Film Review: Quiz Lady (2023) USA 🇺🇸
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia 🇦🇺 )
For those that recall Director Jessica Yu’s Oscar win for documentary short film over 26 years ago, I am glad to proclaims that “Quiz Lady” is that she is back with her biggest film to date with major studio backing. Starring the odd duo in Awkwafina and Sandra Oh who both perform in out of type roles to amazing perfection and chemistry. The level of detail that Yu goes into depicting the game quiz TV show, revokes classical childhood memories of all those sets and experiences. There is a clear nostalgia overall feeling that transpire to the audience that combines well with the entertaining display on-screen.
Awkwafina plays the socially awkward character as an internal auditor in a rundown office leading a boring and unfulfilling life with a bulldog. In fact, her life is so lame that you cannot stop feeling sorry for her. In comes Sandra Oh, playing the over the top and flamboyant sister who has no job, no career and punting on a lawsuit over a fish bone. The effect of the duo is amazing and precisely what carries the film to its entire duration. Will Ferrell is excellent in an underrated role as the long time quiz show host that simple does it every evening, providing a sense of continuity in Awkwafina’s boring life. Holland Taylor does well as the annoying neighbour with a stereotypical home of its kind.
All in all, “Quiz Lady” works because it is a movie about two Asian Americans coming together in an against the type role. It is this aspect of the performance that makes the film unique. In the 1990s and 2000s these roles would have been given to typical Hollywood white actresses. With Jessica Yu at the helm and the fantastic acting duo of Awkwafina and Sandra Oh, “Quiz Lady” elevates to its emotional finale and fittingly entertaining throughout as well.
I rated it 7.5/10