Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity


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A precocious 12-year-old (Valerie Tian) schools herself in Taoist magic, hoping to solve the love and money problems of her emotionally bruised single mother (Sandra Oh), but her spells go awry, causing one neighbor to lose his job as a security guard and another to win the lottery. Set in Vancouver's Chinatown, this charming ensemble piece (2002, 90 min.) by writer-director Mina Shum (Double Happiness, Drive, She Said) is a meditation on the vagaries of fate and the tentative comforts of faith, but these airy concerns are less important than the precisely drawn characters. Like prisms, they have a way of breaking down any scene into its constituent comic and tragic colors. In English and subtitled Cantonese. Gene Siskel Film Center.

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