HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
   
 
Newest Articles
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
   
 
  Autumn's Tale, An Stay another season
Year: 1987
Director: Mabel Cheung
Stars: Chow Yun-Fat, Cherie Chung, Danny Chan, Ng Fook-Sing, Arthur Fulbright, Gigi Wong Yuk-See, Chan Yui-Yin, Jeng Ming-Suen, Wong Man, Brenda Lo Yip-Mei
Genre: Comedy, Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Beautiful and spoiled Jennifer (Cherie Chung) leaves Hong Kong for New York City so she can live with her student boyfriend. Yet once she arrives, she discovers he is having an affair with another woman. Heartbroken and penniless, Jennifer cloisters herself inside her decrepit apartment in a Chinatown slum, where she almost dies from a gas leak until rescued by her distant cousin, Samuel Pang (Chow Yun-Fat). Shabby, but street-smart with a kind heart belying his rowdy manner, Samuel becomes the unlikely catalyst that enables Jennifer to turn her life around. Romantic sparks fly, but the love remains unspoken as both worry they are from different worlds.

Often described as the most romantic Hong Kong movie of all time, this was a landmark critical and commercial hit for the New Wave writer-director team of Mabel Cheung and Alex Law. Charismatic Chow Yun-Fat and the achingly lovely Cherie Chung had been paired in several films before, but An Autumn’s Tale established them as one of the great screen couples in Chinese cinema. The actors share the kind of natural, easygoing chemistry that transcends the contrived nature of romantic comedies and makes their love story wholly believable. Granted the setup is one moviegoers have seen many times before: she is cultured, soft-spoken but initially spoiled, selfish and shallow. He is uncouth, unruly, an inveterate gambler and brawler and seemingly directionless, but harbours deep morals and secret aspirations. In lesser hands this would be a hackneyed rom-com, but Law’s eloquent script coupled with Cheung’s superb direction and the affecting performances make for a lyrical love story.

An Autumn’s Tale spoke to a generation of young, ambitious Chinese still struggling to assimilate overseas. Its story is one of mutual metamorphosis, as close contact with Jenny engineers a sort of reverse-Pygmalion transformation in Samuel. His life gains the sense of purpose and direction it so desperately needs. Meanwhile our heroine grows steadily more confident and self-sufficient, mirrored by her perception of New York shifting away from a scary, graffiti ridden, crime infested slum. As Jennifer learns to take control of her life and shape her surroundings, she starts to notice the beauty in everyday life, caught in artful, autumnal tones by award-winning cinematographer James Hayman.

Drawing from her own student days in the city, Mabel Cheung offers a fresh perspective on New York, midway between the extremes embodied in Taxi Driver (1976) and Manhattan (1979). The city can be as seedy as a walk through 42nd street (where the leads wander past a grindhouse theatre screening Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond (1981)) or as seductive as the neon-lit buildings and billboards along Times Square, but the most memorable interlude involves Jennifer’s encounter with a sweet elderly couple who hand her a flower just to wish her a nice day.

Although ultimately a benign, humanistic portrait of the immigrant experience the film does not sugar-coat the life. Samuel has violent run-ins with triad extortionists and gang-bangers. Jennifer has to work as a humble babysitter for snooty yuppie Mrs. Sherwood (Gigi Wong Suk-Yee). Though she forms a lasting bond with Sherwood’s neglected daughter Anna (Jeng Ming-Suen), Jennifer attracts unwanted admiration from her sleazy restaurateur husband. Eventually, Jennifer’s ex-boyfriend Vincent (Danny Chan) tries to inveigle his way back into her life. Vincent is drawn as a self-serving, cod-intellectual with a penchant for quoting Woody Allen, whom Samuel amusingly mistakes for Cantopop star Alan Tam. Much of the humour revolves around Samuel’s cockeyed, Cantonese misappropriation of the English language. This results in Chow Yun-Fat delivering hilariously garbled, semi-improvised catchphrases nobody except Samuel is able to understand. Instead of the treacly speeches that characterise most romantic comedies, the love between Samuel and Jennifer takes the form of subtly affecting gestures culminating in a beautifully understated finale guaranteed to touch the heart.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2408 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: