You and Me (2005 film)

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You and Me
You and Me cover.jpg
DVD cover for You and Me
Traditional 我們倆
Simplified 我们俩
Mandarin Wǒmen liǎ
Directed by Ma Liwen
Produced by Han Sanping
Jiang Tao
Lu Hongshi
Wang Daqing
Zhao Haicheng
Wu Yakang
Written by Ma Liwen
Starring Jin Yaqin
Gong Zhe
Music by Dou Wei
Cinematography Wu Di
Wu Wai
Edited by Zhan Haihong
Distributed by China Film Group
Release date
  • October 26, 2005 (2005-10-26) (Tokyo)
Running time
83 minutes
Language Mandarin

You and Me (simplified Chinese: 我们俩; traditional Chinese: 我們倆; pinyin: Wǒmen liǎ; literally: "The Two of Us") is a 2005 Chinese film by writer-director Ma Liwen. The film, shot on a shoe-string budget, tells the story of a young woman who moves into an apartment run by a tough elderly woman. Their relationship, initially cold and hostile, soon develops into friendship over the course of four seasons. The film premiered at numerous international festivals, notably the 2005 Tokyo International Film Festival (where it picked up an award for actress Jin Yaqin) and the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival. The film was produced through the China Film Group and the Beijing Film Studio.

Plot[edit]

Xiaoma is a young woman who has recently moved to Beijing where she finds an apartment in an old courtyard apartment complex owned by Grandma, an elderly woman. Xiaoma and Grandma's relationship almost immediately becomes strained. After trying to tidy up the courtyard, Grandma insists that Xiaoma turn over her share of the profits. Tightfisted, the elderly landlady resists even allowing Xiaoma to install a telephone. At the same time the older woman becomes increasingly interested in Xiaoma's personal (and romantic) life. Grandma, for example, tries to pass off her grandson to the younger woman. Annoyed, Xiaoma nevertheless is flattered at the older woman's concern. Over the course of four seasons, Xiaoma begins to learn from her landlady of the old world that the modern city of Beijing has left behind, while Grandma begins to enjoy the youth and vitality of her tenant. The two women become closer and eventually develop a deep friendship.

Production[edit]

Story[edit]

The film's story is based in part on director Ma Liwen's own experiences upon moving from Jiangxi to Beijing in the 1990s. Like the protagonist, Ma also moved into an old siheyuan style apartment owned by an elderly woman. Also like the film, Ma and her landlady initially clashed, though they eventually became friends. When her landlady died, Ma was filled with remorse leading eventually to her making You and Me.[1]

Ma Liwen said this of her film:

Casting[edit]

The two main leads, Gong Zhe as the young woman and Jin Yaqin as Grandma, were both first-time film actresses. Gong, a photography student, was cast in the lead role after literally being "discovered" by the director outside the cafeteria at the China Central University of Fine Arts.[2] Gong, however, has stated that the film production was strictly a one-time diversion from her stated career goals of photography.[3]

Jin Yaqin, meanwhile, was already 81 when the shoot first began. While You and Me was her first feature film, she had a nearly sixty-year career in theater and Chinese opera behind her.[2]

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Years Awards Categories Recipients Results Citation(s)
2005 25th Golden Rooster Awards Best Director Ma Liwen Won
Best Actress Jin Yaqin Won
Best Film Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Gong Zhe Nominated
Best Screenplay Ma Liwen Nominated
18th Tokyo International Film Festival Best Actress Jin Yaqin
(Tied with Helena Bonham Carter for Conversations with other women)
Won
Tokyo Grand Prix Ma Liwen Nominated
2006 Beijing Student Film Festival
(Jury Award)
Best Newcomer Gong Zhe Won
Beijing Student Film Festival (Special Jury Award) Ma Liwen Won
2007 7th Chinese Film Media Award Best Actress Jin Yaqin Won
Best Supporting Actress Gong Zhe Won
Best Screenplay Ma Liwen Nominated
Huabiao Film Awards Outstanding Film Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ CRI staff (2006-03-17). "Director Ma Liwen". China.org.cn. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  2. ^ a b c "You and Me Press Kit" (PDF). Delphis Films. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  3. ^ Edwards, Russell (2005-11-15). "You and Me review". Variety. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 

External links[edit]