Projections - Movie Reviews

Eat Drink Man Woman

Billed as a "delicious new comedy about food," this new film by Ang Lee (The Wedding Banquet) will please your senses as well as your heart.

Master Chef Tao Chu (Sihung Lung) is admired by his family and friends for his culinary genius.  The exquisite meals he faithfully prepares each Sunday are the vehicles through which he conveys his love for his three grown daughters.  Having lost their mother years ago, these young women seek a sounding board in their father but, instead of "food for thought" they must settle for merely food.

Not that the food isn't "weighty".  Over 100 different recipes are used in Eat Drink Man Woman, with each dish prepared authentically before the viewer.  In order to achieve this feat (or should I say feast), Director Lee employed food consultant Lin Huei-Yi, the daughter-in-law of China's most famous cooking expert, along with three world class chefs and various food specialists.

While food plays a central role in the film, Director Lee wanted to offer audiences a portrayal of a typical family struggling to communicate with one and other.  As Lee says, "Sometimes the things children need to hear the most are the things that parents find hardest to say, and vice versa.  When that happens, we resort to ritual."

The three daughters adhere to the Sunday ritual but it is clear that it has become only that - a ritual devoid of any real content.  As individuals, their lives are changing and they're developing appetites and tastes which lead them away from home.  As the film unfolds, it takes surprising turns as each family member meets his/her destiny.

The acting in this film is excellent.  Sihung Lung is simply a joy to watch, whether preparing another culinary extravaganza or attempting to reveal himself to his daughters.  An Leh Gua is hilarious as the bewildered Mrs. Liang and Kuei-Mei Yang, Chien-Lien Wu and Yu-Wen Wang were each wonderful in their roles as the three Chu women.

This is a remarkable film served up to audiences with great care.  As Director Ang Lee says, "In making this film, I have prepared it for the audience just as any chef would prepare a great meal."  BON APPETIT!

Eat Drink Man Woman


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