★★★★★ | Lilting
Lilting is a gently moving piece about bereavement, grief and colliding cultures, beautifully scripted and played and directed with a sure hand by Hong Khaou.
The way in which he dovetails past and present, real and imaginary, whilst making sure the movie flows seamlessly was really quite special. He was immeasurably helped by some superb performances, especially Ben Whishaw’s deeply broken Richard, reeling from the recent loss of his boyfriend Kai, a performance superbly seconded by Cheng Pei Pei, as Kai’s mother Junn, a Chinese-Cambodian woman who has never come to terms with the English world she was thrust into.
She has never learned to speak English and Kai was her only connection with the alien world she finds herself in. Despite their closeness Kai had never felt it possible to come out to her, leaving Richard with the impossible task of wanting to do right by his lover’s mother without divulging the true nature of their relationship.
Wonderful supporting performances too from Andrew Leung as Kai. Peter Bowles as the Englishman Junn befriends in the home she is living in, and Naomi Christie as Vann, the translator Richard employs for Junn.
Subtle, poetic, almost unbearably moving without being mawkish, this is a must see.