Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Apparently, nightclub singer Rose (Joan Chen) comes from a pretty big family: During the course of Tony Ayres’ The Home Song Stories, she introduces her two children, Tom (Joel Lok) and May (Irene Chen), to what seems like half a dozen “uncles.” They aren’t Rose’s actual brothers, of course, just the succession of men she decides to shack up with in her well-meaning but misguided attempt to provide her family with a sense of security. Ayres’ autobiographical film follows Rose’s downward spiral as her dependence on men gives way to a dependence on alcohol. Though the film’s focus is on the forced maturity of Tom and his sister, the radiant Joan Chen steals the spotlight; her progression from an aging chanteuse who is overly concerned with landing Mr. Right (or even Mr. Good Enough) before she grows old and haggard to, well, an old and haggard boozehound who’s grown distant from her own beloved children is a disheartening affair.