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The New Year's Eve of Old Lee to Arrive in Cinemas at Spring Festival
   2016-01-27 10:25:56    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu

Director Gao Qunshu (left), famous comedian Zhao Benshan (2nd from left) lead the main cast of "The New Year's Eve of Old Lee" at the film's premiere in Beijing on Sunday evening, on January 24, 2016.[Photo: agencies]

Anchor: A heart-warming comedy, "The New Year's Eve of Old Lee" will land at the cinemas around the country in early February. This will coincide with the Spring Festival.

It tells a story concerning how an old, retired chemistry teacher with senile dementia spends his holiday with anxiety due to all types of confrontations that arises from his divorced daughter.

Director Gao Qunshu's new film, which boasts many comic elements, employs famous comedian Zhao Benshan to act an empty-nest elderly. Xu Fei has more.


Gao Qunshu, a Golden Horse Award winning director, has successfully grabbed public attention again for his new film Guo Nian Hao (), or "The New Year's Eve of Old Lee" in English.

Ahead of its recent premiere in Beijing, the film director has disclosed that his new film doesn't just focus on the empty-nest elderly, but the younger generations of the family.

"You can't simply summarize it's a story about an empty-nest elderly person. The family's first generation who are all post 1940s like my dad, lead their life in a small town. The second generation, who were born in the 1960s and 70s, all work outside their hometown and are not successful in their careers, and they live under intense pressure in big cities. And the youngest generation who were born after 1990, now live and study in the US."

From vegetable markets to couplets, firecrackers, lanterns and the dragon dance, people are engaged in activities celebrating the Spring Festival, but the empty-nest elderly is left all alone.

Despite the deterioration in his senile dementia, this lonely elderly, who refused to migrate to Beijing with his daughter, is also eagerly waiting for his children to come back as director Gao Qunshu explains:

"But all of them have to come back home at Spring Festival, particularly at the moment that they are informed that the elderly dad, who leads a life in their hometown alone, gets ill. It is a film about conflicts that arise between tears and laughter when the three generations of a family gather again in their hometown for the Spring Festival. Famous comedian Zhao Benshan is the leading actor, who adds much fun to the movie."

Zhao Benshan, a well known farmer turned comedian from northeast China who has recently been elected as vice chairman of the Liaoning Provincial Ballad Singers Association, is undoubtedly an acquired taste in this comedy film.

Guo Nian Hao creates the first-ever experience for him to watch his own film in a cinema, but he declined to receive any interview alongside the Beijing premiere.

In addition to this famous skit actor, humorous conversations can amuse moviegoers on a whim. Gao's friends, director Guan Hu and Zhang Yibai, also appear in this film.

What's more? Guan Hu's actress-wife Liang Jing, who usually makes herself look ugly for fun in several films, acts as a funny huckster who sells chicken.

The film has female lead role by the versatile actress Yan Ni, and also sees many big names in supporting roles including actress Yao Chen, actress-turned director Faye Yu, and also actor Yu Hewei. Yu has just been selected the best actor in contemporary dramas in a survey of the top 100 Chinese TV series affiliated with the 17th Huading Awards.

Director Gao Qunshu, who has gathered all these celebrities in his new film, thinks his film caters to all age groups.

"I think of all the movies scheduled for Spring Festival, it is only Guo Nian Hao that's suitable for the whole family to watch together in cinemas. My assistant, who was born after 1985, has joked that watching this film filled him with an urge to express his filial piety towards his mother for at least one week."

The responses from those audiences who joined the premiere are so hot that many of them were discussing this film at Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, which has so far pushed Guo Nian Hao on top of a recommendation list of the must-see films at the upcoming festival.

"The New Year's Eve of Old Lee" is scheduled to meet its Chinese audiences on February 8th.

For Studio Plus, I'm Xu Fei.

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