Miss Wonton

on January 18, 2001 by Kim Williamson
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   Even as its subtitles for the film's Mandarin are sometimes inscrutable, the emotions and human interactions in "Miss Wonton" are crystal clear. Its story about a young Chinese woman, Ah Na, who has come to New York City to replace past tragedy with the American Dream is one that any art-house moviegoer is likely to find compelling.

   As Ah Na, newcomer Amy Ting brings a sometimes assertive, sometimes touching presence, and her interactions with the other main players--Mrs. Sum (Ting's mother, longtime actress Sakura Teng), her boss at the Golden Buddha restaurant where she works and lives; Chung (Ben Wang), an older grieving man who counsels her; and perfect man (or Escargot, in "Miss Wonton's" often food-defined parlance) Jack, a suburban American who Ah Na believes could fulfill her dreams--are well detailed, adding depth to the entire enterprise. Backing up his cast, Singapore-born filmmaker Meng Ong, making his feature debut, makes of Manhattan an intriguing land of Chinese symbolism.    Starring Amy Ting, Ben Wang, James Burns and Sakura Teng. Directed and written by Meng Ong. Produced by Dave Johnson. A Dreamchamber release. Drama. Mandarin-language; subtitled. Unrated. Running time: 88 min.

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