Aroview: Dir. Tony Ayres’ heartbreaking semi-autobiography of growing up in the seventies, starring Joan Chen as an alluring Shanghai nightclub singer, struggling to adjust to Australian life.
Less about culture clashes than it is the love-hate relationship between a mother and son, this unfolds from the perspective of a young boy whose childhood is impacted by impermanent father figures, financial woes, and the emotional instability of his mother Rose. Chen is terrific as the beautiful, self-destructive family head, who is memorialised with equal loathing and admiration by dir. Ayres – easily the most interesting facet of the film. Seventies Australia is also vividly recreated as a down under parallel to the east-west exotic of Wong Kar-wai movies.