Title: I Will Make You Mine
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Lynn Chen
Starring: Lynn Chen, Yea-Ming Chen, Goh Nakamura
Runtime: 1 hr 20 mins
What It Is: When Erika’s (Ayako Fujitani) father has passed away. She and the father of her child, former singer/songwriter named Goh (Nakamura) are in town from Wisconsin in order to get all the affairs in order. Meanwhile, two other women (with a connection to Goh) are back in the picture. Yea-Ming (Chen) a singer/songwriter and Rachel a married (happily?) career woman who’s known Goh since his childhood. Realization and connection are made and remade. Lives move into and out of each other.
What We Think: I wanna make this film mine. What a gorgeous piece. The third in a series about Goh Nakamura (following 2011’s Surrogate Valentine and 2012’s Daylight Savings) I had not seen the previous two entries…but you can bet the unbelievable quality of this feature has me salivating the chance to see those two. There’s unspoken chemistry amongst the cast and Chen lets that simmer wherever possible. It’s a great directing job. Narratively it’s all very twee and the black and white is in line with other “mumblecore” staples such as Frances Ha. This choice also becomes more poignant when the rawness of the tale becomes prevalent. Working as a way to use a lack of color as a substitute for Goh’s abandoning of his dreams or even perhaps as a way of showing the colorless life of Rachel and Yea-Ming without Goh there. Either way, the tight script by Chen works with these choices well.
Our Grade: A, What a damned fine film. In whatever way you can make a film this one executes. At a script and structural level, acting, even the music is gorgeous. Lea-Ming offering some work in the score and a wonderful single by Goh titled “Hold on to Your Humanity” is the perfect bow for this. Cool little tidbit this movie is titled similarly to Yea-Ming’s 2016 album with her band The Rumours. See this film. See it now. It’s one of 2020’s finer offerings and a real breath of fresh air. True excellence.