updated: 23/07/2004

old-age: Ma ma fan fan

In Ma ma fan fan (The Age of Miracles) a young mother makes a deal with Death: ten years of her own life for the survival of her son. Many years later the elderly Mrs Sheung (Anita Yuen) pleads with Death again for just a little more time to sort out her family and her own happiness. A strange movie unable to decide whether to pitch itself as comedy, fantasy or drama: the resultant wobbly mess is held together with a large shovelful of cloying sentimentality.

Anita Yuen, then aged about twenty-five, managed to find the range to play both young mother and the seventy-year-old grandmother passably – despite her makeup rather than with its assistance. Her multi-piece prosthetics looked unfortunately like a rubber mask. This is strange as the makeup was by John E Jackson who is an Oscar, Emmy and BAFTA winner and had recent experience working on Joan Chen for Heaven & Earth. I can only presume that the problems were rooted either in time or budget constraints or in production issues. I have seen a set of very small images of the makeup application so they must have published or broadcast somewhere as part of the publicity campaign: if anyone has any makeup application images, please email themakeupgallery.