Lilting

This is a quiet, thoughtful London-set study of love, grief and cultural differences from Cambodian-born, British-based filmmaker Hong Khaou. Ben Whishaw plays Richard, a fragile young man mourning the recent death of his partner, Kai (Andrew Leung), who forges an uneasy bond with Kai’s mother, Junn (Pei-pei Cheng), an elderly woman in a home who speaks no English and may not have known her son was gay.

Khaou’s sombre, softly-softly drama is full of tender observations, and some of the film’s most artful, alluring moments are when we’re unsure whether we’re watching flashbacks or figments of an imagination. ‘Lilting’ offers some of the same themes as last year’s ‘Philomena’, but this is a more modest affair (and a product of the low-budget Microwave scheme). There are times when it feels underpowered or unfocused (a subplot about Junn’s romantic life is half-formed), but this is an intelligent, sensitive debut.

Release details

Release date: Friday August 8 2014
Duration: 91 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Hong Khaou
Screenwriter: Hong Khaou
Cast: Ben Whishaw
Morven Christie
Leila Wong
Peter Bowles
Andrew Leung
Cheng Pei-Pei
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