Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
The Wedding Banquet

The Wedding Banquet

Discussion
Ask a question about 'The Wedding Banquet'
Start a new discussion about 'The Wedding Banquet'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Wedding Banquet is a 1993 film
1993 in film
The year 1993 in film involved many significant films, including the blockbuster hits Jurassic Park, The Fugitive and The Firm. -Events:...

 about a gay
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

ese immigrant man who marries a mainland Chinese
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 woman to placate his parents and get her a green card
United States Permanent Resident Card
United States lawful permanent residency refers to a person's immigration status: the person is authorized to live and work in the United States of America on a permanent basis....

. His plan backfires when his parents arrive in the United States to plan his wedding banquet.

The film was directed by Ang Lee
Ang Lee
Ang Lee is a Taiwanese film director. Lee has directed a diverse set of films such as Eat Drink Man Woman , Sense and Sensibility , Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon , Hulk , and Brokeback Mountain , for which he won an Academy...

 and stars Winston Chao
Winston Chao
Winston Chao Wen-Hsuan is a Taiwanese actor. He came to international attention for his performance in the 1993 film The Wedding Banquet...

, May Chin
May Chin
Stage named May Chin, Kao Chin Su-mei , born on September 21, 1965 in Heping Township, Taichung County , Taiwan as Chin Su-mei, to a Han Chinese father and a Taiwanese Aborigine mother, is a Taiwanese singer, actress and politician...

, Ah Lei Gua, Sihung Lung
Sihung Lung
Sihung Lung was an actor in the cinema of Taiwan who appeared in over 100 films and was best known for playing paternal roles in films including Eat Drink Man Woman and The Wedding Banquet...

 and Mitchell Lichtenstein
Mitchell Lichtenstein
Mitchell Wilson Lichtenstein is an openly gay American actor, writer, producer and director.Lichtenstein studied acting at Bennington College in Vermont....

. The Wedding Banquet is the first of three movies that Ang Lee would make about gay characters; the second is Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx with the screenplay written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry...

and the third being Taking Woodstock
Taking Woodstock
Taking Woodstock is a 2009 American comedy-drama film about the Woodstock Festival of 1969, directed by Ang Lee. The screenplay by James Schamus is based on the memoir Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life by Elliot Tiber and Tom Monte.The film premiered at the 2009 Cannes...

. Lee himself makes a cameo appearance in the film as a wedding guest attending the banquet. The film is a co-production
International co-production
An international co-production is a production where two or more different production companies are working together, for example in a film production...

 between Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 and the United States.

Plot summary


Wai-Tung Gao (高伟同 Gāo Wěitóng, Winston Chao) and Simon (Mitchell Lichtenstein
Mitchell Lichtenstein
Mitchell Wilson Lichtenstein is an openly gay American actor, writer, producer and director.Lichtenstein studied acting at Bennington College in Vermont....

) are a happy gay couple living in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

. Wai-Tung is in his late 20s, so his Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

ese parents (Sihung Lung and Ah-Leh Gua) are eager to see him get married and have a child. The early part of the movie is madcap comedy. When Wai-Tung's parents hire a dating service he and Simon stall for time by inventing impossible demands. Chinese opera singers are always men, so they demand an opera singer and add that she must be very tall, must have two PhD's and should speak five languages. The service actually locates a 1.75 m (5'9") Chinese woman who sings Western opera, speaks five languages and has a single PhD. She is very gracious when Wai-Tung explains his dilemma, as she, too, is hiding a relationship (with a Caucasian man). At Simon's insistence, Wai-Tung decides to get married to one of his tenants, Wei-Wei (葳葳 Wēiwēi, May Chin
May Chin
Stage named May Chin, Kao Chin Su-mei , born on September 21, 1965 in Heping Township, Taichung County , Taiwan as Chin Su-mei, to a Han Chinese father and a Taiwanese Aborigine mother, is a Taiwanese singer, actress and politician...

), a penniless artist from mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 in need of a green card. Besides helping out Wei-Wei, Simon and Wai-Tung hope that this will placate Wai-Tung's parents.

Mr. and Mrs. Gao decide to fly in from Taiwan, bringing US$30,000 to hold a magnificent wedding ceremony for their son. Wai-Tung dares not tell his parents the true situation, because his father has just recovered from a stroke; they go through with the wedding. However, the heartbreak his mother experiences at the courthouse wedding prepares the story for a shift to drama. The only way to atone for the disgraceful wedding is a magnificent wedding banquet. After the banquet, Wei-Wei seduces the drunken Wai-tung, and becomes pregnant. Simon is extremely upset when he finds out, and his relationship with Wai-Tung begins to deteriorate.

In a moment of anger, after a fight with both Simon and Wei-Wei, Wai-Tung tells his mother the truth. She is shocked and insists that he not tell his father. The perceptive Mr. Gao sees more than he is letting on; he secretly tells Simon that he knows about their relationship, and, appreciating the considerable sacrifices he made for his biological son, takes Simon as his son as well. Simon accepts the Hongbao
Red envelope
In Chinese and other Asian societies, a red envelope or red packet is a monetary gift which is given during holidays or special occasions.-Usage:Red envelopes are mainly presented at social and family gatherings such as...

from Wai-Tung's father, a symbolic admission of their relationship, but Mr. Gao makes him promise not to tell anyone; without everyone trying to lie to him, he points out, he'd never have gotten a grandchild.

After making an appointment to have an abortion, Wei-Wei decides to keep the baby, and asks Simon to stay together with Wai-Tung and be the baby's other father. In the final parting scene, as Wai-Tung's parents prepare to fly home, Mrs. Gao has clearly forged an emotional bond to daughter-in-law Wei-Wei. Mr. Gao accepts Simon and warmly shakes his hand. In the end, both derive some happiness from the situation, and they walk off to board the aircraft, leaving the unconventional family to sort itself out.

Awards


The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film is one of the Academy Awards of Merit, popularly known as the Oscars, handed out annually by the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...

 at 66th Academy Awards
66th Academy Awards
The 66th Academy Awards were presented March 21, 1994, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. The show was landmark in that it featured a female African American host for the first time, Whoopi Goldberg, and represented a direct contrast in edgy style from Billy Crystal who had hosted the...

 and also nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film
The Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film is one of the awards presented at the Golden Globes, an American film awards ceremony.Until 1986, it was known as the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film, meaning that any non-American film could be honoured...

. It won the Golden Space Needle of the Seattle International Film Festival
Seattle International Film Festival
The Seattle International Film Festival , held annually in Seattle, Washington since 1976, is among the top film festivals in North America. Audiences have grown steadily; the 2006 festival had 160,000 attendees...

 and the Golden Bear
Golden Bear
According to legend, the Golden Bear was a large golden Ursus arctos. Members of the Ursus arctos species can reach masses of . The Grizzly Bear and the Kodiak Bear are North American subspecies of the Brown Bear....

 at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival
43rd Berlin International Film Festival
The 43rd annual Berlin International Film Festival was held from February 11 to 22, 1993.-Jury:* Frank Beyer * Juan Antonio Bardem* Michel Boujut* François Duplat* Katinka Faragó* Krystyna Janda* Naum Kleiman* Brock Peters...

.

Adaptations


In December 1993, a novelization of the film, titled and published in Japan, was written by . (ISBN 4-8387-0508-5)

In 2003, a musical staging was performed at the Village Theatre
Village Theatre
Village Theatre is a 5013 non-profit professional producing musical theatre company founded in 1979. Village Theatre is based out of Issaquah and Everett, Washington, both near Seattle...

. It was directed by John Tillinger
John Tillinger
John Tillinger is a theatre director and actor.Born in Tabriz, Iran, Tillinger was raised in England, where he first was exposed to the theatre...

, choreographed by Sergio Trujillo
Sergio Trujillo
Sergio Trujillo is a Colombian dancer and choreographer for the theatre and opera who was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography for Jersey Boys.-Career:...

, with music by Woody Pak and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Brian Yorkey
Brian Yorkey is an American playwright, lyricist, and theatre director. He shared the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2009 Tony Award for Best Original Score with composer Tom Kitt, and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Next to Normal.A native of Issaquah,...

. Yorkey, Village's associate artistic director, said this of the production, "The film succeeds because of Ang Lee's delicate poetry, and there is no way we can replicate that or translate that into a musical. So we took the story a step further. Whereas the film ends very ambiguously, our musical goes on past where the film ends". The show starred Welly Yang
Welly Yang
Wellington Yang is an Taiwanese American actor, playwright, and singer.-Biography:Yang was born in New York City. His parents emigrated from Taiwan in 1969. His mother returned to Taipei in 1991 to direct foreign affairs for the Democratic Progressive Party...

 as Wai Tung.

See also


  • Mixed-orientation marriage
    Mixed-orientation marriage
    A mixed-orientation marriage is a marriage in which one of the partners is heterosexual and the other is bisexual or homosexual.- Motivations:Some cite spiritual reasons for getting married...

  • Lavender marriage
    Lavender marriage
    Lavender marriage is a type of male-female marriage of convenience in which the couple are not both heterosexual and conceal the homosexual or bisexual orientation of one or both spouses...


External links