The Joy Luck Club | Chicago Reader

The Joy Luck Club

A wonderful tearjerker (1993) about four young Chinese American women (Rosalind Chao, Lauren Tom, Tamilyn Tomita, and Ming-na Wen) in San Francisco and their Chinese immigrant mothers (Tsai Chin, Kieu Chinh, Lisa Lu, and France Nuyen). Adapted from Amy Tan's best-selling novel by the author and Ron Bass, and directed by Wayne Wang, it's a story (or more precisely, four interwoven stories) told mainly in flashbacks. Wang, whose previous work has reflected the influence of both Ozu (Dim Sum) and Godard (Life Is Cheap), seems to have fallen under the spell of Mizoguchi here, and this model serves him well. At once fascinating for its detailed lore about Chinese customs and legacies and very moving in its realization, the film builds into a highly emotional epic about what it means to be both Chinese and American.

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