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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

An Autumn's Tale

A classic 1987 Hong Kong romantic drama film entirely shot New York City, An Autumn's Tale is directed by Mabel Cheung and starring Chow Yun-Fat and Cherie Chung.
Jennifer (Chung) comes to New York from Hong Kong in order to join her boyfriend, Vincent (Danny Chan), and to study. She is picked up from the airport by her distant cousin Samuel (Yun-Fat) and his buddies and taken to her new apartment, upstairs from Samuel's one. But when soon after, she is dumped unceremoniously by Vincent, who takes off for Boston, the young woman finds herself a fish out of water in New York. Samuel, however, has immediately taken a liking in her and tries his best to help her out whilst being very self-conscious about their very different backgrounds and personalities. And whilst Jennifer loves his company, she has a hard time imagining seeing them end up together. Nonetheless, the two slowly become closer until Vincent suddenly shows up again trying to win back his old flame.
A romantic drama, which careful;y avoids many of the cliches associated with the genre, An Autumn's Tale's major strength is its two great lead actors as well as their character development, which pushes the film forward as opposed to a more plot-driven approach. Chow Yun-Fat and Cherie Chung are both wonderful in their respective roles and the screenplay gives them plenty to work with whilst Mabel Cheung's direction is natural and understated. Apart from that, the New York setting, a rarity for Hong Kong productions, along with a great soundtrack really make this one stand out. Touching, down-to-earth and understated, An Autumn's Tale ranks amongst the best romantic films to ever come out of Hong Kong. The film was nominated for seven Hong Kong Film Awards, winning Best Film, Screenplay and Cinematography, and six Golden Horse Awards, winning one for Best Actor for Chow Yun-Fat. The film was also ranked number 49 on the Hong Kong Film Awards' list of Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures.

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