Like Stars, Not Always Seen, But Forever There…

Not many movies I review, I like it. But this movie, I would say I love it so much that I keep on repeating listening to its sound track.

Cast List
Ti Lung(狄龙): Ah Gen 阿根(The Grand Father)
Jessica Hester Hsuan(宣萱): Sophia Lin(The Mother)
Sarah Tan(陈沁霖): Sarah Lin 林思家(The Grand Daughter)
Jason Tan(陳智深): Ah Bao 家宝(The Boy Next Door)

Spoiler Alert!

The story is about Sophia Lin, a single mother who is a designer in New York(The Big Apple as stated in the movie), have no choice but to send her daughter Sarah Lin to the grand father in Malaysia to take care due to she have to fly over to Chongqing province in China for her work trip for a few months.

Sarah never meet her grand father before although she is already 12 years old, due to Sophia was run away from home with a paint artist to New York after Sophia found that she was pregnant. Sophia was still studying fashion design while pregnant with Sarah. Sarah’s father left them while Sophia was still at the early stage of the pregnancy. Hence Sarah’s surname is Lin, same as her mother.

At the beginning, Sarah was only speaking English to everyone, including her grand father who can only speak Mandarin, as she refused to stay with her grand father. Gen was trying very hard to try to communicate with her, but Sarah was keep rejecting and behave very rude to Gen. Then the boy from next door, Ah Bao offered to be the translator for Gen, as he do speak some very lousy English.

As Gen try to make Sarah happy and willing to blend with the kids around the neighborhood, Ah Bao’s mother suggested to bring Sarah and the kids to a fast food restaurant, as kids like fast food. Only then, Sarah started to speak in Mandarin, where she shocked everyone. The barrier between the grand daughter and the grand father begin to broke as Sarah admit that Sophia did in fact taught her Mandarin since she was little.

Sarah then started to blend very well into the neighborhood, with the kids, and the gap between her and Gen become smaller.
Sarah was taught about something that she never learn and experienced before, a Chinese culture festival, the Winter Solstice, where family gather and enjoy the desert called Tang Yuan. She then learn the importance of family bonds.

Gen also tried to create a Christmas feel to the house, where he decorated a Christmas tree using a pot of Cycads. And he also prepared for a Christmas party for Sarah. Although there are no turkey, but everyone including the kids does enjoy the roasted chicken as the substitute for turkey.

In order to narrow up the generation gap with Sarah, he even ask Ah Bao to help him choose a smartphone and learn to use the Internet from Ah Bao. He also bought Ah Bao an iPad as reward for his effort for teaching him to surf the Internet. With the smartphone, Gen also asked Ah Bao to help him to record his will, as he know sooner or later, he will be leaving the world, as he is already very old. Gen even sent an instant message to Sophia, asked her to come back home for Chinese New Year using the smartphone.

During Chinese New Year, Sophia did come home, where the whole family celebrated Chinese New Year with joy. Gen then has moved to New York with Sophia and Sarah. They will be back to Malaysia every year’s Chinese New Year, to the place where their home belongs.

The most unforgettable quote in this movie is as the ones show in the MTV above:
“Grandpa and Grandma are like stars, not always seen, but forever there.”
This is what Sophia always told Sarah since she was little when they were watching stars in the sky.

This movie is a Malaysian made movie. Except for the cast Tik Lung and Jessica Hester Hsuan, everyone and every thing in the movie are all from Malaysia. Even the director cum script/story writer Jess Teong is a Malaysian.

But do not underestimate this movie. Even before it is officially shown on the cinema starting 10th March 2016, it has already won 4 awards, 2 official nomination in US and expected to have more to come.
4 awards won in the Macau Film Festival 2015
Award Won List:

1. Macau International Movie Festival 2015, Best Female Supporting Cast – Jessica Hester Hsuan
2. Macau International Movie Festival 2015, Best Male Supporting Cast – Tik Lung
3. Macau International Movie Festival 2015, Best Scriptwriter – Jess Teong
4. Macau International Movie Festival 2015, Best Newcomer – Sarah Tan
* Macau International Movie Festival 2015, Official Selection Movie

Official Nomination
1. Official Finalist Hollywood, Screenplay Contest 2014
2. Official Finalist New York, Screenplay Contest 2013

There are something you might want to know.
Mah Sing Group is the main investor for this movie. And the profit of this movie will channeled to Mah Sing Foundation, where it is a CSR effort of this company in helping those who needed help.
Another 2 more investors are McDonald, and Malaysia Airlines Berhad, which also well known for their CSR effort.
In other word, every ticket you buy, you are actually doing charity.