Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang)


Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang)

Critics Consensus

Slowly paced, understated, and exquisitely shot, these are three lovely odes to love and longing.



Total Count: 51


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,717
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Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang) Photos

Movie Info

Millennium Mambo director Hou Hsiao-hsien explores the ever-changing cycle of love in this collection of three romantic stories set in 1911, 1966, and 2005 and utilizing the same actors in all three tales. In "A Time for Love," a fresh-faced soldier boy named Chen (Chang Chen) searches for a pool hall hostess named May (Shu Qi) who captured his heart before disappearing into the crowd. The second tale, set against the backdrop of the Japanese occupation of Taiwan and entitled "A Time for Freedom," finds an elegant courtesan tending to a young intellectual in a lavish brothel. The trilogy draws to a close with a segment entitled "A Time for Youth" in which a present-day Taipei singer who is also an epileptic neglects her female lover to seek the romantic attentions of a talented photographer.

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Qi Shu
as May/Ah Mei/Jing
Chen Chang
as Chen/Mr. Chang/Zhen
Fang Mei
as Old Woman
Shi-Zheng Chen
as Haruko/Ah Mei
Huange Ruo-shi
as Billiard Girl
Lee Pei-Hsuan
as Hostess/Micky
Lin Li-chung
as Son of Ma'am
Chen Chiang-hao
as Billiard Friends
Liu Yen-po
as Billiard Friends
Hsu Hui-ni
as Billiard Friends
Hung Chi-feng
as Billiard Friends
Huang Yi-ha
as Billiard Friends
Hsiao Hung-yi
as Billiard Friends
Yu Yu-chun
as Billiard Friends
Wang We-liu
as Billiard Friends
Hwarng Yung-cheng
as Billiard Friends
Change Chen
as Mr. Chang
Hsu Bei-de
as Young Mr. Su
Jojo Wu
as Courtesans
Chiang Chen-feng
as Courtesans
Chen Yi-hsuan
as Courtesans
as Courtesans
Chen His-huang
as Chinese Doctor
Wang Wei-liu
as Housekeeper
Shu Kuo-chih
as Mr. Sui
Chia-Yu Lin
as Litter Girl
Lee Chuan-tsan
as Mr. Chang's Housekeeper
Lin Shin-nan
as Music Teacher
Mei Di
as Aunt
Su-jen Liao
as Jing's Mother, Madam/Jing's Mother
Kao Chia-yu
as Cousin-In-Law
Huang Chiung-yu
as Cousin-in-law
Liu Kay-lun
as Lomo King
Wu Wen-yu
as Mickey's Roommates
Chen Lei-an
as Mickey's Roommaters
Lu Fu-han
as Friends
as Friends
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Critic Reviews for Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang)

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang)

  • Apr 28, 2016
    It is always interesting to see Hou put together in the same film three stories that feel like a culmination of the main themes found in his work along so many years, even though the third leaves a lot to be desired and I find too distracting the fact that the second one is silent.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 15, 2012
    Love across the ages...been done to death right? Perhaps, but it often isn't done right to death. We have had epics from mainland China and the great action genre of Hong Kong so it is good to see a Taiwanese film adding to Chineses collection. Quite touching.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 31, 2011
    最好的時光 is carefully emotionally balanced Taiwanese film nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2005 Cannes Film Festivalis. The director of this wonderfully executed story triptich is Hou Hsiao-Hsien. Featuring three chronologically separate stories of love between May and Chen, which he sets in 1911, 1966 and 2005, using the same lead actors, very talented and charming Shu Qi and Chang Chen, we are introduced to three varieties of love: unfulfilled, mercenary, meaningless. The best part of this art work is the photography which was done with such visual beauty "that watching the movie is like holding your breath so the butterfly won't stir" (that was form the Chicago Sun critic)! Even the famous Jim Jarmusch said that "Hou Hsiao-Hsien is not only the crowning jewel of contemporary Taiwanese cinema, but an international treasure" and for him "His films are... among the most inspiring of the past thirty years, and his grace and subtlety as a filmmaker remain unrivaled." I agree to a degree!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2010
    "Three Times" is a very slow pace picture based on three different stories and three different time periods. Hou Hsiao-hsien's main focus here is the growing fondness of love, communication, and human emotions. All done almost effortlessly.
    Brian R Super Reviewer

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