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The Way We Are (2008)

Tin shui wai dik yat yu ye (original title)
"The Way We Are" tells the story of a hardworking, widowed, single mother (Mrs. Cheung) and her teenage son (Ka-on) living in the troubled housing estate of Tinshuiwai, a suburb regularly featured in the news for all the wrong reasons.

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10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Mrs. Cheung
Chun-lung Leung ...
Cheung Ka-on
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cheuk Man Au ...
Mr. Chow
Idy Chan ...
Ms Tsui
Lai Hing Chan ...
Ka-on's grandma
Lai-wun Chan ...
Granny Leung Foon
Vincent Chui ...
Uncle Yung
Yo Yo Fong ...
Yee
Clifton Ko ...
Uncle Chuen
Suet-Yee Ma
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Storyline

"The Way We Are" tells the story of a hardworking, widowed, single mother (Mrs. Cheung) and her teenage son (Ka-on) living in the troubled housing estate of Tinshuiwai, a suburb regularly featured in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

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17 July 2008 (Hong Kong)  »

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The Way We Are  »

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1.85 : 1
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Connections

Followed by Night and Fog (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pure gem of current HK cinema!
5 December 2013 | by (Cairo, Egypt) – See all my reviews

The literal meaning of its original Chinese title is "the day and night of Tin Shui Wai", Tin Shui Wai is a northwestern area of Hong Kong and is noted for its public housing estates, where mostly low-income families inhibit, Ann Hui's heartfelt picture centers on a single mother Mrs. Cheung (Paw) and her teenage son Ka-on (Leung), through their kitchen-sink daily life, it cogently reflects our modern society's interpersonal relations with spontaneous casualness and certainly Hui's best work I've ever watched (I have yet to see A SIMPLE LIFE 2011)!

The film runs effortlessly to rotate around Cheung and Ka-on's quotidian doings, Cheung works in a supermarket and Ka-on idles at their boxy apartment since it is summer vacation. Granny Leung Foon (Lai-wan Chan), a new neighbor who lost her daughter recently and her son-in-law remarried, Leung Foon's solitary life is singled out naturally through her entry scenes (buy a paltry portion of beef for herself, the meat vendor even fastidiously complains one of her coins is black and demands a swap), records more closely to her meals (the same beef fried with cabbage being consumed in both lunch and dinner), the artistry is all in the details. Leung Foon is typically protective and penny-pinching, but her heart will gradually open to Cheung and Ka- on, since a near neighbor is better than a distant cousin, among them, a sensitive surrogate family bond is developing and culminating after a tearjerking talking heart to heart on a bus back from a fruitless attempt to visit Foon's grandson.

Meanwhile, the backstory of Cheung and the tacit alienation between Cheung and her mother, her well-off brothers are all steadily unraveling, Cheung is a woman full of pride, she can undertake hardships, she never solicit any remuneration for bringing up two brothers, but her mother thinks it is her tomfoolery to struggle in poverty, this creates a knot between them, but family is always family, there is no grudges among them, Cheung's swallow nest congee betokens that tellingly.

Hee Ching Paw and Lai-wan Chan are pitch perfect in their lifelike performances (which incredibly counters their theatrical training), newcomer Chun-lung Leung is also a force of nature, here is a young boy without any rebellious traits (no gamble, no girlfriend problem, no drug abuse, no religious hindrance), his upbringing is the most laudable feat and yet Hui achieves that by no hyperbole at all. If you are a Hong Kong cinema connoisseur, you will be thrilled to see a cameo from a comely Idy Chan (15 years after her retirement from the screen).

Ann Hui is a tower of strength in current HK cinema scenery, she is less internationally- recognized than Johnny To, but her cannon is so rich and diverse and her unique mastery of humanistic care should enlist her name among the most overlooked directors of all time!


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great movie cupcakelee
bored at the beginning, but very touching gradually, highly recommanded karlweb2002
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