Grimmer as it goes, "Feng shui" begins as a black comedy about a wife's hilariously extreme intolerance of her milquetoast hubby before segueing into a sacrificial-mom meller a la "Stella Dallas." Set in the Chinese city of Wuhan in the '90s, Wang Jing's handsomely appointed pic won't convert nonbelievers in soap operatics, but the suitably immoderate dedication of Yan Bingyan in the lead is impressive indeed, and those with a taste for tales of mothers who give all to their brood while getting nada in return will be well rewarded. The film's snail-like pace could well prevent wide exposure, however.
With: Yan Bingyan, Jiao Gang, Chen Gang.
Grimmer as it goes, “Feng shui” begins as a black comedy about a wife’s hilariously extreme intolerance of her milquetoast hubby before segueing into a sacrificial-mom meller a la “Stella Dallas.” Set in the Chinese city of Wuhan in the ’90s, Wang Jing’s handsomely appointed pic won’t convert nonbelievers in soap operatics, but the suitably immoderate dedication of Yan Bingyan in the lead is impressive indeed, and those with a taste for tales of mothers who give all to their brood while getting nada in return will be well rewarded. The film’s snail-like pace could well prevent wide exposure, however.
Though a friend of the movie’s crabby, yoke-bearing heroine, Li Baoli (Yan), suggests that bad feng shui might be to blame for her poor relations with husband Ma Xuewe (Jiao Gang), the director leaves little doubt as to why Xuewe runs into the arms of another woman. A startling midpoint twist reformulates the family’s dynamics to emphasize Baoli’s devotion to the scholastic success of her kid — who, in pure women’s picture fashion, loathes his working-stiff mom and the very yoke that feeds him. Tech credits are, ironically or not, upper-class.
A Beijing Antaeus Film Co. production. Produced by Dong Ruifeng, Wang Qiuyang, Zhang Huijun, Mu Tiejun. Executive producers, Yan Xiaoming, Zhang Baoquan, Xie Xiaojing. Directed by Wang Jing. Screenplay, Wu Nan, from a novel by Fang Fang.
Camera (color, widescreen), Liu Younian; editor, Feng Wen; music, Yang Sili; production designer, Bai Hao; sound, Wang Changrui. Reviewed at Tokyo Film Festival (competing), Oct. 22, 2012. Running time: 119 MIN.
With: Yan Bingyan, Jiao Gang, Chen Gang.
Popular on Variety
'Game of Thrones': The Women of Westeros
Questions the 'Game of Thrones' Cast Can't Wait to Never Be Asked Again
'Game of Thrones' Cast Pick the Best Death Scenes
'Game of Thrones' Cast Relives Their Wildest Fan Encounters
Taron Egerton Calls Paramount's Attempt to Cut Out 'Rocketman' Gay Sex Scene 'Nonsense'
'Shazam's' Zachary Levi Credits Self-Love for His Success
Linda Hamilton Calls Last Three 'Terminator' Movies 'Forgettable'
Michelle Wolf Roasts Trump for Skipping Third Correspondents' Dinner
Hugh Jackman Was Rejected From His High School Production of 'The Music Man'
Watch Bette Midler's Impassioned Plea for a More Just, Civilized and Loving Planet
Tribeca Film Festival and AT&T gave one young filmmaker a million and one reasons to rejoice at the “Untold Stories” third annual competition. After a nerve-wracking 10-minute long pitch in front of over 850,000 live stream audience members and a panel consisting of celebrities and industry leaders, filmmaker Kate Tsang was awarded $1 million Monday [...]
When Lucas Hnath first conceived of “Hillary and Clinton” in 2008, he was writing for and about a very different America. Now, a total reimagining of the show has made its way to Broadway with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the titular roles. At the opening on Thursday night, the cast and creatives talked [...]
When “Hadestown” was first staged as a tiny, DIY theater project in Vermont, those involved could never have predicted that it was the start of a 12-year journey to Broadway — or how painfully relevant it would be when it arrived. At Wednesday night’s opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre, the cast and creatives discussed [...]
Rock legend Mick Jagger made his first public appearance post-heart surgery on Thursday night to catch a glimpse of the world premiere of the Rolling Stones ballet “Porte Rouge.” “I hope you are going to enjoy this wonderful new ballet, and, of course, the music,” the frontman declared in a pre-recorded message to the audience [...]
What Gina Rodriguez really wants to do is direct. “I want to tell the stories that haven’t been told, I want to tell them with people you haven’t seen yet, and I want to open hearts and minds to more tolerance,” she told Variety at Wednesday night’s premiere of her new Netflix movie, “Someone Great.” [...]
The Hudson Theatre’s new production of “Burn This” marks its first Broadway revival since it premiered on the Great White Way in 1987, but Adam Driver is no stranger to the work. He starred as Pale in a Juilliard production of the Lanford Wilson drama when he was still a student — and only now, [...]
Film, fashion and Formula E auto-racing fused during a dinner and celebration of the Rome E-Prix on Thursday at the Palazzo Dama by the Piazza del Popolo in the heart of the Eternal City. Guests mingled and sipped cocktails as hors d’oeuvres were passed around in a former home of the Italian nobility with conversation [...]