Synopsis by Paul Brenner
Director Wayne Wang and screenwriter Ronald Bass effectively interweave sixteen mother-daughter tales in their silken film version of Amy Tan's best-selling novel about the clash between generations. The film takes place in present-day San Francisco, concentrating on a group of late-middle-aged Chinese women. Ever since arriving in the United States after World War II, the women have gathered weekly to play mah-jongg and to tell stories, regaling each other with tales of their children and grandchildren, giving each other a sense of hope and renewal in the midst of poverty and hardship. The Joy Luck Club is made up of four women -- Suyuan (Kieu Chinh), Lindo (Tsai Chin), Ying Ying (France Nuyen), and An Mei (Lisa Lu). But when Suyuan dies, the three surviving members invite Suyuan's daughter June (Ming-Na Wen) to take her place. Along with the daughters of the other members -- Waverly (Tamlyn Tomita), Lena (Lauren Tom), and Rose (Rosalind Chao) -- June is a Chinese-American with only a passing interest in her rich cultural heritage. But through vignettes that switch back and forth in time, the daughters begin to appreciate the struggles of their mothers to start their families in the optimistic promise of the United States.
assimilation, cross-cultural-relations, death, family, friendship, heritage, past, recollection, relationship, tradition, woman
High Production Values