Lilting

Lilting

DVD - 2015
Average Rating:
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Richard and Jun are connected through a translator who helps them figure out the shared bond between them and how to recuperate from loss.
Publisher: Culver City, CA : Strand Releasing, [2015]
Branch Call Number: Feature
Characteristics: video file,DVD video
1 videodisc (86 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

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j
jonnybroom
May 18, 2017

A touching film that makes you think about the spaces between people and the distance between cultures.

m
MartineVK
Apr 30, 2017

A gay man attempts a rapprochement with the mother of his recently deceased lover who was closeted (at least to his mum). But the mother, although multilingual, does not speak English, so the partner hires a translator, supposedly to help with her relationship with a gentleman who lives in her assisted-living facility, but probably to be able to say what is on his mind as well. She resents the partner, and although he is always presented, and presents himself as the son's "best friend and roommate," it seems the mother is aware that they were lovers, but cannot admit this to herself.

The first half starts out a bit remote and I expected it to remain that way, but halfway through, things blossom and there is humour and more warmth. Recommended.

n
Nursebob
Dec 03, 2016

Guilt and resentment permeate writer/director Hong Khaou’s beautiful little indie drama which centres on two people who, literally and figuratively, are unable to communicate with one another. Richard is afraid to tell the old woman the truth about his relationship with her son lest she react badly, Junn is bound by her cultural upbringing, and hovering in the middle ground is the translator Vann, a young woman trying to remain objective even as she sees both parties falling apart. Eschewing unwarranted dramatics, Khaou keeps his characters grounded, relying as much on body language as translated words to push the story forward. Sunlight and windows play a key role, and while Khaou moves leisurely back and forth through time the deceased Kai makes a series of cameos as his mother and lover both ruminate on the past. Despite its flaws—the story rambles at times, the camera lingers longer than it should, a few arty touches seem overly contrived—this is still a nicely understated heart-tugger which rests solidly on the shoulders of its two leads, puppy-eyed Ben Whishaw and Asian powerhouse Pei-Pei Cheng.

c
Christina1907
Aug 14, 2016

Ben Whishaw is a superb actor - he seems to be humble in real life and doesn't see why actors should be lauded as they are "just doing a job" and I believe this lack of ego enables him to present his characters with skill and integrity.
He is the only actor to bring me to tears - twice. He played John Keats in Bright Star, and Richard II in The Hollow Crown.
I watched this film simply because he was in it - and was not disappointed. I'm sure a less self-aware actor could have carried it along.

m
mfraser38
Feb 27, 2016

excellent acting from Ben.

t
ThisBoy
Jan 18, 2016

Two beautiful people trying to communicate their feelings about the same person. The movie will takes in a full array of those feelings in words and actions. For those who love a film about equality borrow this one.

m
mjayh
Sep 23, 2015

The relationship between the gay men is believable, but for me the older "love interest" is unconvincing and the reason for it, in terms of the story, is far from clear. Characterizations of old people who haven't matured one iota generally fail to hold my interest. Neither has any appeal--she's a grump and he's got little to say that isn't mundane and seems to have sex uppermost on his mind rather prematurely. The themes raised held promise so it's too bad the writer was unfamiliar with all the emotional territory.

l
Lovemylibrary1
Jul 31, 2015

A beautiful film. Very watchable.

n
ncs1961
May 21, 2015

I appreciate the thoughtful look into a world I know little about

j
jimg2000
May 04, 2015

With the help of a translator, a Cambodian-Chinese mother met with a young British man and worked out their grief for the only-son/lover who died in an accident. A very melancholy film for an elderly widow who did not understand English while living alone as an immigrant in London.

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j
jimg2000
May 04, 2015

Spoiler Alert:
Richard: I miss him tremendously.
Jun: I didn't strangle Kai with guilt. It was always there. You will feel it as your parents age and also will your children when you age. These memories are all I have, I need to keep them vivid or they'll fade, like the face of my husband. Like any mother, I wanted Kai to be with me. I want to dwell on these memories and cry over them because they comfort me. Let me tell you something. Through plenty of crying, I've learnt to be content that I won't always be happy, secure in my loneliness, hopeful that I will be able to cope. Every year on Christmas Day I get very lonely. An incredible feeling of solitude. On this day, everything has stood still, even the trees have stopped rustling, but I'm still moving, I want to move, but I have nothing to move to, and nowhere to go. The scars beneath my skin suddenly surface and I get scared. Scared of being alone. But you know tomorrow is another day. I will carry on with my life.

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