MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 4,304 this week

The Home Song Stories (2007)

7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 746 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 26 critic

A man remembers his childhood and his mother, a Chinese night club singer who struggled to survive in Australia with her two children.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 250 titles
created 28 Apr 2011
 
a list of 425 titles
created 30 Oct 2012
 
a list of 165 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 1584 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 36 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Home Song Stories (2007)

The Home Song Stories (2007) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Home Song Stories.
20 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Yuwu Qi ...
Joe
Joel Lok ...
Tom
Irene Chen ...
May
...
Kerry Walker ...
Norma
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gabrielle Chan ...
Winnie
Guang Qiao Fenh ...
Young May
Leo Fong ...
Wen Xuan
...
Bing Guo
Philip Lau ...
Chan
Fred Lee ...
Slick Chinese man
Yang Li ...
Mr. Sun
...
Kim
Nicholas Opolski ...
Doctor
Edit

Storyline

Rose, a Shanhainese songstress singing at nightclubs in HongKong during the 60's, marries an Australian sailor and migrates with her young son and daughter to Melbourne. Her past filled with lost innocence, she begins a cycle of dependence and desperation to create a family for herself and her children, culminating with her affair with Qi, an illegal immigrant from HongKong. Watched through the eyes of her young son, the mother's journey reveals painful truths about the human condition, the love of family and self, and the price we pay for growing up. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How far do you have to journey to find your home? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

23 August 2007 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

The Home Song Stories  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Australia's official submission in the Foreign Language Film category for the 80th Academy Awards (2008). See more »

Connections

Features The Partridge Family (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

I Think of You
Written by Rodriguez
Performed by Wendy Saddington
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: The Home Song Stories
3 September 2007 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

The Home Song Stories made its debut at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year, and I've waited a long time for it to come to our shores. A joint Singapore-Australian production, it's an autobiographical story of writer-director Tony Ayres' childhood, of what he remembers about his mother, a songstress who uprooted her children and migrated from Hong Kong to Australia, and their struggles to etch a living surviving in a strange land.

When watching the film, I can't help but to remember Alfonso Cuaron's Great Expectations, where Ethan Hawke's Finn narrated a line early in the movie, stating quite clearly he's not going to tell the story the way it happened, but rather he's telling it the way he remembered it. And this rings very true in Ayres' Home Song Stories. Stories from within are always heartfelt and sincere, and that's what this movie brings across - the feeling that it's from deep down, and that of honesty. Like how the movie started with the Chinese oldie "Bu Liao Qing", mirroring the style the story was told and the narrative being measured, powerful, and very meaningful.

What made it work was the excellent acting all round. Of late I've enjoyed Joan Chen's movies these days, compared to her earlier works (like Judge Dredd or On Deadly Ground). Aging like fine wine, her maturity brings about certain gravitas and also likability as she takes on more adult roles, and it's no doubt my favourites were her motherly roles in Saving Grace, Jasmine Women, and now, Home Song Stories. Here, she plays Rose, one who lives on the fast lane in Hong Kong, with some untold secrets from the past. In order to give her two children the best life she could, she milks her looks for what it's worth because of her lack of ability and skill, and for some reason, succumbs to her weakness for men quite easily, falling fast and falling hard, flitting from man to man, being unlucky in love, and providing some headache and embarrassment for her children, who do not know what to make out of the "Uncles" that come through the door.

And Qi Yuwu, no doubt bolstered by his cinematic appearance in 881, gets a meatier role with dialogue. He stars as Joe the illegal immigrant, the young man whom Rose falls for, and becomes surrogate father to her children, and yet, having this threatening air that he has some ulterior motives set on Rose's daughter May (Irene Chan). You might think he's a cad, what with his 70s look and that glint in the eye, but overall, he's someone whom you'll compare with Bill (Steven Vidler), the Australian sailor whom Rose comes to Australia for. Putting both Bill and Joe side by side and the choice is obvious for Rose, but alas, the ditzy indecisiveness of womanhood causes great despair amongst her loved ones.

More so for her son Tom, played by Joel Lok. The narrative stems from his point of view, and Lok is the absolute winner here, in fleshing out Tom, the kid who lives in his fantasies, a form of escapism to a very confused childhood. You might think that he's able to take the blows in his stride, but I guess everyone, including a kid, has his own patience. You feel his pain, his confusion, his tears as he struggles to understand his mother's actions. He loves her, yet hates her, and Lok displays a masterful performance here that you might think he's a veteran. This kid's charming, pure and simple.

There are many plus points in this movie which makes it exquisite, and the wonderful songs used accentuates the era of that time perfectly. What made it work too was that the characters aren't forced to speak only one language, highlighting their multi-lingual nature quite naturally as they converse in Cantonese, Mandarin and English, which makes it seem more realistic rather than staged. It showcases growing pains really well, of relationships amongst siblings and with a single parent, and what I thought was one of the most powerful run up to an unforgettable scene, was a reminder that when dealing with people, to always be mindful of the hateful words we use. They might be said in the fit of a moment, but they always hurt bad, because everyone has feelings. Like the Chinese saying goes, once it's uttered, it's extremely difficult to retract, and the consequence of it could be damaging or devastating.

At its core, The Home Song Stories evokes painful memories, but also brings about the notion of forgiveness, remembering and honouring those memories. A mother's love knows no bounds, even if she behaves in a manner you cannot quite grasp at the moment. Stay tuned when the end credits roll, as you get to see a little more of Ayres' life and times, and of course, his real mother, put together in a photo montage. This is one movie which you definitely must watch this week. Highly recommended!


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Joan's Performance Caxton
True story? jacintamy
Story sound familiar? pc_norris
Australian Oscar Entry! okrim37
IRENE WE MISS U lulu_jimsjims
Amazing story moralityjustice
Discuss The Home Song Stories (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?