Chinese New Year (CNY) is for bickering good-humouredly with your relatives that you haven’t seen for ages. It’s also the season of drawn-out family dinners, having too many snacks, copious gambling games and of course watching CNY movies with the whole family.
Because not every CNY movie is a good one and we can only watch the good ones so many times, here’s a list of 5 CNY movies you’ll want to sit through.
Hong Kong’s public housing estates are notoriously cramped. And for one Uncle Bill, he finds that the walls seem to be closing in on him as the pressure from being the breadwinner mounts. His wife and his three daughters are his dependents and being a news reporter is frequently hectic, giving him no space to breathe. Suddenly, everything changes when his wife wins the lottery! Starring late HK film veterans, Bill Tung and Lydia Sum, theirs are faces every Chinese kid who grew up in the 80s and 90s will remember.
One of the funniest Singaporean movies ever, 881 is director Royston Tan’s biggest hit to date. The movie centers around the Papaya Sisters, played by Mindee Ong and Yeo Yann-Yann. The duo become breakout *getai stars after being blessed by the Goddess of Getai, played by longtime getai hostess, Liu Lingling. Upon the rise of rival duo, the Durian Sisters (May and Choy), they suddenly find their stardom in jeopardy. Adding to the chaos is a potential love affair that could threaten their success, a terminal illness and parental disapproval of getai singer as a valid vocation.
*getai refers to lively stage performances held during the Hungry Ghost Festival.
This Malaysian movie centers on two grumpy old men living their days out at an old folks’ home. Not content to confine their bickering to the home, however, they make their escape. They do so whilst arguing in Hokkien and Cantonese, although their bickering comes to a temporary stop with one of them sustaining an injury. Still, they both manage to make it to their respective families to surprise them. Everyone makes some unwelcome discoveries and learns more about themselves that they can possibly stomach.
Funny, heartwarming with a focus on the meaning of family, it’s the perfect movie to watch for Chinese New Year.
We return to Hong Kong to bring you this underrated movie from director Riley Yip. An aging triad man, who calls himself Mountain Leopard, returns from Brazil to Hong Kong with a mysterious photograph in his wallet and a mission. He wants to locate his old rival, Nine Dragons and also his dream girl, the same girl in the photograph he keeps in his wallet. Unfortunately, he is losing his memories because of Alzheimer’s, which complicates things significantly. Luckily, his new and sometimes reluctant buddy, Smokey, is here to help.
Funny, touching and an ode to brotherhood and determination, this movie was nominated for 7 different category in the 19th Hong Kong Movie Awards but ultimately did not clinch any wins.
Not to be confused with Four Weddings And A Funeral, which is a British production, Two Weddings And A Funeral is a South Korean comedy with a touch of tragedy. But you already knew that from the title! The movie stars Kim Dong-yoon as Min-soo and Ryu Hyun-kyung as Hyo-jin, both young but promising doctors at a general hospital. They also happen to be gay. They agree to marry in hopes that being married will make it easier for Hyo-jin to adopt and raise a child with her partner of ten years. For Min-soo, he hopes the marriage will mean that his parents will finally leave him alone.
Things come to a head, however, when Min-soo’s parents make a surprise visit and become very, very nosy.
This has been our list of 5 CNY movies you can watch this year with your whole family! As every family is different, we encourage you to watch the trailer for each movie before making your pick. Happy Chinese New Year!
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