Edmond Pang Ho Cheung is one of the new generation of directors emerging in Hong Kong, renowned for his witty and entertaining works which all met with critical acclaim. His Isabella
entered the 56th Berlin International Film Festival as the only Chinese-language film. Thanks to Peter Kam's music which enriches the film's nostalgic and exotic mood, Isabella
successfully captured the Silver Berlin Bear for the Best Film Music in February, 2006. Stylized camera angles and sentimental music in Isabella
remind of Wong Kar Wai's movies, but like other Pang Ho Cheung movies, Isabella
also offers an end twist and a subtle connection to larger social or historical issues.
Chapman To (Initial D) and Isabella Leong (Bug Me Not) play father and daughter in the film, and they deliver an ambiguous and sophisticated relationship that is most intriguing. The story is set in Macau on the eve of a new era as the territory prepares for handover back to China. Policeman Shing (Chapman To) also turns a new page in life when he meets the 17-year-old girl Yan (Isabella Leong), who claims to be his daughter.
To Shing, starting anew in the present is a confession of the past. He tries to redeem his sins against Yan's deceased mother (JJ Jia) through Yan, whereas Yan attempts to relive her mother's life vicariously through a new connection with her long-lost father. The dilemma between past and present subtly echoes with other elements in Isabella. While Macau is looking forward to start anew after a century of Portuguese colonization, viewers will find in Isabella a labyrinth-like Macau that resembles a southern Europe town, abundant in her former sovereign Portugal.
The movie guest-stars multiple award-winning actor Anthony Wong Chau Sang and Steven Cheung from Boy'z, and co-stars new Mainland actress JJ Jia and Derek Tsang, famous actor Eric Tsang's son who co-writes Isabella with Pang. Isabella is also a breakthrough for Chapman To as it marks his first leading man role, as well as his first project as a producer, with the new company he co-founded with Pang.
This edition comes with audio commentary, Isabella Leong interview, deleted scenes, making of, and trailer.