7.6/10
4,701
22 user 104 critic

Tou ze (2011)

Not Rated | | Drama | 9 March 2012 (Hong Kong)
Trailer
2:13 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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 »
34 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Nu ren si shi (1995)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The Suns are a typical Hong Kong family: May, forty something, works for a trading company; her husband, Bing, works as a low-grade civil servant, and Allen, their teenage son, is still at ... See full summary »

Director: Ann Hui
Stars: Josephine Siao, Kar-Ying Law, Allen Ting
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

"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.

Director: Ann Hui
Stars: Hee Ching Paw, Chun-lung Leung, Cheuk Man Au
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A swindler falls in love with a potential target.

Director: Ann Hui
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Gaowa Siqin, Wei Zhao
Boat People (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A Japanese photojournalist revisits Vietnam after the Liberation and learns harsh truths about its regime and its "New Economic Zones".

Director: Ann Hui
Stars: George Lam, Cora Miao, Season Ma
Am zin (1999)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Police inspector and excellent hostage negotiator Ho Sheung-Sang finds himself in over his head when he is pulled into a 72 hour game by a cancer suffering criminal out for vengeance on Hong Kong's organized crime Syndicates.

Director: Johnnie To
Stars: Andy Lau, Ching Wan Lau, YoYo Mung
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Ordinary Heroes is a 1999 Cantonese-language film directed by Ann Hui. It was co-produced by Hong Kong and China. It concerns social reform activists in Hong Kong. The film's Chinese title ... See full synopsis »

Director: Ann Hui
Stars: Kang-sheng Lee, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Kwan-Ho Tse
Daai zek lou (2003)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A monk turned body-builder, with the gift to see into people's lives, befriends a female cop, and uses his gift to change the force of Karma and her destiny.

Directors: Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Stars: Andy Lau, Cecilia Cheung, Siu-Fai Cheung
Man tam (2013)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A cop is forced into early retirement due to retinal damage. But after witnessing a bank robbery along with a female inspector - who believes he has acute senses - they team up in hope to solve the case.

Director: Johnnie To
Stars: Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng, Tao Guo
July Rhapsody (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Yiu-Kwok is a high school teacher, having a perfect family. Good times don't last long, when a student, Choy-Nam, falls in love with him. For dealing with a relationship with Mr. Seng, a ... See full summary »

Director: Ann Hui
Stars: Jacky Cheung, Anita Mui, Kar Yan Lam
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The House of the Angel focuses on the ruling class in 1920s Argentina, a deeply repressive society where political arguments were often settled by duels, and young women were expected to be totally ignorant of sex.

Director: Leopoldo Torre Nilsson
Stars: Elsa Daniel, Lautaro Murúa, Berta Ortegosa
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A depressed, obese woman tries to lose weight in order to win back her ex-boyfriend with the help of a fellow Hong Konger whom she met in Japan.

Directors: Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Stars: Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng, Rikiya Kurokawa
Documentary | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Set in a village on the edge of Belgium, Bob, Flemish, and Marcel, Walloon share their solitude, sense of humor and craving for alcohol.

Directors: Sabine Lubbe Bakker, Niels van Koevorden
Stars: Bob, Marcel
Edit

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 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)
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

CNY 30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

HKD 8,326,658 (Hong Kong), 11 March 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$191,456, 27 May 2012
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 »
Edit

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 »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
As clear as life itself
22 August 2012 | by dvc5159See all my reviews

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%


17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed