7.2/10
1,950
31 user 27 critic

Lan Yu (2001)

Beijing, 1988. On the cusp of middle-age, Chen Handong has known little but success all his life. The eldest son of a senior government bureaucrat, he heads a fast-growing trading company ... See full summary »

Director:

Stanley Kwan

Writer:

Jimmy Ngai (screenplay)

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11 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ye Liu ... Lan Yu
Jun Hu ... Chen Handong
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bin Li Bin Li
Huatong Li Huatong Li ... Liu Zheng
Shuang Li Shuang Li ... Weidong
Fang Lu ... Yonghong
Jin Su Jin Su ... Lin Jingping
Shaohua Zhang Shaohua Zhang ... Niu Ma
Yongning Zhang Yongning Zhang ... Daning
Minfen Zhao Minfen Zhao ... Handong's mother
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Storyline

Beijing, 1988. On the cusp of middle-age, Chen Handong has known little but success all his life. The eldest son of a senior government bureaucrat, he heads a fast-growing trading company and plays as hard as he works. Few know that Handong's tastes run more to boys than girls. Lan Yu is a country boy, newly arrived in Beijing to study architecture. More than most students, he is short of money and willing to try anything to earn some. He has run into Liu Zheng, who pragmatically suggests that he could prostitute himself for one night to a gay pool-hall and bar owner. But Handong happens to be in the pool hall that evening, and he nixes the deal. He takes Lan Yu home himself and gives the young man what turns out to be a life-changing sexual initiation. Handong and Lan Yu meet often, and the boy is soon very secure in his love for the man. But Handong insists that he wants a play-mate, not a lifelong companion, and warns Lan Yu that they will eventually break up. Meanwhile, he showers... Written by Strand Releasing <strand@strandreleasing.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity and some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

GStage (English)

Country:

Hong Kong | China

Language:

Mandarin | Russian

Release Date:

22 November 2001 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Histoire d'hommes à Pékin See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,838, 12 July 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$116,192, 15 June 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Liu Ye and Hun Jun worked on their rapport only four times before production, playing basketball (of which Liu at 6-foot-1 was a star player at school) and dining. They spent time with their respective girlfriend and wife present, to clarify their romance will only be fictional. See more »

Goofs

When Chen Handong takes Lan Yu home for the first time, an American television show is playing in the background, and the announcer says "not only is Los Angeles the largest city in California, but it is also the state capitol." This is wrong, Sacramento is the state capitol of California. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Refreshingly Unfettered Love Story
26 June 2011 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

LAN YU is another indication that films from China are becoming increasingly more poignant, less dependent on spectacle, and certainly more daring in view of the political milieu. Director Stanley Kwan not only has courage to make this poignant film, he also has the gifts to create an atmospheric, gentle, quiet, and luminously photographed love story. He draws understated performances from his actors, never stooping to caricature, always respectful of the inherent delicacy of his subject matter. Lan Yu is a handsome young gay architecture student who becomes involved with Hangdong, a closeted Beijing businessman. The affair they pursue is subtle yet not without passion, the kind of understated passion that rings true rather than playing for sensationalism. The plot twists and turns - Lan Yu is set aside by Hangdong for a "proper marriage" which leads to divorce and to other losses, bringing Hangdong back to seek his real love - Lan Yu. The change in their relationship speaks loudly for a wider acceptance of same sex love. To reveal the ending would be a disservice to the viewer. Part of the joy of this simple story is the sensitivity of Hangdong's colleagues in responding to the his various dilemmas: there is no "bad guy", no prejudice, no castigation - these friends are committed and make homophobia seem merely a foreign, unimportant word. This film is a model of restraint and intelligent, finely crafted story telling. The actors are uniformly excellent and win our hearts. Highly Recommended!


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