IMDb > The Wedding Banquet (1993)
Xi yan
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The Wedding Banquet (1993) More at IMDbPro »Xi yan (original title)

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The Wedding Banquet -- To satisfy his nagging parents, a gay landlord and a female tenant agree to a marriage of convenience, but his parents arrive to visit and things get out of hand.

Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   9,314 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Ang Lee (writer)
Neil Peng (writer)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Wedding Banquet on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 August 1993 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A little deception in the reception. See more »
Plot:
To satisfy his nagging parents, a gay landlord and a female tenant agree to a marriage of convenience, but his parents arrive to visit and things get out of hand. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 13 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Ang Lee's best movie so far See more (37 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Ya-Lei Kuei ... Mrs. Gao (as Ah-Leh Gua)
Sihung Lung ... Mr. Gao
May Chin ... Wei-Wei
Winston Chao ... Wai-Tung Gao

Mitchell Lichtenstein ... Simon
Dion Birney ... Andrew
Jeanne Kuo Chang ... Wai-Tung's Secretary
Paul Chen ... Guest
Chung-Wei Chou ... Chef
Yun Chung ... Guest
Ho-Mean Fu ... Guest

Michael Gaston ... Justice of the Peace
Jeffrey Howard ... Street Musician
Theresa Hou ... Female Cashier
Yung-Teh Hsu ... Bob Law, Wai-Tung's Old Friend
Jean Hu ... Guest
Albert Huang ... Guest

Neal Huff ... Steve
Anthony Ingoglia ... Wei-Wei's Employer (as Anthony 'Iggy' Ingoglia)
Eddie Johns ... Haskell
Thomas Koo ... Guest
Chih Kuan ... Granny Tien
Robert Larenquent ... Hispanic Man
Neal Lee ... Waiter
Mason Lee ... Baby (as Mason C. Lee)
Dean Li ... Director Wang
Jennifer Lin ... Guest
John Nathan ... Joe
Francis Pan ... Guest
Neal Peng ... Guest
Tien Pien ... Old Chen
Marny Pocato ... Miriam
Tonia Rowe ... Simon's Nurse
Chung-Hsien Su ... Studio Photographer
Hannah Sullivan ... Mariane (as Patricia Sullivan)
Elizabeth Yang ... Guest
Vanessa Yang ... Mao Mei
Wei-Huang Ying ... Guest
Peide Yao ... Egg Head
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ang Lee ... Guest at the wedding banquet (uncredited)
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Directed by
Ang Lee 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ang Lee  writer
Neil Peng  writer
James Schamus  writer

Produced by
Sui Je Cheng .... supervising producer
Dolly Hall .... line producer
Ted Hope .... producer
Li-Kong Hsu .... associate producer
Feng-Chyt Jiang .... executive producer
Ang Lee .... producer
James Schamus .... producer
 
Original Music by
Mader 
 
Cinematography by
Lin Jong 
 
Film Editing by
Tim Squyres 
 
Casting by
Judy Dennis 
 
Production Design by
Steve Rosenzweig 
 
Art Direction by
Rachael Weinzimer 
 
Set Decoration by
Amy Beth Silver 
 
Costume Design by
Michael Clancy 
 
Production Management
Shih-Chieh Chen .... executive in charge of production
Bill Rouady .... post-production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Annie Tan .... second second assistant director
 
Art Department
Linda L. Tseng .... property master
 
Sound Department
Jeanne Gilliland .... boom operator
Pamela Martin .... sound editor
Tom Paul .... sound mixer
Dan Sable .... sound effects editor
Lynn Sable .... assistant sound editor
Reilly Steele .... post-production sound mixer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Todd S. Klein .... key grip
Dave Samuel .... gaffer (as David Samuel)
Joel Tishcoff .... best boy grip
Susanna Virtanen .... first assistant camera
 
Casting Department
Judy Dennis .... casting: USA
Wendy Ettinger .... casting: USA
Ben Prayz .... extras casting: USA
 
Editorial Department
Melissa Fleming .... post-production assistant
Elliott Gamson .... negative cutter
Pamela Martin .... assistant film editor
David Pultz .... color timer
Michael Yetter .... negative cutter
 
Music Department
Chosei Funahara .... soundtrack supervisor
Eric Liljestrand .... music mixer
Samantha Rosenfelds .... music coordinator
 
Transportation Department
Philip Harrison .... transportation coordinator
 
Other crew
Steve Chang .... title designer
Joyce Hsieh .... production accountant
Bai Ling .... production staff
Mary Jane Skalski .... post-production delivery coordinator
Jane Stavinoha .... assistant production coordinator
Michael Taylor .... script supervisor
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Xi yan" - Taiwan (original title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for language
Runtime:
106 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Winston Chao had been an airline steward for seven years and had never acted in a film before when Ang Lee cast him as Wai-Tung. Three to four hours every day were spent to teach him how to act.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: During the small family dinner to which Simon treats the newlyweds and Wei-Tung's parents, Simon can be seen to alternately hold chopsticks, a small bowl or nothing in his left hand, depending on the camera angle.See more »
Quotes:
Justice of the Peace:Okay, now you: "I, Wee-Wee..."
Wei-Wei:Wee-Wee.
Justice of the Peace:"... take you, Wai Tung..."
Wei-Wei:Wee-Wee.
Justice of the Peace:Okay. "To be my wedded husband... to have and to hold..."
Wei-Wei:Holding to have, husband, mine...
Justice of the Peace:"... for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer..."
Wei-Wei:Better and richer, no poorer.
Justice of the Peace:"... in sickness and in health, till death do us part."
Wei-Wei:Till sickness and death.
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Kicking and Screaming (1995)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Wedding BanquetSee more »

FAQ

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32 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
Ang Lee's best movie so far, 4 April 2000
Author: shrine-2

The central character of "The Wedding Banquet" looks sullen through almost the entire movie. He knits his brow and ponders as if there were something troubling him to no end. At the very outset, it's quite clear what that is. Wai-Tung is gay, and he hasn't told his Taiwanese parents. He's annoyed with his mother's unwelcome attempts to match him with someone, so she can have what she wants: a grandchild. But he's afraid to tell her or his father why he is not interested. His mixed emotions have no place to go; so they sit on his face, incomplete and unexpressed, except as unresolved anger, much of it at himself. And it's fun to watch as he goes through the motions of pleasing family and lover and acquaintances to take his mind off his troubles.

The script by director Ang Lee, and associates Neil Peng and James Schamus have written a crackerjack story full of things that never have hit the screen before. The wedding banquet itself is full of such insightful details about contemporary Chinese-American life and sentiment that there seems something accomplished that's new to the movies. When the wedding party invades the honeymoon suite, you feel like the writers have a firm grasp on the people they are presenting us, as if they know them, inside and out. I have seen five movies directed by Ang Lee, and this (and maybe his earlier "Pushing Hands") is the only one in which I felt he had a deep understanding of the characters, and for that matter, of human nature and human love.

Filial piety may not be a new thing for the Chinese, and maybe that is why this movie feels rooted, grounded. Wai-Tung who is a successful businessman and landlord commands respect among his colleagues, but when he's with his parents, he's still their little boy. You laugh as this grown man walks with his father, head bowed, keeping exact pace, two steps back, and you realize the secret of the older man's hold on his imitator. Wai-Tung loves his parents, and he knows what they expect. He's ashamed that he doesn't want to fulfill their dreams, that he wants a life of his own, that he didn't turn out as they hoped. But he also cares about his lover Simon, and you know what has drawn them together is that they care about other people. (Simon is a physical therapist who likes lecturing his clients; Wai-Tung tries to appear in charge, but he always seems to be taken advantage of by the people around him.) This concern for others is what draws us to Wai-Tung, and when his parents appear, you know exactly why he's going along with deceiving them.

Winston Chao is handsome and lithe, and he's good at playing a frazzled, bewildered, well-meaning lump. Yet he wouldn't be so likable, if it were not for the propinquity of Mitchell Lichtenstein who clearly has the expressiveness the movie needs. Although the movie comes dangerously close to being one about gay men in love who, in their most private moments, look like the most they do is shake hands, Lichtenstein ("Streamers") manages with the subtlest means to convey a sexual connection. The scene in which Simon presents a cell phone as a gift and carries on a conversation to test it affords Lichtenstein the chance to show what heat he can generate on the screen when he's called to do so. It makes evident how lucky a man Wai-Tung is, and why he'd allow himself to be emotionally torn for so long.

But the most compelling performances here come from Sihung Lung (who played the unwanted father-in-law in "Pushing Hands") and Ah Lei Gua as Mr. and Mrs. Gao. Lung conveys Old-World benevolence that pretty much dictates where this movie goes. He more than fills the shoes of the aging warrior, taking the last few steps that will make his life complete. He grants Mr. Gao a share of dignity his work here rightly deserves. Yet it is Ah Lei Gua who convinces me that she is fully in character. Whether she is bursting into tears over the shabbiness of the civil wedding, or trying to overlook her daughter-in-law's clumsiness in the kitchen, or keeping Simon at a distance when she learns his real position in her son's life, you sense an actress of the highest rank who knows intuitively the character she has been given to play.

With May Chin who, I hear, is very popular in Taiwan, and here carries herself with porcelain elegance. Her Wei-Wei is an enigma, a woman with a penchant for handsome gay men, and the movie is content with leaving her that way. You come away as uneasy about the arrangement she struck with Simon and Wai-Tung as Mrs. Gao is, who exits weeping. When Ang Lee slows down the camera at the end, as Mr. Gao raises his arms to be inspected at the airport gate, the director in spite of himself belies the thought that the old soldier has surrendered to a new enemy--the craziness and the self-indulgence of the next generation. The plangency of that last shot remains with you for a long time.

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