Based on Amy Tan’s novel and directed by Wayne Wang, “The Joy Luck Club” movie reveals the difficult and sometimes violent life stories that underlie the conflicts between mothers and daughters. In the movie, memories of the mothers’ past lives in China intersect with the modern-day experiences of their Chinese American daughters. The multiple emotions that well up in resolving the generational conflicts convey a common strain in mother-daughter relationships.
Four years after Tan’s book was published, the movie premiered in 1993, the year of the blockbuster “Jurassic Park” and Oscar-winning “Schindler’s List.” “The Joy Luck Club” is a significant cultural milestone because it showcased a large cast of Asian American actors in a widely released Hollywood movie — regrettably a still unusual occurrence. Tan also co-wrote the screenplay which ensured a more loyal translation of her book to film. Wang’s direction captured the sometimes terrible beauty of the multiple intersecting stories in the film.
[New York Times] Review/Film: The Joy Luck Club; Intimate Generational Lessons, Available to All: “In a tearful yet remarkably soap-free confrontation, which Mr. Wang stages in a beauty parlor, this mother and daughter voice the timeless sentiments on which “The Joy Luck Club” turns: “You don’t know the power you have over me!” and “Nothing I can do can ever, ever please you!” This film’s emotional impact will be felt by anyone who has ever experienced such feelings over a parent or a child. “ Read more
- [Roger Ebert] Reviews: The Joy Luck Club : “The Joy Luck Club” is like a flowering of talent that has been waiting so long to be celebrated. It is also one of the most touching and moving of the year’s films.” Read more
- [IMDb] Reviews and Ratings for The Joy Luck Club
- [New York Times / Book Review] The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan: ‘Your Mother Is in Your Bones’: “Seeing old China as hopelessly backward, and contemporary China as besmirched by Communism, many in this new generation of Chinese-Americans wanted nothing more than to distance themselves as far as possible from the zuguo, or motherland. “ Read more
Photo credit: Screenshot from Trailer for “The Joy Luck Club” movie
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