Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang) (2005)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang) Videos

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.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
IFC First Take

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Cast

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
Lee Pei-Hsuan
as Hostess/Micky
Huange Ruo-shi
as Billiard Girl
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
Tramy
as Courtesans
Chen His-huang
as Chinese Doctor
Wang Wei-liu
as Housekeeper
Shu Kuo-chih
as Mr. Sui
Fan Chen-kuo
as Lawyer
Chia-Yu Lin
as Litter Girl
Liao Ling-tzu
as Servant
Lee Chuan-tsan
as Mr. Chang's Housekeeper
Lin Shin-nan
as Music Teacher
Mei Fang
as Grandma
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
E. Ray Bobo
as K-B-N
Wu Wen-yu
as Mickey's Roommates
Chen Lei-an
as Mickey's Roommaters
Lu Fu-han
as Friends
Spudder
as Friends
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Critic Reviews for Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang)

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (25)

A ravishing triptych spanning a century of Taiwanese history, in which love remains eternally elusive.

September 14, 2006
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | August 2, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

An emotional journey, a showcase for two fine actors, and a multifaceted picture of love.

July 14, 2006
Seattle Times
Top Critic

A film to get lost in, a fragmentary, impressionistic trilogy of fleeting moments of love that is one of the best films of the year.

Full Review… | July 7, 2006
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Seen in isolation, the first episode has the most satisfying plot and the last the least. But the film's achievement lies mostly in the beautifully articulated similarities and differences among the three.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Three varieties of love: unfulfilled, mercenary, meaningless. All photographed with such visual beauty that watching the movie is like holding your breath so the butterfly won't stir.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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

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 of them leaves a lot to be desired and I find too distracting the fact that the second one is silent.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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 Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Three Times" contains three stylish vignettes set in Taiwan in 1966(Time for Love), 1911(Time for Freedom) and 2005(Time for Youth), each starring Qi Shu and Chen Chang playing characters in differing states of infatuation. Each story was made in an attempt to emulate each era's movies, not so much the reality of that time.(Any time period never looks at itself completely honestly, censoring out any forbidden subjects, thus giving truth to the lie that nobody had hot sex before 1969.) Although 1966 owes a lot to Wong Kar Wai, 1911 is done as a silent film complete with intertitles and musical accompaniment, albeit in color. With the earlier times, there is a sense of so close and so far for the couple in question but in 2005 with total freedom, the couple is together but not happy, suggesting that with increased liberty, we are not necessarily any happier than in stricter times. But you know what? I'll take my chances with the present day... [/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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