Eat Drink Man Woman
|Eat Drink Man Woman|
|Mandarin||yǐn shí nán nǚ|
|Directed by||Ang Lee|
|Produced by||Hsu Li Kong
|Written by||Ang Lee
|Starring||Sihung Lung[N 1]
|Editing by||Ang Lee
|Running time||123 minutes|
Eat Drink Man Woman is a 1994 Taiwanese film directed by Ang Lee and starring Sihung Lung, Yu-wen Wang, Chien-lien Wu, and Kuei-mei Yang. The film was released on August 3, 1994, the first of Lee's films to be both a critical and box office success. In 1994, the film received the Asia Pacific Film Festival Award for Best Film, and in 1995 it received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
The title is a quote from the Book of Rites, one of the Confucian classics, referring to the basic human desires and accepting them as natural. Many of the cast members had appeared in Ang Lee's previous films. Sihung Lung and Ah Lei Gua played central elderly figures dealing with the transition from tradition to modernity inThe Wedding Banquet, in which Winston Chao also starred. Sihung Lung played an immigrant father in Pushing Hands. These three films, all made in Taiwan, show the tensions between the generations of a Confucian family, between East and West, and between tradition and modernity. They form what has been called Lee's "Father Knows Best" trilogy.
The setting is 1990s contemporary Taibei, Taiwan. Mr. Chu (Sihung Lung), a widower who is master Chinese chef, has three unmarried daughters, each of whom challenges any narrow definition of traditional Chinese culture:
- Jia-Jen, the oldest one (Kuei-Mei Yang), a school teacher nursing a broken heart, is a Christian
- Jia-Chien, the middle one (Chien-lien Wu), is an airlines executive
- Jia-Ning, the youngest one (Yu-Wen Wang), a twenty year old,works at Wendy’s.
Each Sunday Mr. Chu makes a glorious banquet for his daughters, but the dinner table is also the family forum, or perhaps “torture chamber,” to which each daughter brings “announcements” as they negotiate the transition from traditional “father knows best” style to a new tradition which encompasses old values in new forms.
Other characters include:
- Uncle Wen, chef friend of Mr. Chu
- Jin-Rong, a young single-mother
- Shan-Shan, Jin-Rong’s daughter
- Mrs. Liang, Jin-Rong’s mother, comes to live with her
- Li Kai, an up-and-coming airline executive
- Raymond, Jia-Chien’s ex-lover, with privileges
- Zhou Mingdao: volleyball coach with a motor bike
As the film progresses, each daughter encounters new men. When these new relationships blossom, their roles are broken and the living situation within the family changes. The father eventually brings the greatest surprise to the audience at the end of the story.
- Sihung Lung as Chu
- Yu-Wen Wang as Jia-Ning
- Chien-lien Wu as Jia-Chien
- Kuei-Mei Yang as Jia-Jen
- Sylvia Chang as Jin-Rong
- Winston Chao as Li Kai
- Chao-jung Chen as Guo Lun
- Lester Chit-Man Chan as Raymond
- Yu Chen as Rachel
- Ya-lei Kuei as Madame Liang
- Chi-Der Hong as Class Leader
- Gin-Ming Hsu as Coach Chai
- Huel-Yi Lin as Sister Chang
- Shih-Jay Lin as Chief's Son
- Chin-Cheng Lu as Ming-Dao
- Cho-Gin Nei as Airline Secretary
- Yu-Chien Tang as Shan-Shan
- Chung Ting as Priest
- Cheng-Fen Tso as Fast Food Manager
- Man-Sheng Tu as Restaurant Manager
- Chuen Wang as Chief
- Jui Wang as Old Wen
- Hwa Wu as Old Man
Critical response 
In her review in The New York Times, Janet Maslin praised Ang Lee as "a warmly engaging storyteller." She wrote, "Wonderfully seductive, and nicely knowing about all of its characters' appetites, Eat Drink Man Woman makes for an uncomplicatedly pleasant experience."
In his review in the Washington Post, Hal Hinson called the film a "beautiful balance of elements ... mellow, harmonious and poignantly funny." Hinson concluded:
As the relationships evolve and deepen, there seems to be a surprise around every corner—for both the characters and the audience. But what is most surprising, perhaps, is how involved we become with these people. As satisfying as food can be, the fullness we feel at the end here is far richer and more complex than that offered by the most extravagant meal. “ Eat Drink Man Woman” is a delicacy but also something more—something like food for the heart.
On the aggregate reviewer web site Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 94% positive rating from top film critics based on 31 reviews, and a 91% positive audience rating based on 13,132 reviews.
Tortilla Soup, a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Maria Ripoll, is based on Eat Drink Man Woman.
- 1994 Asia Pacific Film Festival Award for Best Film (Ang Lee) Won
- 1994 Asia Pacific Film Festival Award for Best Editing (Tim Squyres) Won
- 1995 Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film
- 1994 Golden Horse Film Festival Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress (Ya-lei Kuei)
- 1994 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Award for Best Foreign Language Film Won
- 1994 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Award for Top Foreign Films Won
- 1995 BAFTA Awards Nomination for Best Film not in the English Language
- 1995 Golden Globe Awards Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film
- 1995 Independent Spirit Awards Nomination for Best Cinematography (Lin Jong)
- 1995 Independent Spirit Awards Nomination for Best Director (Ang Lee)
- 1995 Independent Spirit Awards Nomination for Best Feature (Ted Hope, Li-Kong Hsu, James Schamus)
- 1995 Independent Spirit Awards Nomination for Best Female Lead (Chien-lien Wu)
- 1995 Independent Spirit Awards Nomination for Best Male Lead (Sihung Lung)
- 1995 Independent Spirit Awards Nomination for Best Screenplay (Hui-Ling Wang, James Schamus, Ang Lee)
- 1995 Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Film Won
- Sihung Lung was credited as Lang Hsiung.
- "Eat Drink Man Woman". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- "Eat Drink Man Woman". Rotten Tomaties. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- "Awards for Eat Drink Man Woman". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Wei Ming Dariotis, Eileen Fung, "Breaking the Soy Sauce Jar: Diaspora and Displacement in the Films of Ang Lee," in Hsiao-peng Lu, ed., Transnational Chinese Cinemas: Identity, Nationhood, Gender (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1997), p. 242.
- "Full cast and crew for Eat Drink Man Woman". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Maslin, Janet (August 3, 1994). "Film Review: Avoiding Basic Human Desires, or Trying To". The New York Times. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- Hinson, Hal (August 19, 1994). "Eat Drink Man Woman". Washington Post. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Eat Drink Man Woman at the Internet Movie Database
- Eat Drink Man Woman at AllRovi
- Eat Drink Man Woman at Rotten Tomatoes
- Eat Drink Man Woman at Box Office Mojo