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UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation present

The Wedding Banquet

The Wedding Banquet
January 24, 2020 - 7:30 pm

Outfest members receive free admission at the Billy Wilder Theater box office!

The Wedding Banquet  (1993)

A Taiwan-based mother’s mounting anxiety over her NYC-dwelling son’s perceived singledom leads Wai-Tung and his long-term, live-in partner Simon to devise a scheme: help their artist friend Wei-Wei get her green card and keep Mom’s matchmaking at bay by Wai-Tung and Wei-Wei tying the proverbial knot. Their “happy marriage,” however, won’t be satisfactory until the union is consummated with a very grand, very public wedding banquet—which leads to outcomes no one, especially the audience, expects. Ang Lee’s romantic comedy of manners finds tension in universal societal expectations: a mother’s hopes for her son, how much a partner can ask of his lover, and how a contemporary woman fits into functional society. Walking gracefully across a tonal tightrope, The Wedding Banquet delicately oscillates between surprising guffaws and genuine waterworks, with a true heart beating strong for every disparate member of the Gao family. The second in Lee’s “Father Knows Best” trilogy (sandwiched between Pushing Hands (1991) and Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)), The Wedding Banquet did dynamite at the box office on its release, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

35mm print from the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Color, in Mandarin Chinese and English with English subtitles, 112 min. Director: Ang Lee. Screenwriter: Ang Lee, Neil Feng, James Schamus. Cast: Winston Chao, Ah-Leh Gua, Sihung Lung, May Chin.