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Pushing Hands

Bo Z. Wang , Sihung Lung , Ang Lee  |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bo Z. Wang, Sihung Lung, Lai Wang, Deb Snyder, Fanny De Luz
  • Directors: Ang Lee
  • Writers: Ang Lee, James Schamus
  • Producers: Ang Lee, Emily Yi-Ming Liu, Feng-Chyt Jiang, James Schamus, Li-Kong Hsu
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 1999
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000IZ0B
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,241 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pushing Hands" on IMDb

Special Features

  • In English with some subtitles

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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 York suburb, it sets the stage for a warm comedy of manners.

Mr. Chu is a recently widowed tai-chi master who moves from Beijing to New York to live with his son. Chu's American daughter-in-law, Martha, can't stand having him around the house. He finds her Western ideas on raising children and keeping a home to be curious at best. These conflicts test family bonds and Mr. Chu's highly developed sense of balance. This was the first feature as a director for Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility) and has many of the hallmarks of his later, better-known works: finely observed characters, gentle yet pointed humor, and the ability to see and understand both sides of a cultural divide. The charismatic Sihung Lung (who also starred in Lee's The Wedding Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman) plays Chu with strength and understatement, but Deb Snyder is miscast in a thankless role. The title refers to a tai-chi exercise that's at the center of the film's best scene, a standoff in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant. --Geof Miller

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
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.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
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.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By liber8
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie too bad they didn't treat the DVD well. June 18, 2000
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.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars for die hard tai chi people
this movie is excellent for those who really truly understand the foundation of tai chi, and the struggle mixed families undergo. might be boring for others.
Published 9 months ago by Marysusan Morganti
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie
I searched years to find a copy of this film to have and hold for my very own. A great Ang Lee production, this movie, like so many of his other works, addresses issues of... Read more
Published 20 months ago by DragonflyDanser
4.0 out of 5 stars Tthoroughly enjoyable and very perceptive. Strongly recommended.
Another great movie by Ang Lee and superb interpretation by Sihung Lung. The eternal problem of how do deal with our elders. Read more
Published on July 11, 2012 by Carno Polo
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Your Students Away from My Dumplings
Ang Lee, a master I cherish as much as director Wayne Wang, outdid himself with this early offering, TUI SHOU in Chinese, "PUSHING HANDS" - which is the name of a vital part of... Read more
Published on May 25, 2010 by E. Hernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars a.k.a. "Grandpa Gets a Girlfriend"
Five Stars for the MOVIE (the price sucks!).

Hands down (pun intended) this is the single best martial arts movie ever made.
Published on January 26, 2010 by Buying Elsewhere
4.0 out of 5 stars Ang Lee's first film --
and noticeably so in terms of budget (thus the four stars), but nonetheless excellent in establishing his themes of the clashes between Eastern and Western cultures, and his... Read more
Published on December 21, 2009 by JNagarya
4.0 out of 5 stars Tai Chi
Don't fall into the trap of thinking all Tai Chi masters are enlightened beings. I have met a fair few masters with stubborn ego's in my time! wonderful film.
Published on June 15, 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Movie
This movie was so very poignant. The American wife Martha was really good. Who is this actress. I'd like to see more of her on films.
Published on May 28, 2004 by Anastasia Aourik
5.0 out of 5 stars TAI CHI CLASSIC
Very simply put this is a TAI CHI classic.Ifyou do Tai Chi or are curious you need this DVD.The film will be understood by TAI CHI practioners and open the minds of those who are... Read more
Published on August 15, 2001 by LeRoy F. Erickson
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