Fantasia 2012 - Starry Starry Night (Xing Kong)

Starry Night

Written by Tom Lin, Jimmy Liao
Produced by Chen Kuo-fu, Wang Zhonglei
Cast Xu Jiao, Lin Hui-min, Harlem Yu, Kenneth Tsang

Starry Starry Night is one of the most beautiful films at Fantasia this summer, there is no blood, no violence, and no gore but the story remains in your heart when the night is over. Tom Lin adapted this story from the young-adult novel by Jimmy Liao, and they collaborated together to write the script keeping the story true to its message. Lin tells the tale of Mei (Xu Jiao) a young girl in high school trying to understand her complicated life. Sound familiar? It did to me; this film reminded me of my own childhood and the decisions I made at Mei’s age and what I would have done differently.

Mei’s parent’s marriage is suffering; her grandfather’s health is not in a very good situation and she falling for the new boy in school. Her parents and her have a ritual of putting together puzzles as a family and their recent choice of puzzle is Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night painting, but there is a missing piece right in the middle and Mei’s emotional state is rocked by this little detail that she cannot fix.

Mei rides the rollercoaster of young-adulthood with fear and curiosity, she embarks on a adventure to her grand father’s cabin in the woods to watch the stars with her new love and amongst their travels they take a train through Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night painting with the help of special effects and the results are absolutely stunning. This coming of age story is wonderfully told through Mei’s eyes and we connect with her character from the beginning right onwards until after the end credits have rolled on. 

Tom Lin did a fantastic job directing the award winning Xu Jiao and the entirety of the cast, watching Mei’s parent’s relationship push and pull was heartbreaking. This film has moments of light humour and heavy emotions creating a wonderful balance that will help guide you effortlessly through this delightful visually impressive film. I will definitely be buying this one when it is released!

-Andrea Boulet