The Rebel takes a tightly focused look at the situation in 1922, when French arrogance is at its most extreme and impoverished rebels run wild trying to win back their land through sabotage, civil disobedience, and assassinations. The streets of Saigon are chaotic as rebels, led by the young and lovely Vo (Thanh Van Ngo), murder a French official right under the noses of his brutal security chief, the collaborator Sy (Dustin Nguyen), and Sy's dashing underling Cuong (Johnny Nguyen). When Vo is captured, Sy and Cuong torture her ruthlessly to find out the location of her group's hideout, but eventually Cuong takes pity on her (or does he?), switches sides (or does he?), and helps her escape back to her village.
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A talented ensemble cast brings an extremely authentic family dynamic to "What's Cooking?," a satisfying four-course cross-section of ethnic American clans gathering for their Thanksgiving dinners.
Conceived by director Gurinder Chadha as a celebration of diversity, the film opens with an ironic shot of an advertisement on the side of a Los Angeles bus featuring an airbrushed white-bread family carving a turkey. Chadha then moves inside the bus to show the rainbow of races living together in the area, then on into a grocery store, where she picks up her first story in which a young Mexican-American man (Douglas Spain) bumps into his exiled father (Victor Rivers) and invites him home for Thanksgiving dinner.
This doesn't sit too well with his mother (Mercedes Ruehl), who had kicked Rivers out after discovering he'd had an affair. But she's prepared to make the best of it as her huge family gathers for their traditional daylong holiday preparations, mixing turkey with a cornucopia of Latino delicacies.
Continue reading: What's Cooking? Review
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