Lilting

"Extraordinary"

Lilting Review


With his first feature, British filmmaker Hong Khaou tells a beautifully balanced story that somehow manages to be hugely emotional without ever tipping over into sentimentality. It's a remarkable little drama with bracingly strong performances and a constant flow of telling insights about relationships and culture. And without ever turning maudlin, it offers a hopeful look at grief that's unforgettable.

Ben Whishaw stars as Richard, who is still struggling with the recent accidental death of his boyfriend Kai (Andrew Leung). Kai's mother Junn (Cheng Pei-pei) is in a nursing home, feeling trapped because she never learned English, so Richard decides to reach out to her, even though she never liked him. He hires an interpreter (Naomi Christie) to help them communicate, and also to help Junn talk to Alan (Peter Bowles), a man she's been flirting with in the home. But Richard also wants to respect Kai's decision never to come out as gay to his mother, and this is a secret Richard may have trouble keeping as he begins to get to know her.

Essentially a story about two extremely different people trying to find a way to connect with each other, this film is enriched by its vividly authentic observations about immigrants and gays, two groups that are often isolated from mainstream culture. The only real connection between Richard and Junn is Kai, who is seen in seamless flashbacks that emerge straight from scenes in ways that evoke the immediacy of memories with a mix of humour, sensuality and pain. All of this comes into fine focus whenever Richard and Junn meet, especially as their interaction is played without the ability to engage in easy conversation due to the language divide. Whishaw and Cheng offer such transparent, emotionally raw performances that it's impossible not to feel every moment vividly.

Thankfully, Khaou directs all of this with a light touch that fills the screen with hope. There's also plenty of real-life humour and spark along the way, mostly in the hilarious scenes between Junn and Alan, which never go as expected. And it's fluidly photographed and edited to carry the audience straight to the heart of the matter, the point where people realise that interacting honestly with other people is the only way to move forward in life. It's a rare movie that's truthful from start to finish, drawing viewers into a story that's so resonant that it changes the way we see the world around us. Quite simply, this is a staggeringly beautiful story from a filmmaker to watch.

 



Lilting

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Friday 8th August 2014

Box Office USA: $26.7k

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Production compaines: Stink Films, Dominic Buchanan Productions, Microwave Film, SUMS* Film and Media

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 38 Rotten: 9

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Hong Khaou

Producer: Dominic Buchanan

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.