Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore
THE HOME SONG STORIES (Singapore/Australia)

  Publicity Stills of "The Home Song Stories"
(Courtesy from GV)

In English and Chinese
Director: Tony Ayres
Cast: Joan Chen, Qi Yu Wu, Joel Lok, Irene Chen, Steven Vidler, Kerry Walker
Runtime: 1 hr 43 mins
Released By: GV and Mediacorp Raintree Pictures
Rating: M18
Official Website: www.homesongstories.com

Opening Day: 6 September 2007


This is the true story of Rose, a glamorous Shanghai nightclub singer, who struggles to survive in seventies Australia with two young children. Based on writer/director Tony Ayres' own life, THE HOME SONG STORIES is an epic tale of mothers and sons, mothers and daughters, unrequited love, betrayal and secrets.

Movie Review:

Much has been said in the press recently about writer-director’s Tony Ayres personal and tragic affinity to “The Home Song Stories”, a wrenching ode to the female spirit, searing life lessons, and the hankering for melodramatics mired in swaths of emotions that operate on a continuously brutal gauntlet of negative energy. It exists first and foremost for Ayres’ cathartic benefit, a manifestation of self-worth and an aggrandised reconfiguration of memories that might principally explore an upbringing plagued with trauma with an emotionally damaged matriarch at its centre but its most graceful success derives from its scopes of displacement and identity.

A portentous romance between a chanteuse, Rose (Joan Chen) in Shanghai and an Australian sailor, Bill (Steve Vidler) brings them to Melbourne together with Rose’s daughter May (Irene Chen) and son Tom (Joel Lok). The relationship between the songbird and the bluejacket quickly disintegrate before the migrant family gets a chance to assimilate to their new home. Rose, played with a measure of instinctive zeal by Chen is armed with a green card and the sort of capricious exoticism that can claim men but never keep them, leading to an interchangeable but ultimate lack of a definitive older male presence in the lives of her children.

If the film comes across as remarkably non-judgmental of Rose’s irresponsibility, then it’s quietly missing a passionate response to the complexities of its showcase character – an unreasonably detached reaction from a director quick to make his personal investment in the film a salient point, perhaps stemming from an overcompensation to view his subjects objectively.

As Ayres’ filmic counterpart, Tom bookends the film by reflecting on his upbringing, conveying a stablising and immutable gaze that renders the ensuing account of his tumultuous childhood weakened. His crafting of the vibrant 70s milieu, and the physical charting of the increasingly erratic Rose’s self-destructive tendencies show attention to details. But while he struggles to infiltrate a poetic significance into his stylistic choices, Chen’s performance transfigures ghostly elegance into inscrutable chords of sense memory for a different place and time.

Movie Rating:

(Joan Chen shines in an intimate and tragic cross-cultural drama)

Review by Justin Deimen

DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.