The Wedding Banquet
Comedy | Mandarin with English subtitles | 106 minutes
Gao Wai-Tung is a gay Taiwanese immigrant living in Manhattan with his partner Simon. Back in Taiwan, Wai-Tung’s traditionally-minded parents are eager that he get married and have a child to continue the family line. Under pressure, Simon convinces Wai-Tung to marry one of his tenants, Wei-Wei, a penniless artist in need of a Green Card. Mr. and Mrs. Gao are thrilled as they make plans to fly to New York with $30,000 to pay for an elaborate wedding. Mrs. Gao is disappointed when the wedding takes place at the courthouse and Wei-Wei does not come from a wealthy Chinese family. To compensate, Mrs. Gao plans a huge wedding banquet. With matters getting complicated, Wai-Tung confesses to his mother the whole truth. A shocked Mrs. Gao asks Wai-Tung not to tell his father as he recently had a stroke. With everything in the open, there’s hope everything will turn out OK.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 96%
Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Foreign Language Film
Berlin International Film Festival: Winner, Golden Berlin Bear, Best Film
Seattle International Film Festival: Winner, Best Film; Best Director (Ang Lee)
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What makes the film work is the underlying validity of the story, the way the filmmakers don’t simply go for melodrama and laughs, but pay these characters their due. At the end of the film, I was a little surprised how much I cared for them.
THE WEDDING BANQUET is an unusual film comedy in which the humor springs as much from character as from situation.
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