[VIDEO REVIEWS] Ang Lee's Other Movie Classics on Video

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[VIDEO REVIEWS] Ang Lee's Other Movie Classics on Video

The 73rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony will be held Sunday. Speculation is rife about who will wear what, who will flub their thank-you speeches and, of course, who will take home the Oscars.

One of the few Asian directors to be nominated for an Oscar, Ang Lee, is a contender for best director with "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." This martial arts movie is also in the running for nine other awards.

Mr. Lee is no newcomer to the international cinema scene. After winning a Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for "The Wedding Banquet," (1993), Mr. Lee's "Eat Drink Man Woman" was nominated for best foreign film at the Oscars. Mr. Lee then ventured into Hollywood with "Sense and Sensibility," and continued garnering awards with "The Ice Storm." The latter three films are reviewed here.

EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN (1993)

Starring Sihung Lung, Kuei-Mei Yang, Chien-Lien Wu, Yu-Wen Wang and Winston Chao.

If any movie can bring business to the Chinese cuisine industry, it's "Eat Drink Man Woman." Each time I see this comedy, I develop an insatiable craving for Chinese food. Food is a recurring motif in this movie about family relationships.

For this family which uses food as a tool of communication, times are hard. Mr. Chu (Sihung Lung), a master Taiwanese chef, finds his taste buds are failing. His oldest daughter, Jia-Jen (Yang) is a school teacher in her late 20s, but most importantly, she is still single. His middle daughter, Jia-Chen (Wu) is a career-oriented airline executive with a fatal extravagant streak. And his youngest, Jia-Ning (Wang), is a helpless romantic.

However, something new is cooking in the family, and the four are about to open their eyes to life and love.



SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1995)


Starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, James Fleet, and Emilie Francois.

Some wondered whether an Asian director could handle this English period piece, but the movie captures all of Austen's subtle nuances. The plot follows the life of the three Dashwood sisters, Elinor (Thompson), Marianne (Winslet) and Margaret (Francois), who have been forced out of their life-long home after their half-brother inherited their father's estate.

During the course of the movie, three men court Elinor and Marianne, who are completely opposite in temperament. The story of how who ends up with whom is told with a humorous touch.



THE ICE STORM (1997)


Starring Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen, Tobey Maguire and Christina Ricci.

For his follow-up to "Sense and Sensibility," Ang choose an adaptation of Rick Moody's novel about sexual confusion and hypocrisy.

On Thanksgiving Day 1973 in Connecticut, President Nixon's era is giving way to disillusionment and the stability of families is wavering. Ben (Kline) and Elena (Allen) Hood appear to be the perfect couple, but Ben is having an affair with a neighbor while Elena battles loneliness and flirts with a local minister. Their teenage kids act out their marital tensions during an ice storm while their parents attend a party that ends with a spouse-swapping game.


by Joe Yong-hee

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