Mark as frequent co-writer and actor. His output has been all over the place, from early Lynchian quirkfests to the very middle-of-the-road inspirational dramedy “The Astronaut Farmer,” not to [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Wins for Best Film, Director at European Film Awards

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white romance set in the 1950s, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday. “Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress. Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor. Armando Iannucci’s [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content