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
Comedy Showrunners on the Impact of the WGA Staffing Boost
Showrunners on the Realities of Writing: ‘It’s A Continual Cycle of Panic and Fear, It’s Super Fun’
Chris Hemsworth Responds to the 'Avengers: Endgame' Fat-Shaming Thor Controversy
Hilary Duff and Sutton Foster Proud That 'Younger' Flaunts Women's Careers Over Romance
'Deadwood' Designer Janie Bryant Used Original 1880s Dress for HBO Movie
'Big Little Lies': Can Season 2 Live Up to the First?
Richard Madden is Done Playing Romeo
Actors on Actors: Sarah Paulson & Tracee Ellis Ross (Full Video)
Actors on Actors: Taraji P. Henson & Ellen Pompeo (Full Video)
Julia Roberts on ‘Pretty Woman’s’ Original Violent Ending
Hollywood may be celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month with displays of the rainbow flag and lots of talk about supporting diversity and inclusion, but Cara Delevingne says there’s still work to be done. “Behind closed doors, we are still being told, as I have, by powerful Hollywood producers that we can’t make it if we’re queer,” [...]
As Hollywood gathered at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif., on Saturday night for the MTV Movie & TV Awards to celebrate the night’s honorees — including Trailblazer Award winner Jada Pinkett Smith and Generation Award honoree Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — calls for empowerment and inclusion within the entertainment industry and beyond took [...]
Many of the biggest stars in movies and television — including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kiernan Shipka, Sandra Bullock, Tessa Thompson and Brie Larson — came together to present and receive honors at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, hosted by “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi. And while non-attendees are able to enjoy [...]
Cara Delevingne is praising her close friend Taylor Swift for her “incredible” newly released “You Need to Calm Down” music video and recent public support for LGTBQ rights. “I cried and I’ve been texting her all day,” Delevingne told Variety of Swift. Variety spoke to the actress and model on the red carpet before she [...]
Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]
Celebrities and athletes came together at the Dodgers Foundation Blue Diamond Gala to celebrate the team’s commitment to supporting youth and to catch a glimpse of the event’s headliner: Bruno Mars. Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss were honored at the fifth annual event, which raised over $3 million for programs benefiting Los Angeles youth. [...]
Shia LaBeouf is celebrating his 33rd birthday by giving back. The actor, who turned 33 on June 11, will host a fundraising concert later this month for the Slauson Rec Theater Company, a 10-month-old free performing arts program he co-founded in downtown Los Angeles. The night will also include a preview of the Slauson Rec [...]