Review: ‘No Lonely Angels’

Stylish, energetic view of youth culture in today's, ad-saturated Shanghai narrowly fails to deliver on initial promise, which pivots on points where several love triangles meet. Presence of pop star Xi Diaodang and soap thesp Li Xiaoran should make easier to sell to Chinese overseas, and pic will please fest fans looking for lighter fare.

Stylish, energetic view of youth culture in today’s, ad-saturated Shanghai narrowly fails to deliver on initial promise, which pivots on points where several love triangles meet. Presence of pop star Xi Diaodang and soap thesp Li Xiaoran should make “No Lonely Angels” easier to sell to Chinese overseas, and pic will please fest fans looking for lighter fare.

Li plays Ye, a brassy and brusque art student with a habit of meeting men in bars and then going nowhere with them. Things change when she bumps into Lang (Guo Tao), but he’s still in love with older hometown girl Jia (cast standout Tao Hong). In fact, when Lang goes abroad, he sets up Jia in a swank apartment, where she happens to meet an undercover narc (Xi), who gets her spying on neighbors, to amusing effect. Problem is that no one clicks on screen with Guo’s character, a stodgy presence in an otherwise percolating mood piece that depends entirely on chemistry for emotional payoff. Helmer Zhang Fanfan has a great eye for telling details, in foreground and back, where life is changing almost too fast for protags to keep up.

No Lonely Angels

China

Production

A Changchun Film Studio (Beijing) production, in association with Xylophone Films. (International sales: Media Asia Distribution, Hong Kong.) Produced by Yu Jiaen. Directed by Zhang Fanfan. Screenplay, Song Chunli.

Crew

Camera (color), Song Xiafei. Reviewed on vidcassette at Hawaii Film Festival (China's New Wave), Nov. 1, 2003. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Guo Tao, Xi Diaodang, Li Xiaoran, Tao Hong.
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:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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

Loading