IMDb > A Simple Life (2011)
Tou ze
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A Simple Life (2011) More at IMDbPro »Tou ze (original title)

Videos (see all 3)
A Simple Life -- After working for the Leung family for decades, a servant still takes care of filmmaker Roger Leung (Andy Lau) -- but when she falls sick, the tables are turned as Roger looks after her in this heartwarming tale inspired by a true story.
A Simple Life -- Trailer for A Simple Life

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   3,385 votes »
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Up 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Susan Chan (writer)
Yan-lam Lee (writer)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Simple Life on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 March 2012 (China) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
After suffering a stroke, an altruistic maid announces that she wants to quit her job and move into an old people's home. | Add synopsis »
Awards:
33 wins & 19 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
As clear as life itself See more (19 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Andy Lau ... Roger

Deannie Yip ... Ah Tao (as Deanie Ip)
Hailu Qin ... Ms. Choi
Fuli Wang ... Roger's mother
Paul Chun ... Uncle Kin
Tin Leung ... Headmaster - Resident at Elderly Home
Man-sze Yu ... Sharon (as Wendy Yu)
Eman Lam ... Carmen - Roger's assistant
Elena Kong ... Aunt Kam's daughter
Chi-san Chan ... Jason (as Jason Chan)
So-ying Hui ... Mui

Anthony Chau-Sang Wong ... Grasshopper - Elderly home's owner

Chapman To ... Dentist
Raymond Chow ... Himself
Felicia Chow ... Herself (as Mrs. Raymond Chow)
Dong Yu ... Filmmaker

Hark Tsui ... Director Tsui

Sammo Kam-Bo Hung ... Director Hung
John Sham ... Guest at Premiere (as John Shum)
Yun-sau Mak ... Hengzi

Dennis Chan ... Vincent
Hao Ning ... Himself
Enoch Lam ... Clergyman
Ka Tung Lam ... Guest at Premiere
Lan Law ... Madame Lo
Sui-man Chim ... Roger's high school buddy (as Jim Chim)
Yin San Lai ... Elderly home visitor (as Eva Lai)
Bing-Man Tam ... Bing (as Tam Ping Man)
Aicardi Jiang
Queenie Chu ... Receptionist at Investment Bank
G.S. Tyson
Hiromi Wada ... Singer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lawrence Ah Mon ... Ah Chun - Roger's high school buddy

Angelababy ... Guest at Premiere (as Angela Baby)
Tyson Chak ... Air-conditioning Fixer
Brenda Chan ... Cleaning Lady Interviewee A (as Kwai Fun Chan)
Wing-Chiu Chan ... Guest at Premiere
Kenneth Cheung ... Doctor
Wai Lin Cheung ... Cleaning Lady Interviewee C
Pik Kee Hui ... Aunt Kam
Dorothy Leopord Kalumuna ... African Escort
Suet-Fa Kong ... Receptionist at Elderly Home
Ah Fung Kwan ... Old Lady

Stanley Kwan ... Guest at Premiere
Billy Lau ... Mobster A
Wai-keung Lau ... Guest at Premiere
Chun Ling Lee ... Cleaning Lady Interviewee licant B
Sammuel Leung ... Mobster B
Katherine Lo ... Guest at Party (as Kat Lo)
Sharon Wai Lee Sze ... Yunnie
Wing Chong Wu ... Mui's Mother
Hiu Yung Yeung ... Prostitute

Directed by
Ann Hui 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Susan Chan  writer
Yan-lam Lee  writer

Produced by
Jeffrey Chan .... administrative producer
Pui-Wah Chan .... producer
Hong Tat Cheung .... associate producer
Ann Hui .... producer
Stephen Lam .... associate producer
Andy Lau .... executive producer
Yan-lam Lee .... producer
Simon Li .... administrative producer
Yue Ren .... administrative producer
Nansun Shi .... associate producer
Dai Song .... executive producer
Yeung-Ping Sze .... line producer
Dong Yu .... executive producer
Hao Zhang .... line producer
 
Original Music by
Wing-fai Law 
 
Cinematography by
Nelson Yu Lik-wai (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Chi-Leung Kwong 
Manda Wai 
 
Production Design by
Albert Poon 
 
Costume Design by
Boey Wong 
 
Makeup Department
Yu Lai Cheng .... makeup artist of Andy Law
Rachel Kong .... hair stylist of Andy Law
Yumiko Kuromiya .... makeup artist
Brian Lau .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Jomin Chan .... associate production manager
Shing Hung Chan .... unit manager
Liu Ya Qin .... production manager
Tom Wong .... assistant production manager
Jie Wu .... assistant production manager
Sandy Yip .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Cherie Ho .... second assistant director
Karen Lai .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Chi-Nang Fong .... propsman
Sun Lin Gang .... propsman
Wong Kam Suen .... propsman
Andrew Wong .... assistant art director
Kim Kwong Wong .... property master
 
Sound Department
Cheng Yi Hsu .... boom operator
Shiang-Chu Tang .... sound
Duu-Chih Tu .... sound
Shih Chun Yao .... boom operator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Hong Sung Chan .... associate gaffer
Yiu Ming Chan .... second unit assistant camera
Cheung Tat Chuen .... camera assistant
Ma Pui Chuen .... camera assistant
Ying Han Ge .... camera assistant
Po Wing Ho .... second unit assistant cameraman
Wu Wing Kiu .... camera assistant
Billy Ko .... assistant camera
Tsoi Kubbie .... camera operator: second unit
Lai Shing Lam .... camera assistant
Sharon Lee .... still photographer
Wen Liu Si .... camera assistant
Tze Fan Siu .... camera assistant
Li Tian .... camera assistant
Chi Ming Wong .... gaffer
Chun Mo Wong .... dollyman
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Yoyo Chaw .... assistant costume designer
Ping Tong .... wardrobe lady
 
Other crew
Steven Hui .... production coordinator
Simon Kwon .... making-of
Danny Lo .... making-of
Lim Chung Man .... styling consultant
Jannie Wai .... production coordinator
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Tou ze" - Hong Kong (original title)
"Sister Tao" - Hong Kong (English title) (literal English title)
"The Happiness of Sister To" - Japan (English title) (imdb display title)
See more »
Runtime:
118 min
Country:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film received a small release in Hong Kong in September 2011 in order to qualify for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. However it didn't get a wide release in the same country until March 2012.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
As clear as life itself, 22 August 2012
Author: msia91 from Penang, Malaysia / Chicago, USA

Ann Hui's "A Simple Life" is a poignant and melancholic film about the relationship between an old servant and her companion, a successful film producer to whose family the servant had been in service with. It is a beautiful, touching, and, more importantly, human film. It lives and breathes its own life with the help of the cast and crew involved.

The performances by Andy Lau as Roger the man and especially Deannie Yip as Ah Tao complement the movie's atmosphere as a whole. It is a warm, homely and crystal-clear one – subtly quiet, slightly louder when there's more people around. This film's screenplay relies more on the look on the actors' faces rather than relying on dialogue. This is a good thing. It allows the audience to focus on the performances in rapt attention. Relying on dialogue/subtitles more than often will distract from the movie. This is one movie which follows my rule for any great movie: subtlety is key. In many dramatic Chinese movies, the piano is a must for every music score, and it is overdone cheesily at many times. For this movie, however, composer Law Wing-Fai knows crucial music timing - the music is not overdone, yet not too minimal, and it knows when to appear at the right time. Correct.

Hui's focused yet calm, serene direction basically drives Susan Chan's screenplay right at home. Hui seems to have learned a thing or two about human drama from greats like Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa – it is put into terrific use here. But Yip's performance as the altruistic Ah Tao is simply wonderful; her face and body language speak more than herself, her vocal qualities ranging from sharp balking to solemn calm. She is the heart of the movie, alive, beating and like her, moving quietly along as her life goes by. Lau is also very good here, being more stoic than usual but hiding uneasiness within his eyes.

There is no great story without good characters, and "A Simple Life" has two great characters that drives the movie. Roger is a successful film producer, his whole family has migrated to America, and he's seemingly living the high life with his wealthy friends (featuring many non- intrusive cameos by Chinese celebrities including humorous ones by Sammo Hung, Tsui Hark and Anthony Wong) and yet he is more concerned with Ah Tao than everyone else. Ah Tao is an orphan since World War II and has since been serving Roger's family for four generations without expecting any sort of compensation in return. Roger doesn't mind taking care of Ah Tao as everyone else progresses around him – the same way Ah Tao doesn't mind living her life on her own at an old folks' home without Roger to help her around after a stroke attack – she feels guilty if he did that. The two characters are bonded, play with, even depend on each other as if they're the only two people who understand each other. A sort of mother-son love, but more powerful. Compare with later scenes with Roger and his real mother and you'll see the difference. I'm not implying Roger's real mother is a morally bad character, far from it. The relationship between them is more real and human than I had expected.

Some will call this tedious and pretentious; others will call it pointless. I'm not sure, but I'd love to see movies like this where the characters unwrap the story around them as life progresses with its ups and downs. Sure, there are a few bits and pieces that did not really relate to the main character's story – but they make up the story and the characters as a whole – shaping this narrative up. It is a thing of beauty. So is life. So is this film - one of the year's best.

Overall rating: 88%

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