What Time Is It There?

What Time Is It There? ★★★★

loneliness knows no timezones. Taipei and Paris are interlocked in such a melancholic manner in What Time Is It There, Ming-liang Tsai's heartbreaking tributes to his father, as well as to French cinema that has obviously played an indelible role in his filmmaking mastery.

This is a wittily written story about mourning, both for the living and the dead, and the crazy length people would go to simply to ease the pain. Lee Kang-sheng is troubled by his newly deceased father, and a female customer who he may never meet again, and a bizarre, multiple-perspective journey starts from there. It's both hilarious and heartwrenching to watch this tormented Taiwanese family grieving in their own unique, borderline obsessive ways, and the romantic aspect helps expend the gravity of this simmering slow burn to a universal scale.

It truly gives you a sense of warmth seeing the same ensemble reuniting in the same apartment building in almost every Tsai movie, playing the same characters while acting out different stories. This time it's Lu Yi-ching's well-deserved moment to shine, as she offered such a heartbreaking and bold delivery as the grieving wife on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Highly recommended.

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