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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Edition No 894 

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LOVE

SYNOPSIS:
In their search for love, eight lonely young people in Taipei and Beijing each experience an adventure through random connections and a mass of complications.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
From the opening shot of a black Maserati coupe driving through the city and the quick shift into an apartment where the driver is greeted with a passionate kiss ... establishes the snappy, fresh, young tone of this multi-angled love story from highly regarded filmmaker Doze Niu Chen-Zer.

Accomplished in its cinematography and direction, the film's ambitious story weaves together several relationships.

Yi Jia (Chen Yi-Han) is the captain of a college bicycle racing team, helping out at her family's restaurant while attending school. But her life starts to collapse when she finds out she's pregnant - and worse yet, from an affair with her best friend's boyfriend, Kai (Peng Yu-Yan). When her best friend, Ni (Amber Kuo), finds out, she's naturally crushed, even though the affair happened when she and Kai were broken up. As Kai tries to make amends and Ni pushes him away, he tries desperately to reconnect to the only woman he's ever loved - leaving Yi Jia to figure out how to handle the pregnancy. With no one to emotionally support her through the difficult process, she's left with the choice of giving birth or having an abortion.

Ni's father, Lu (Doze Niu Chen-Zer), a successful businessman living a glamorous lifestyle with his charming actress girlfriend Zoe Fang (Shu Qi), finds he can't commit to her, not ready for marriage despite a seemingly perfect life. But Zoe's love life is even more difficult; the man she's having an affair with, Lu's business partner Mark (Mark Chau), is unable to commit either, causing her to run from both into the embrace of Kuan (Ethan Ruan), a waiter with a stammer, who has a simple charm she's never encountered. Zoe starts to rethink her lifestyle and her choices.

Mark ends his affair with Zoe, flies to Beijing to look at purchasing a classic courtyard house where he encounters a bumbling real estate agent, Xiao-Ye Jin (Vicky Zhao). Xiao-Ye is neither young nor stylish, the complete antithesis of what Mark finds attractive; yet he finds himself drawn to her. When she accidentally breaks her foot and he's sent to pick-up her son, he finds himself smitten with both her, her son and her deeply meaningful life, however chaotic - something the business deals and luxury cars that form his life have failed to provide for him.

All the performances are excellent, which no doubt helped get the film into the prestigious Berlin Film Festival (2011).



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

LOVE (M)
(China, 2011)

CAST: Vicki Zhao, Shu Qi, Ethan Ruan, Mark Chau, Amber Kuo, Chen Yi-Han, Peng Yu-Yan, Doze Niu Chen-Zer, Long Shao Hua Belle Yu, Kan Kan, Wang Jingchun, Lin Muran

PRODUCER: Wang Zhongjun, Doze Niu Chen-Zer

DIRECTOR: Doze Niu Chen-Zer

SCRIPT: Tseng Li Ting, Wang Qinan, Doze Niu Chen-Zer

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Lee Ping-Bin, A-Li Chen

EDITOR: Tseng Li Ting, Milk Su, Ian Lin

MUSIC: Chen Chien Chi

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Huang Mei-Ching

RUNNING TIME: 128 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: China Lion

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane: February 23, 2012







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