Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Wedding Banquet
The Wedding Banquet (), released in 1993, is a motion picture about a Chinese-American homosexual who marries a woman to placate his parents and get her a green card. The arrival of his parents in America to plan his wedding banquet, however, leads his plan astray.
The film was directed by Ang Lee and stars Winston Chao , May Chin , Ah Lei Gua , Dion Birney , Sihung Lung , and others.
Wai-tun Gao (Winston Chao) and Simon (Mitchell Lichtenstein) are a happy gay couple living in Manhattan, New York. Wai-tung is in his late 20s, so his Taiwanese parents (Sihung Lung and Ah-Leh Gua) are eager to see him get married and have a child. In order to satisfy his parents and present them with a grandchild, he deceives his parents and tells them he is going to be happily married soon.
Surprisingly, his parents decide to come to America from Taiwan, together with 30,000 US dollars, to hold a magnificent wedding ceremony for their son. Wai-tun dares not tell his parents about his homosexuality, because his father has just recovered from a heart attack, and goes through with the wedding. After this wedding of convenience, the bride Wei-wei (May Chin), an artist who can cannot pay her rent, asks Wai-tun to have sex with her that night, hoping that he would become straight so she could get her greencard. Simon is very upset about the wedding, and his relationship with Wai-tun begins to deteriorate.
Later, Wai-tun learns that Wei-wei gets pregnant. Being angry with her, Wai-tun tells his mother the truth, which shocks his mother. Before the relationship between Wai-tun and Simon gets worse, Wai-tun's father tells Simon secretly that he knows about their relationship, and, appreciating the considerable sacrfices he made for his biological son, takes Simon as his son as well. Simon accepts the Hongbao from Wai-tun's father, which according to Chinese tradition, is a form of admitting the persons to be their children's partners, and promises not to tell any one else that the father knows this: for the sake of family, the father just can't confess it to the public. Later Wei-wei decides to give birth to the baby, and Simon is willing to be the other father of the baby. Wai-tun's parents leave later, with the whole atmosphere awkward.
- This movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and won for Best Picture at the Berlin Film Festival in 1993.
- Ang Lee himself makes a cameo appearance in this movie as a wedding guest attending the banquet
- Due to the low budget available, most of the movie was shot using natural/available light (as opposed to staged lightbanks)
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