MEDITATION PARK CWC D: Mina Shum. Canada. 94.
MEDITATION PARK CWC D: Mina Shum. Canada. 94 min. Sep 11, 6:45 pm, Scotiabank 2 Sep 13, 9:30 pm, Scotiabank 11 Sep 15, 11:45 am, Scotiabank 13. Rating: NNNN
Shum mines her favourite theme – immigrant experience in Canada – in what seems at first to be a gentle slice of life but eventually develops a powerful emotional force.
Maria (a radiant Cheng Pei Pei) has been a dutiful housewife to her workaholic husband (Tzi Ma), but when she learns he’s having an affair, everything changes. She’s determined to engage with the world and to find some semblance of independence while contemplating a way to confront her husband.
She’s aided and abetted by her daughter (Sandra Oh, wonderful, as usual), who’s having her own issues with her husband, and by her quirky neighbours (including Don McKellar).
Vancouver is another secondary character, lovingly shot, especially in Chinatown, but the key here is Maria’s personal and political awakening.
I just wish Shum hadn’t ended the movie with a freeze frame – ack!