7.6/10
4,947
23 user 104 critic

A Simple Life (2011)

Tou ze (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 9 March 2012 (Hong Kong)
Trailer
2:14 | Trailer
After suffering a stroke, an altruistic maid announces that she wants to quit her job and move into an old people's home.

Director:

Ann Hui

Writers:

Susan Chan, Roger Lee (story) (as Yan-Lam Lee) | 1 more credit »
38 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andy Lau ... Roger
Deannie Ip ... Ah Tao (as Deanie Ip)
Hailu Qin ... Ms. Choi
Fuli Wang ... Roger's mother
Paul Chun ... Uncle Kin (as Paul Chiang)
Tin Leung ... Headmaster - Resident at Elderly Home
Man-sze Yu 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 So-Ying Hui ... Mui
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong ... Grasshopper - Elderly home's owner (Special appearance)
Chapman To ... Dentist (Special appearance)
Raymond Chow ... Himself (Guest appearance)
Felicia Chow Felicia Chow ... Herself (Guest appearance) (as Mrs. Raymond Chow)
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Storyline

After suffering a stroke, an altruistic maid announces that she wants to quit her job and move into an old people's home.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site [Japan]

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese | English | Mandarin

Release Date:

9 March 2012 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

A Simple Life See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CNY30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$43,372, 15 April 2012

Gross USA:

$191,826

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,915,637
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Roger Lee began writing loose fragments together and showed them to director Ann Hui. She persuaded him it was enough for a screenplay and encouraged him through his writing process. See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Venice Film Festival 2011 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Carefully and tenderly filmed life in a home for the elderly
28 October 2012 | by JvH48See all my reviews

I saw this film as part of the Rotterdam Film Festival 2012. Relatively long with nearly 2 hours running time, but not long winded at all. How does this film maker achieve that?? Carefully filmed, very nearby the two main characters. At the same time it showed an inside view in a retirement home, and a small view over the fence into the film industry.

The retirement home at hand may look different from similar institutions in our own country, but that is only the surface. Like here in The Netherlands, it is a small population with very different people who did not choose each other, many of them leading vegetative lives. Our first main character (the "amah", a lifelong help) is still relatively active, in spite of her stroke. Being moved to the retirement home was her explicit wish, unwilling to become a burden for the family she served for 60 years. This particular situation is something we cannot imagine in our own world, but apparently it exists there.

The other main characters is the last living son of the family. Though not being blood relatives, we see the two main characters behave like mother and son. To the outside world they explain their relationship as mother and godson, or alternatively as aunt and nephew, whatever fits the situation best. Her position as an "amah" is not known to others than the immediate family members, who all seem to care for her.

The inside view in the film industry is less extensive and mostly concentrated in the beginning, with a hefty meeting about an ever growing budget that some film maker needed, and a subsequent meeting with a bank manager about the fine print in a contract that was ignored by the bank. It merely serves to portray the "son" part in the story, and to explain why he is abroad for longer periods and cannot always find time to visit the retirement home. This has the definite purpose to prevent putting him on display as someone not caring. We see the fact that he really cares confirmed in the way he brings her along to a industry screening of this newly produced film, presenting her as his aunt.


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