Eat Drink Man Woman

The RAS is pleased to announce the next film screening: on the 16th of September we will watch the sumptuous comedy-drama Eat Drink Man Woman, directed by the Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (李安). In Taipei, the semi-retired master chef Chu is a kind of superhero. At home in his kitchen, he works completely from memory, mixing the ingredients for his divinely arcane dishes with the speed and efficiency of a true master. The gastronomic creations that emerge from his labors arrive at the table like glorious works of art. The prickly widower keeps a careful check on his emotions, and his three daughters—whom still live at home—don’t do much to raise his spirits. The oldest Jia-Jen is a strait-laced high school teacher whose heart was broken by a boyfriend. The middle daughter, Jia-Chien, a modern-thinking, dynamically attractive executive at a Taiwanese airline, can’t wait to get out of his house. The youngest, Jia-Ning, is so caught up in her boy-craziness that she barely seems to notice the others. Lee maintains a poised directorial hand throughout this bittersweet comedy. As the relationships evolve and deepen, there seems to be a surprise around every corner. The film is part of Ang Lee’s “Father Knows Best” trilogy, which also includes Pushing Hands (1991) and The Wedding Banquet (1993), These three works were Ang Lee’s early successes, which all explore the relationships and conflicts between tradition and modernity, Eastern and Western. Janet Marslin at The New York Times praised the film “wonderfully seductive, and nicely knowing about all of its characters' appetites, Eat Drink Man Woman makes for an uncomplicatedly pleasant experience". Hal Hinson with the Washington Post calls the film a "beautiful balance of elements ... mellow, harmonious and poignantly funny". The film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language film at the 67th Academy Awards, and won the Best Film Award at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival in 1994.