Thursday, 6 November 2014

Lilting

Chung and Whishaw
Earlier this year I read a glowing review of the Cambodian born film maker 's debut film
Lifting.and so I was pleased to see that Theatre Clwyd chose to show the film last night.
It was only showing the once and there was around eight people in the audience.
Speaks volumes for cultural North Wales eh?

The film's story centres around grief.
Richard (Ben Whishaw) is mourning the death of his partner Kai (Andrew Leung), and in his grief he reaches out to contact Kai's mother Junn (Pei-Pei Chung) a non English speaking Chinese woman who has reluctantly been admitted to a nursing home. Junn has always disliked Richard, resenting his friendship with her son who she had no idea was gay. and the story lifts off when Richard employs a Chinese interpreter Vann (Naomi Christie) to help open the dialogue between Junn and her racy old suitor and fellow home resident Alan (Peter Bowles) an initiative that in turn allows for Richard and Junn to deal with their own grieving together.

Whishaw and Leung as Richard and Kai
Lifting is an impressive film which is improved by the performances from the two leads. Whishaw (not an actor I have rated before) is the emotionally more brittle character of the two and his portrayal of a man who has lost the love of his life is heartbreaking to watch and made even more poignant as his obvious distress balances out Chung's more stoic and rather flat emotions of loneliness and loss.
Their scenes together (buffered by an excellent Christie as the emotionally torn Vann) are at times electric and incredibly moving. The emotion being heightened as both characters share flashbacks
with conversations they had with lover and son.
I could have done without the laboured and unnecessary comic story line of the twilight courtship between Alan and Junn, the film didnt need it at all. The film, more importantly, is a study of grief, grief from the perspective of two very different people
Lilting is a little gem of a movie.
8/10

21 comments:

  1. Sounds wonderful. I doubt it will be showing here. I really like Ben Wishaw he has a vulnerability about him.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wish there were any chance at all this would be shown around here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I will watch anything with Ben Whishaw in it. He makes me feel like a teen age school girl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He looks like a big head on a small body... But he sure can act well

      Delete
  4. Will definitely try and see it - thanks John. By the way, a very dear old friend I've lost contact with was the production manager at Theatre Clwyd some years back....I wonder if he's still there. If you remember when you have a program to hand, his name is Bob Irwin. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like he's in Yorkshire!
      http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/yorkshire-living/leisure-fashion/homes/under-new-ownership-1-3211302

      Delete
  5. I would like to see it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds interesting,

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love Ben Whishaw and I am eagerly awaiting this movie's arrival in Edmonton, whenever that may be, LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I will also watch anything with Whishaw in it - I think he is one of the best young actors out there now. Thanks for the recommendation.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wish the films you review would show up in my corner of the world... I think I would like this one.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wouldn't take issue with anything you say (which you already knew) but would only say that I first sat up and took notice of Whishaw a couple of years ago as the particularly fine lead in the BBC production of Richard II, a part he seems to have been born to play. However, knowing that you don't share my Bardolatry I'll not harp on about that role.

    I thought the awkward romance between the two 'seniors' provided a bit of light to the shade of the main strand ,without which otherwise could have made the film a bit one-note

    In my own review I expressed puzzlement as to why such an intimate story had been shot in widescreen, though it was hardly a make-or-break factor. But I do think it might have been looked even better if scaled down.

    Sorry that your single screening was so poorly attended. Although I missed it through circumstance when it was showing for its initial full week I only caught it on a fortuitous single showing a month later - and even that had a good audience. But that's Brighton for you.

    Anyway, I'm happy that you liked it as much as I did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whishaw was a revelation to me....very good...... As was Leung

      Delete
  11. Excellent review and I enjoyed reading @Raybeard comments also.
    I use to watch lots of Asian films and I find that some of the movies coming out of the Pacific Rim are really wonderful.
    In general ...
    Japan, interesting studies of people. Lots of quiet character movies.
    Korean, everyone get beaten up then dies.
    Hong Kong, Just about everyone dies but one bad guy.
    Chinese, heroic history
    But as I say this each country has small quiet movies like the one you just saw.
    I think I know more Asian actors that American !

    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that little boost to my ego, ap. :-)

      Delete
  12. That sounds brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh and I meant to add, we can also do the following two weekends, if neither of them suits .... it's going to have to be Christmas Dinner!!

    Only kidding Lol. xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. I will definitely look for this one, John. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  15. John - it is exactly the same here in N Yorkshire. Get any really good film and the audience is thin to say the least. Have you looked our farm up on Google yet?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Kudos to the theater for showing such films. Here there would only be the big box office films. No soul.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I saw this film over the weekend and loved it. Whishaw's grief and overwhelming emotions were so authentic it brought tears to my eyes as well. Like you I could have done without the 'romance' between Junn and Allen, but I guess that was the catalyst for getting Vann the interpreter.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments and will now try very hard to reply to all of them
Please dont be abusive x