The Vertical Ray of the Sun. 2000. Vietnam/France. Directed by Tran Anh Hung. With Tran Nu Yên-Khê, Nhu Quynh Nguyen, Le Khanh. 35mm. In Vietnamese; English subtitles. 112 min.
Impossibly enchanting creatures inhabit a dreamlike Hanoi, where three ravishing sisters, embodying different stages of womanhood, live their routines filled with laughter, food, and unparalleled natural beauty. The scene-stealer is the seductive youngest sister Lien, played by Tran Nu Yên-Khê (The Scent of Green Papaya, 1993), who shares a sun-drenched bohemian apartment with her handsome brother. Each morning the two perform their morning ritual like a couple locked in a flirtatious waltz. Yet underneath the picture-perfect surface are disturbances threatening to intrude the delicate harmony. Lee and director Tran Anh Hung conjure a hypnotic world flooded with brilliant color and radiant light, making The Vertical Ray of the Sun a total sensual experience.