Anywhere But Here / A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

Saturday, Sep 24, 2022 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
actors susan sarandon and natalie portman

UCLA Film & Television Archive presents free screenings at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum.

Please review our required COVID-19 precautions and updated admission policies.


Part of: Directed by Wayne Wang

Anywhere But Here

U.S., 1999

“The screenplay is by Alvin Sargent, who is gifted with stories of troubled kids (The Sterile CuckooOrdinary People)... These kids, and a richer high school classmate who is not, in fact, a snob, give the movie a reality; we sense teenagers trying to construct rational lives from the wreckage strewn by their parents.”—Roger Ebert, 1999

In this adaptation of the Mona Simpson novel, single mother Adele August (Susan Sarandon) is bad with money, and even worse when it comes to making decisions. Her straight-laced daughter, Ann (Natalie Portman), is a successful high school student with Ivy League aspirations. When Adele decides to pack up and move the two of them from the Midwest to Beverly Hills, Calif., to pursue her dreams of Hollywood success, Ann grows frustrated with her mother's irresponsible and impulsive ways.

DCP, color, 114 min. Director: Wayne Wang. Screenwriter: Alvin Sargent. Based on the novel by Mona Simpson. With: Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman, Hart Bochner, Eileen Ryan, Ray Baker.

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

U.S., 2007

“A gentle, pleasantly unrushed piece of moviemaking. There’s a tonic simplicity to how it gets the job done, A Thousand Yearsstudies the subtle day-to-day tensions between Mr. Shi and Yilan before building, in its circumspect way, to a big emotional resolution. A more ambitious film might have forgone this predictable denouement; a less accomplished one would have fumbled its touching sincerity.”—Nathan Lee, New York Times

"Wayne Wang has come full circle, returning to the small, intimate films like Chan Is MissingDim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart and Eat a Bowl of Tea that established the Hong Kong-born Chinese American writer-director, best known for his deft screen adaptation of The Joy Luck Club. Wang's staging of the inevitable climactic scene is inspired. Rich in revealing detail and apt in its use of everyday Spokane settings, Wang remains a master explorer of the landscape of the human heart.”—Kevin Thomas, L.A. Times

35mm, color, in English, Mandarin and Persian with English subtitles, 83 min. Director: Wayne Wang. Screenwriter: Yiyun Li. Based on a novel by Li. With: Henry O, Pasha D. Lychnikoff, Feihong Yu, Vida Ghahremani, Megan Albertus.