Gateway | Gateway
Ling is a middle-aged high school teacher in Singapore where it always seems to be raining heavily. Her home life is extremely unsatisfying: her invalid father-in-law can’t speak, and her ice-cold husband apparently has no time for her. Moreover, her repeated treatments from her gynecologist have not resulted in the pregnancy that she yearns for, and her husband seems to have acquiesced to. After disciplining several boys from her Chinese class, Ling starts to coach one of them, young wu-shu competitor Wei Lun. As they grow closer, their relationship becomes more complex - each discovers a neediness that the other can somehow naturally address.
In Anthony Chen’s beautifully modulated follow-up to his multiple award-winning Ilo Ilo, the brilliant Singaporean actress Yeo Yann Yann again shines as Ling, struggling to live an emotionally rewarding life in a professional and personal climate that seems to forbid her from doing just that. Chen’s gentle humanity and exquisitely modulated storytelling rhythms forge an uncannily moving journey through loneliness, desire, danger, and, ultimately, fulfillment.
— Shelly Kraicer