Monday, 11 March 2013

Vancouver-Made Chinese Movie

Wu Xiubo and Tang Wei in Finding Mr. Right
The Granville Street Bridge is in the background
The opening scene with Tang walking through the airport
On the weekend YTSL invited me to watch a preview of the movie Finding Mr. Right or 北京遇上西雅图 starring Tang Wei and Wu Xiubo.

In the romantic comedy, Tang is Jia Jia, the young mistress of a wealthy mainland Chinese businessman. She's pregnant and sent on an all-expenses paid trip to Seattle to give birth so that her child will have a green card.

She stays in an illegal "maternity centre", which is actually a home, where a few other expectant mothers are biding their time. Jia Jia acts like the stereotypical spoiled brat who is used to dangling money in front of people to get what she wants.

However her naive belief that everything will be taken care of is shattered when her lover and patron is arrested for corruption...

There are cultural and communication conflicts and misunderstandings that would be expected in a cross-cultural movie like this, but perhaps most distracting for me was that practically the entire film was shot in Vancouver.

I was too busy identifying the various landmarks in the city -- BC Place, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Hotel Georgia, Stanley Park, St George's School, and Granville Island -- to name a few.

For those not familiar with Vancouver, it probably passed as Seattle, but it was definitely a distraction for me. Director Xue Xiaolu and her crew did have overview shots of Seattle and New York, but many of them were grainy in quality, which made one wonder where they sourced the footage from.

In any event, YTSL and I have concluded Finding Mr. Right is just average and disappointing to see Tang in such limited roles. We wonder if it's because she is still concerned about what the Chinese government thinks of her work and is self-censoring her projects in fear of a continued ban from working in China.

We can't blame her, but at the same time, we want to see the depth of acting we saw in Lust, Caution; or is she just picking flat roles for the money, or she hasn't come across a good director since Ang Lee?

2 comments:

  1. Just curious: which films have you seen Tang Wei in to date -- and which films have you seen Vancouver being featured (as Vancouver vs some place else)? :)

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  2. I've only seen Tang Wei in Lust, Caution... as for Vancouver-made movies, can't remember how many, but definitely The Accused with Jodie Foster, and a straight-to-video Christmas movie featuring our house in the background!

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