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(Jun 29, 1999)
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- In English with some subtitles
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this tai chi movie was a wonderful one wonder what happened to the dvdPublished 6 months ago by peter
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 on January 21, 2014 by Marysusan Morganti
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 morePublished on February 10, 2013 by DragonflyDanser
Another great movie by Ang Lee and superb interpretation by Sihung Lung. The eternal problem of how do deal with our elders. Read morePublished on July 11, 2012 by Carno Polo
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 morePublished on May 25, 2010 by Hui Shen ben Israel
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
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