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The Home Song Stories (2007)

directed by Tony Ayres
featuring Joan Chen, Joel Lok, Irene Chen, Qi Yuwu, Steven Vidler

About this title: A combination of circumstance and poor life choices turn to young children into the caretakers for their unstable mother in writer/director Tony Ayres' semi-autobiographical family drama. As aging writer Tom (Darren Yap) sits down to pen a screenplay detailing his life story, memories quickly transport him to the Shanghai nightclub where his single mother Rose (Joan Chen) would captivate Western servicemen. A beautiful thrush with a magnificent voice, Rose eventually packed up children Tom (Joel Lok) and May (Irene Chen) and set off for Australia after accepting a marriage proposal from Melbourne sailor Bill (Steven Vidler). When the relationship between Rose and Bill withered after just one week, the mother set her sights on Sydney. In the following seven years, Rose and her two young children would bounce between a series of "uncles" as stability continued to elude the trio. Though desperate Rose would eventually return to Melbourne with her children and attempt to rekindle her relationship with Bill, that too would eventually result in failure when the impulsive woman entered into a heated affair with local restaurant employee Joe (Qi Yuwu). Enraged when younger lover Joe takes note of May's blossoming beauty, Rose once again begs Bill's forgiveness though his generosity finally seems to have been exhausted. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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