Still from the film The Wedding Banquet (1993) showing a wedding party at a dining table

The Wedding Banquet

  • This is a past program

The UCLA Film & Television Archive presents classic film and contemporary cinema in the Hammer's Billy Wilder Theater. Archive tickets are $9 general admission and free for UCLA students.

Part of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project Screening Series

A Taiwan-based mother’s mounting anxiety over her New York City-dwelling son’s perceived singledom leads Wai-Tung and his long-term, live-in partner Simon to devise a scheme: help their artist friend Wei-Wei get her green card while keeping mom’s matchmaking at bay by Wai-Tung and Wei-Wei tying the knot. Their “happy marriage,” however, won’t be satisfactory until the union is consummated with a very grand, very public wedding banquet—which leads to outcomes no one, especially the audience, expects. Ang Lee’s romantic comedy of manners finds tension in universal societal expectations: a mother’s hopes for her son, how much a partner can ask of his lover, and how a contemporary woman fits into society. Walking gracefully across a tonal tightrope, The Wedding Banquet delicately oscillates between surprising guffaws and genuine waterworks, with a true heart beating strong for every disparate member of the family. The second in Lee’s Father Knows Best trilogy—sandwiched between Pushing Hands (1991) and Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)—The Wedding Banquet was a box office hit and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. (1993, dir. Ang Lee, 35mm print from the UCLA Film & Television Archive, color, in Mandarin Chinese and English with English subtitles, 112 min.)