Singapore has sent Anthony Chen’s The Breaking Ice as its official entry for the 2024 Oscars in the Best International Feature category. The movie first had its official debut in the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section and has since earned positive critical acclaim. The Breaking Ice will now represent Singapore in the race for the coveted Academy Award.
What do we know about ‘The Breaking Ice’?
The Breaking Ice depicts the story of an unexpected, transient connection forged between three restless young people in China’s far northeastern border city of Yanji, featuring a predominantly Chinese cast and crew. It has an all-star cast of young Chinese actors, including Zhou Dongyu of the Oscar nominated film, Better Days, Liu Haoran (Detective Chinatown trilogy), and Qu Chuxiao (The Wandering Earth).
The film’s story, described as a Generation Z drama, chronicles the budding friendship of its three primary characters as they rediscover warmth in their shared isolation over a weekend in the winter snow, while also highlighting some of the ambitions, dreams, and fears of young Chinese people. It was director Anthony Chen’s first feature film shot entirely in mainland China, marking The Breaking Ice as the project that pushed him far beyond his artistic comfort zone. Chen recognized the picture as a “love letter” to China’s restless youth in an interview with THR.
“Rich in feeling yet never emotionally emphatic, The Breaking Ice has an uncluttered narrative simplicity that’s mirrored in the shooting style and nicely offset by the nuanced complexity of the relationships. The new film’s characters — a woman and two men in their 20s, played with exquisite restraint by three appealing, impeccably naturalistic actors — are afflicted by sorrows, frustrations and anxieties seldom articulated, but their many moments of introspection reveal as much as they withhold.”THR’s lead critic about ‘The Breaking Ice’