DirectorAng Lee CinematographyJong Lin LanguageMandarin
WriterJames Schamus, Hui-Ling Wang Release dateAugust 3, 1994 (1994-08-03) ScreenplayAng Lee, James Schamus, Wang Hui-ling CastSihung Lung (Chu), Yu-Wen Wang (Jia-Ning), Jacklyn Wu (Jia-Chien), Yang Kuei-mei (Jia-Jen), Winston Chao (Li Kai), Sylvia Chang (Jin-Rong) Similar moviesSelf/less, The Croods, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Sex Tape, Halloween
Eat drink man woman official trailer 1 sihung lung movie 1994 hd
Eat Drink Man Woman is a 1994 Taiwanese film directed by Ang Lee and starring Sihung Lung, Yu-wen Wang, Chien-lien Wu, and Kuei-mei Yang. The film was released on August 3, 1994, the first of Lee's films to be both a critical and box office success. In 1994, the film received the Asia Pacific Film Festival Award for Best Film, and in 1995 it received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
The title is a quote from the Book of Rites, one of the Confucian classics, referring to the basic human desires and accepting them as natural. The beginning of the quote reads as follows: “The things which men greatly desire are comprehended in meat and drink and sexual pleasure; […]” (Translation by James Legge), Chinese: 「飲食男女，人之大欲存焉」.
Many of the cast members had appeared in Ang Lee's previous films. Sihung Lung and Ah Lei Gua played central elderly figures dealing with the transition from tradition to modernity in The Wedding Banquet, in which Winston Chao also starred. Sihung Lung played an immigrant father in Pushing Hands. These three films show the tensions between the generations of a Confucian family, between East and West, and between tradition and modernity. They form what has been called Lee's "Father Knows Best" trilogy.
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The setting is 1990s contemporary Taipei, Taiwan. Mr. Chu (C: 老朱, P: Lǎo Zhū "Old Chu"; Sihung Lung), a widower who is a master Chinese chef, has three unmarried daughters, each of whom challenges any narrow definition of traditional Chinese culture:
Chu Jia-Jen (C: 朱家珍, P: Zhū Jiāzhēn), the oldest one (Kuei-Mei Yang), is a school teacher nursing a broken heart who converted to Christianity.
Chu Jia-Chien (C: 朱家倩, P: Zhū Jiāqiàn), the middle one (Chien-lien Wu), is a fiercely independent airline executive who carries her father's culinary legacy, but never got to pursue that passion.
Chu Jia-Ning (T: 朱家寧, S: 朱家宁, Zhū Jiāníng), the youngest one (Yu-Wen Wang), is a college student who meets her friend's on-again off-again ex-boyfriend and starts a relationship with him.
Each Sunday Mr. Chu makes a glorious banquet for his daughters, but the dinner table is also the family forum, or perhaps “torture chamber,” to which each daughter brings “announcements” as they negotiate the transition from traditional “father knows best” style to a new tradition which encompasses old values in new forms.
Other characters include:
Uncle Wen (T: 老溫, S: 老温, P: Lǎo Wēn "Old Wen"), chef friend of Mr. Chu
Liang Jin-Rong (T: 梁錦榮, S: 梁锦荣, P: Liáng Jǐnróng), a young single-mother
Shan-Shan (C: 珊珊 Shānshān), Jin-Rong’s daughter
Mrs. Liang (C: 梁母, P: Liáng-mǔ "Liang Mother"), Jin-Rong’s mother, who comes to live with her
Li Kai (T: 李 凱, S: 李 凯, P: Lǐ Kǎi), an up-and-coming airline executive
Raymond (C: 雷蒙), Jia-Chien’s ex-lover, with privileges
Zhou Mingdao (C: 明道, P: Míngdào), volleyball coach with a motor bike
As the film progresses, each daughter encounters new men. When these new relationships blossom, their roles are broken and the living situation within the family changes. The father eventually brings the greatest surprise to the audience at the end of the story.
Ang Lee, James Schamus, and Hui-Ling Wang wrote the script.
Sihung Lung as Chu
Kuei-Mei Yang as Jia-Jen
Jia-Chien believes that Li Kai broke the heart of her older sister Jia-Jen, and Dariotis and Fung wrote that the event seems to have caused Jia-Jen to turn away from the world. Later in film it is revealed that Jia-Jen fabricated the story, in order to "create a barrier against intimacy—even with her family" according to Dariotis and Fung. Ultimately she marries a new boyfriend after being abstinent for nine years. Her family members seem puzzled when they realize he is not a Christian but Jia-Jen says "He will be."
Wei Ming Dariotis and Eileen Fung, authors of "Breaking the Soy Sauce Jar: Diaspora and Displacement in the Films of Ang Lee", wrote that Jia-Jen's story is that of a "spinster turned sensual woman". They wrote that her Christianity was there "perhaps to match her role as a mother-figure". She suspects Jia-Chien of disapproving of her moral system. Dariotis and Fung wrote that after Jia-Chien states that she needs not a mother but sister, Jia-Jen "is able to become who she really is with all the complexity that entails" rather than being someone she believed her family needed, with "who she really is" being "a modern, conservative, Christian, sexually aggressive Taiwanese woman". Desson Howe of the Washington Post wrote that of the actresses, Yang was the "most memorable".
Chien-lien Wu as Jia-Chien
Jia-Chien is sexually liberated. She suspects Jia-Jen of disapproving of her moral system. Dariotis and Fung wrote that the film's main focus is on the relationship between Jia-Chien and her father.
Chien-lien Wu, who plays Jia-Chien, also portrays Mr. Chu's dead wife. Lizzie Francke wrote that Jia-Chien taking the role of the cook "makes manifest the various needs that bind a family by setting a mother back at the heart of it". Dariotis and Fung wrote that therefore the phrase from Francke has multiple meanings since Jia-Chien takes her father's role of being a chef and therefore "is trying to be the son her father never had" and she takes the role of the mother.
Yu-Wen Wang as Jia-Ning
Jia-Ning becomes involved with an on-and-off boyfriend of her friend Rachel and gets into a love triangle. She unexpectedly becomes pregnant and goes off to live with her boyfriend. Dariotis and Fung wrote that the Chu family expresses "little ceremony or question" before she leaves to be with Guo Lun.
Dariotis and Fung wrote that Jia-Ning's story is of "naïveté and immature love" and that the love triangle involving her, Guo Lun, and Rachel "is in many ways a parody of comic book romance." Dariotis and Fung argue that Jia-Ning's story, along with Jia-Jen's, is "not only flat but also dangerously uncomplicated." They further state that "[t]he lack of inquiry is endemic of this storyline" and that its "superficial treatment" is "quite disturbing."
Sylvia Chang as Jin-Rong
Winston Chao as Li Kai
Jia-Chien believes that Li Kai broke the heart of her older sister Jia-Jen, and Dariotis and Fung wrote that the event seems to have caused Jia-Jen to turn away from the world. Later in film it is revealed that Jia-Jen fabricated the story, in order to "create a barrier against intimacy—even with her family" according to Dariotis and Fung.
Chao-jung Chen as Guo Lun
Guo Lun reads Fyodor Dostoyevsky's works. In the beginning of the movie his girlfriend, Jia-Ning's friend, keeps standing him up and he complains about the situation. He lives alone in a house because for most of the year his parents are out of Taiwan. Dariotis and Fung wrote that Guo Lun's family is "dysfunctional". Desson Howe of the Washington Post describes him as "mopey". Dariotis and Fung wrote that Guo Lun has "invisible financial resources that no one in the film questions."
Lester Chit-Man Chan as Raymond
Yu Chen as Rachel
Gua Ah-leh as Madame Liang
Chi-Der Hong as Class Leader
Gin-Ming Hsu as Coach Chai
Huel-Yi Lin as Sister Chang
Shih-Jay Lin as Chief's Son
Chin-Cheng Lu as Ming-Dao
Cho-Gin Nei as Airline Secretary
Yu-Chien Tang as Shan-Shan
Chung Ting as Priest
Hari as Construction Worker
Cheng-Fen Tso as Fast Food Manager
Man-Sheng Tu as Restaurant Manager
Zul as Mendaki
Chuen Wang as Chief
Reuben Foong as Drama Mamma
Jui Wang as Old Wen
Hwa Wu as Old Man
In her review in The New York Times, Janet Maslin praised Ang Lee as "a warmly engaging storyteller." She wrote, "Wonderfully seductive, and nicely knowing about all of its characters' appetites, Eat Drink Man Woman makes for an uncomplicatedly pleasant experience."
In his review in the Washington Post, Hal Hinson called the film a "beautiful balance of elements ... mellow, harmonious and poignantly funny." Hinson concluded:
As the relationships evolve and deepen, there seems to be a surprise around every corner—for both the characters and the audience. But what is most surprising, perhaps, is how involved we become with these people. As satisfying as food can be, the fullness we feel at the end here is far richer and more complex than that offered by the most extravagant meal. “ Eat Drink Man Woman” is a delicacy but also something more—something like food for the heart.
On the aggregate reviewer web site Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 94% positive rating from top film critics based on 31 reviews, and a 91% positive audience rating based on 13,132 reviews.
Tortilla Soup, a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Maria Ripoll, is based on Eat Drink Man Woman.
1994 Asia Pacific Film Festival Award for Best Film (Ang Lee) Won
1994 Asia Pacific Film Festival Award for Best Editing (Tim Squyres) Won
1995 Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film
1994 Golden Horse Film Festival Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress (Ya-lei Kuei)
1994 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Award for Best Foreign Language Film Won
1994 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Award for Top Foreign Films Won
1995 BAFTA Awards Nomination for Best Film not in the English Language
1995 Golden Globe Awards Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film
1995 Independent Spirit Awards Nomination for Best Cinematography (Jong Lin)
1995 Independent Spirit Awards Nomination for Best Director (Ang Lee)
1995 Independent Spirit Awards Nomination for Best Feature (Ted Hope, Hsu Li-kong, James Schamus)
1995 Independent Spirit Awards Nomination for Best Female Lead (Chien-lien Wu)
1995 Independent Spirit Awards Nomination for Best Male Lead (Sihung Lung)
1995 Independent Spirit Awards Nomination for Best Screenplay (Hui-Ling Wang, James Schamus, Ang Lee)
1995 Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Film Won