Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB
Original title: Ban sheng yuan
Hong Kong/China, 1997. China Film Co-Production Corporation, Mandarin Films Distribution, Tianshan Film Studio. Screenplay by Kin Chung Chan, based on the novel by Eileen Chang. Cinematography by Ping Bin Lee. Produced by Ann Hui, Yu Wang. Music by Xiaogang Ye. Production Design by Yank Wong, Bruce Yu. Costume Design by Kwan Kit Mok. Film Editing by Hung Poon, Yee Shun Wong.
Sumptuous Chinese epic about two sisters in 1930s Shanghai who live with the greatest of hope but must eventually succumb to tragedy. The one, a clerk working a regular business job, has fallen mutually in love with a co-worker and plans on marrying him. The other sister is a ballroom hostess (aka Fallen Woman) whose career casts a shadow on her sister’s chances for a successful marriage. Photographed by Ping Bin Lee, who would later shoot Wong Kar-wai’s beautiful In The Mood For Love, this film is a bit long in places but perfectly acted and directed with deft sensitivity by Ann Hui.