Ang Lee, the director of "The Ice Storm," brings a touching story of cultures clashing in an ever-changing society. When widowed Mr. Chu, a tai-chi master, arrives from Beijing to live with his only son in an upscale New Y... more »ork suburb, it sets the stage for a warm comedy of manners.« less
Tremendous acting with flow of a simple yet powerful story
Frank Huang | Richardson, TX United States | 06/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Watched twice, still as powerful as the first time since I watched it years ago. It is a story about a Tai Chi master from Taiwan and living with his American daughter in Law who doesn't speak any Chinese except "Thank you". As the time goes on, the film portrayed 3 generations in this family: the son, the father, the American wife and the American born boy. Not only the communication creates a huge gap between each generation; also each one of them lives a life with different characters. At one scene when the father telling his son that he is no longer valuable considered by the society and his life is going no where; the son also told him that throughout his life he is trying to put everyone's life together with houses, more money, and jobs rather than finding out the true meaning for the family and the bond each one hold for the other. The film shows how each one explored their own worthiness and how it has impact other people within the family. Superb acting makes the film very real and touching. Indeed a film that is true to life and true to our hearts."
Crosscultural masterpiece, interesting for tai chi overview
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 04/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon shot Ang Lee into household ranks for his fluid, creative martial arts histrionics, this is no less a masterpiece in the somewhat more subdued version of Kung Fu -- the chinese art of Tai Chi.The story is wrapped around an old Mr. Chu,a tai chi master (played almost effortlessly by Sihung Lung) who has moved from the rigors of a Beijing life to settle down in the suburbs of NY with his son Alex and his American wife, who's a novelist working from home. Mr Chu is at his wit's end, in a new culture, sans the language, spending his days watching Hong Kong videos vocally critiquing the Kung Fu moves much to the obvious chagrin of his American daughter in law.While the pretext is predictable (They Dont Get Along), the emotional tussle of his son as an intermediary between his wife and father is well told, even comical at times. The film explores the Chinese ethic of filial relations -- father-son / man-wife / father-daughterinlaw etc. The movie is of a subtle, soft-spoken vein despite the loud emotions. One minor grouse -- Tai Chi could have been a bit more integral to the story in a manner that food was to Eat Drink Man Woman ( another sensual feast from Lee) particularly in defining the character of Mr. Chu. It is a little difficult to digest that a "master" of Tai Chi could have the level of conceit and stubbornness that his character is shown to display.But that's minor. I doubt Lee would put this movie on the top of his favorites stack, but this is a precious peep into the Lee of yore, the more honest movie maker before he set about making Hollywood blockbusters. Reason enough for me to watch it."
A movie that will remind you how precious family ties are
srgranger | 10/21/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The movie starts out slow, but ends with a powerful message. I found the movie particularly touching to me because I am from a mixed family (one parent Caucasian and one parent Asian), as the characters in the movie. It demonstrates how the element of respect to one's elders, which is so important in the Asian culture, can clash with American modern society. I found the movie uplifting and inspiring; and also gave me a new respect for my immigrant parent, realizing the struggles he faced coming to America and dealing with its culture."
What can i say? Ang Lee is a god with a human touch!
mangoid | CreatioNation | 07/01/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can't think of another director like Ang Lee, in that his films are so vastly different from each other yet all are so great, each in their own unique way.Like many of his films (including Crouching Tiger), this one stars Sihung Lung, a great Chinese actor who unfortunately died of liver failure last month (May 2002) after filming "The Touch." He is amazing to watch, as usual, and plays very credibly in Pushing Hands as a Tai Chi master who moves to New York City to live with his son, his son's tightly strung Euro-American daughter in law and their bilingual child. The "parent immigrates to live with children and doesn't fit in" story has been told many ways in many films, but somehow i doubt many of the rest of them are this human, this insightful, or this delightfully humorous.It's really hard for one who hasn't seen Pushing Hands to imagine from the title, the tagline, the trailer and reviews what makes this film great, because what makes it great is Ang Lee, his constant writing companion James Schamus (also of Crouching Tiger fame), and the great acting, led by Sihung Lung. If you're not already a fan of Ang Lee's other work besides Crouching Tiger (i.e. Eat Drink Man Woman, The Wedding Banquet, et al), then you might want to rent this one before you buy it, but if you already know you love Ang Lee, it's worth the purchase."
Great Movie too bad they didn't treat the DVD well.
srgranger | California United States | 06/18/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Who thinks that the intelligent niche audience that would go see a non-Hollywood film would appreciate the sides being chopped off? This is one film that only an idiot would think did not need to be done in a widescreen format. This is DVD guys wake up! Great film though. Really touching and made me want to call all my elderly family when I got home. I have yet to see an Ang Lee film that isn't worth a Special Edition version. Another wonderful film by a master."