Viet Phuong Nguyen's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Your Name. (Kimi No Na Wa.)
2 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The melancholic and cheerful nature of this film really warmed my heart (which also means that several plot-holes were disregarded in order to keep the consistency in term of feeling build-up and character development). This film in short can be considered a fancier "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" as the "time-travelling" theme is the same, the approach to "initial love" is the same, the strong female lead is the same, and the only differences might be that "Your Name" is better illustrated, but "The Girl" has much more solid treatment of the plot-holes caused by their time-travelling context. Still a very, very good film, though.

I, Daniel Blake
2 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Ken Loach's humanism has never failed to amaze me, and this film is no exception. Mr. Loach has dedicated his whole artistic life to depict various poor British faces, who have to try their best every single day just to get food on the table, but never lose their hearts, their souls, and their loves for other working-class fellows. This film began with a very simple pretext and characters, but ended up with a "bang" that brought out the stark difference between the endless hopelessness that the protagonists have to suffer throughout the film, and their heartbreaking tenacity in keeping every last pieces of their dignity, and humanity. Someone looking for a sophisticated cinematic work that was able to win the "Palme d'Or" over much more prominent films like "The Salesman" or "Toni Erdmann" would probably be disappointed with this film's simplicity and its repeated theme from other Ken Loach's works. But no matter how complex we are, human is actually simple at heart (literally and metaphorically), especially when facing hardships in life. For that reason, let us enjoy this and other "simple" works of Ken Loach - a "modern Honore de Balzac" of cinema.

American Honey
9 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Such a strange film. I was very impressed by the trailer of this film, which is sensuous, melancholic, and reminds me of my favourite coming-of-age films like "Almost Famous" or "A Brighter Summer Day". The opening of this almost-three-hour-long film did reflect the spirit of the trailer, but along the way (as this is indeed a road film) it felt stranger and stranger. The carefree attitude of almost all characters, who are mostly coming-of-age, being put in a rough setting of the South Central U.S. is often a harbinger of human tragedy, or at least unresolvable conflicts between hope and reality. Yet, this film just rolled through such pretext without much tension, and with only a little character development for the protagonist and no one else. The soundtrack, which is wonderful by the quality of each song, did not help either, as its loud, and pervasive appearance sometimes drowned the thin veil of feeling and reflexion over the characters. The camera work is equally strange, as the film's beautiful yellowish palette was sometimes destroyed by the unnecessarily shaky cinematography that tried its best to depict the film's characters up-close (a popular style of indie films these days) but failed to convey their thoughts, their inner conflicts, and their uncertain destiny. With better character development, it would have been a very good coming-of-age film.

Trivisa (Chu Tai Chiu Fung)
31 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Another terrific product of Milky Way Studio. Although short in length, "Trivisa" represents all the cinematic features that Johnnie To et al. have built up throughout the years for Milky Way, from the extreme yet stylish violence, to characters that are both over-the-top and humanly subtle, and complicated plots full of twist-and-turn, foreshadowing, nuances, and social commentaries. Although longtime fans of Johnnie To's action films might be disappointed with the lack of "true" action sequences in this film, the excellent character development was somehow compensate for that with three well-built "villains" whose "glorious" criminal pasts also served as a melancholic reminisce of the thriving "pre-handover" years of Hong Kong and its cinema, and struggling presence reflects the growingly difficult co-existence of Hong Kong and Mainland, with Hong Kong natives feeling more and more worried about losing their own identity under the economic and cultural pressure from the other side of the Pearl River. Although this film was not directed by Master To himself, its heart-breaking ending reflects extremely well his spirit and philosophy of Buddhist karma, oriental ironies, and nostalgia about a Hong Kong of the past that will never come back. Given the overwhelming financial benefit from the mainland market, it will be very very difficult, if not impossible, for Hong Hong's cinema to regain its creativity and identity that was once unparalleled in Asia, but at least with films like this, it can still linger for a while before disappearing in the horizon of the milky way. Yes, probably the destiny of the "trivisa" would be the future of Hong Kong's cinema, and even of Hong Kong itself, that was the reason why the final and painful sequence of this film must be cherished, for it will repeat in a different form in the not-so-faraway future of the once-prosperous island.

The Intern
The Intern (2015)
4 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Hey, this film is pretty decent. Despite the endless venture of Robert De Niro into being type-cast in bad comedies and the post-Oscar notoriety of Anne Hathaway, the film turned out to be a fine cooperative effort of the two, with De Niro's subdued father-figure perfectly complimented the bright but arrogant youthfulness of Hathaway. The film did try "to be cool" but its sincere approach to the world of start-ups should be commended, especially given its very progressive but not too provocative touch on feminism and the conflict between career and family. It might get some laughs out of the audience too, albeit cheap laughs. Many things about this film can be considered unrealistic, including its heart-warming ending, but unrealistic optimism is sometimes still in need, especially in such "dark" worlds of young entrepreneurs and old "retirees". One last thing - the costume designer of this film deserves an award, or at least a raise, as not only De Niro and Hathaway, but even small roles of nameless supporting actors/actresses were dressed extremely well.