Film Review: Time Still Turns the Pages 年少日記 (2023) Hong Kong 🇭🇰
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia 🇦🇺)
Hong Kong cinema is once again having a strong finish to the calendar year, with another socially relevant and heart felt film in “Time Still Turns the Pages” directed and written by the talented Nick Cheuk. The film hits all the right emotional buttons as well as showing difficult moments in a brutal manner that nails you right in the heart and memory. We have all experience some parts of these childhood process in our own lives and in turn all the events that plays out in front of us, provides a catalyst reminder of a moment within our past that we have all buried deep within. This is easily one of the best Hong Kong film in 2023.
The film also provides director turned actor Lo Chun Yip, with a career defining performance as he shows precisely how much we are impacted by childhood trauma and events that happens around their growth. Despite being a teacher, Lo is engulfed within his own internal turmoil and his estranged relationship with his soon to be divorced wife (played by the always brilliant Hanna Chan) forms the emotional arc of the 2nd and 3rd act. Ronald Cheng plays the abusive and over demanding husband and father and Rosa Maria Velasco does well as the mother struggling to deal with her own relationship and family. Perhaps one of the best performance goes to the indifferent brothers played to perfection by Sean Wong and Curtis Ho who rounds out the emotional core of the film. Henick Chou and Sabrina Ng portray convincingly as students.
All in all, “Time Still Turns the Pages” manages to bravely show onscreen the real internal and external struggles and difficulties that growing up in an ultra demanding society takes its toil on our children and remains just as relevant today as ever. As we revokes upon our own experiences, whether it is through different forms of inspirations, the film confronts us with plenty of hard hitting truths about ourselves and those around us. Good cinema usually affects us in many unexpected ways and quality cinema brings us into the cinematic journey and in the process goes deeper into our own thinking and questioning. In these aspect, director Nick Cheuk succeeds.
I rated it 10/10