Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Nina Wu / 灼人秘密 - 2019 Hawaii International Film Festival Movie Review

The Movie: Nina Wu / 灼人秘密

The Director: Midi Z

The Cast: Wu Ke-Xi, Sung Yu-Hua, Hsia Yu-Chiao and Shih Ming-Shuai

The Story: Struggling actress gets dream role and the experience comes with unexpected consequences.

The Review:
This is one of those movies that is hard to discuss in a review because the messaging an impact all rely on reveals about the character that take place over the course of the story. Director Midi Z takes a deep dive into mental health issues born from trauma and presents them in a very non linear and at times abstract fashion creating a hyper reality where you never quite know if what you are seeing is Nina's reality of a reinterpretation from her mind.

Wu Ke-Xi plays Nina and she also co-wrote the screenplay so I imagine there is a lot of personal experience she was able to draw from to add to the character's journey through the world of being an actress. As the film makers dissect who Nina is and what she becomes, there is also a lot of messaging and even indictment on the behind the scenes hierarchy and misogynistic tendencies that one might find behind the film industry's traditionally kept closed doors. There is a blunt brutality to the whole thing which plays out psychologically without ever becoming too graphic on screen.

Nina Wu is a difficult deep dive into the mind of a struggling actress that is highlighted by Wu Ke-Xi's bold and determined performance.

Nina Wu is an official selection of the 2019 Hawaii International Film Festival.

To keep track of all my reviews and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at HIFF 2019.

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