12 user 11 critic

The Garden of Evening Mists (2019)

A woman seeking a quiet life in post-World War II British Malaya finds love and a common interest in gardening with a mysterious Japanese man.


Tom Lin


Richard Smith (screenwriter), Twan Eng Tan (novel)
2 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Angelica Lee ... Teoh Yun Ling
Hiroshi Abe ... Nakamura Aritomo
Sylvia Chang ... Older Teoh Yun Ling
David Oakes ... 1950s Frederik Gemmell
Julian Sands ... 1980s Frederik Gemmell
John Hannah ... Magnus Gemmell
Serene Lim Serene Lim ... Teoh Yun Hong
Kheng Hua Tan ... Emily
Fish Chaar Fish Chaar ... Kwai Hoon
Darryl Westrup Darryl Westrup ... British Soldier
Naeim Ghalili ... Malcom Toombs


A survivor of a brutal Japanese internment camp, Teoh Yun Ling has been working with the Malaysian authorities punish the Japanese war criminals for several years. She despises the Japanese for killing her younger sister, but to pay tribute to her soul she travels to the highlands to visit the renowned gardener Nakamura Aritomo. Aritomo refuses to work for Yun Ling but instead takes her in as an apprentice so that she can build her own garden. Residing in the tea room, Yun Ling begins working at The Garden of Evening Mists and learns to design a garden. Yet outside of the Malaysian jungle, another war is waging in Malaysia in a continued state of emergency. Malay nationalists are fighting the British for independence, while communist guerillas are brutally killing farmers, miners, and their families in every way they can to gain control over the regions.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | See All (1) »


Drama | Romance


See all certifications »

User Reviews

The art of borrowed scenery (shakkei)...
12 January 2020 | by aj1tSee all my reviews

This is a story of Yun Ling (played beautifully and seamlessly by both Sylvia Chang and Angelica Lee) who through series of flashback and present day scenes, tells of her experiences under the occupation of the Japanese during the second world war and apprenticeship under the former royal gardener of Japan, Aritomo (absolutely amazing Hiroshi Abe), after the war. The background to the movie is the glorious Cameron Highlands in the state of Pahang in Malaysia , the essence and beauty of it captured beautifully by the cinematographer, Kartik Vijay. The multicultural cast, consisting of mainly Malaysian, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and British actors, were just sublime and amazing under the direction of Tom Lin. Tom managed to capture the spirit and the beauty of the book of the same title by award winning Penang author , Tan Twan Eng. I had the absolute honour of being invited to the gala viewing in Penang (thanks to GL Ooi and Penang Monthly!). From the opening scene I was amazed that Tom Lin managed to capture the lives, hopes and fears of the people of Malaysia during and after the war. The multilingual dialogue truly exemplifies the multicultural melting pot of Malaysia. The philosophy of perfection in the creation of the garden just drives home the dedication involved in bringing the original source to life. When the end credits rolled, I was amazed to find out that the crews were mostly Asians... For me this is the truly Asian (Malaysian) movie and will deserve all the accolades that will be bestowed upon the cast, crew and the author of this movie. This is a movie that I will watch again and again and will never be tired of!

4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



Malaysia | UK


English | Cantonese | Japanese | Malay

Release Date:

16 January 2020 (Malaysia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Garden of Evening Mists See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Astro Shaw, HBO Asia See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed