Forced apart, two lovers come closer to finding one another again over the years as fate keeps pulling them in different directions.
Nicholas Tse (The Viral Factor) and Gao Yuanyuan (Ocean Heaven) star in a romantic drama about two people destined to be together but fated to be apart. Anran (Gao Yuanyuan) and Zhao Yongyuan (Nicholas Tse) meet in New York like old friends, but theirs is a love story that goes back across oceans and decades. In 1982 Beijing, Anran is a transfer student in a new school, who makes few friends because she is wealthier than all her classmates. She is the target of bullying, and the class jock even assigns Yongyuan to follow her. Instead of becoming enemies, though, Anran forms a connection with the boy because both lost their mothers in an earthquake many years ago. But when Yongyuan’s guardian dies and he has to move, the two are separated. The years pass and the two meet again years later. This time, Anran is a teenage pre-med student. To raise money for her education overseas, Yongyuan becomes involved in some less-than-legal business. And when Anran leaves for Columbia University, Yongyuan is gone again. Now, once again, tim passes. Anran is a student in New York, working two part-time jobs. She is also with Michael (critically-acclaimed art film actor Qin Hao), a painter who loves to draw her. Meanwhile, the now-wealthy Yongyuan comes to New York and, through those paintings, manages to trace his former love. But now, with so many years gone, Yongyuan’s penchant for disappearing and both of their lives having taken so many turns and acquired so many commitments, can the two fated lovers get close to each other again, or are these two souls always meant to touch and then fade away?
Also known as “Yi Sheng Yi Shi,” But Always is directed by Snow Zou, with co-direction by Zhang Buniu. The film is based on an original story and screenplay by Snow Zou, with further adaptation work done by Zhang Buniu and Ho Leung Lau. The film is produced by Jonathan Hua Ling Lim and Yibai Zhang, with international distribution by China Lion. The movie released in Hong Kong on September 4, 2014, with its release in China taking place a day later. On October 30, 2014, the film also made its debut on the 34th Hawaii International Film Festival, where it ran for nearly two weeks as part of the “Spotlight on China” series. But Always has been filmed in Mandarin, and runs for a duration of 106 minutes.
The extended cast for But Always includes Nicholas Tse as Zhao Yongyuan, Gao Yuanyuan as Anran, Haitao Du as Sun Yuejin, Alice Li as Li Xiaojun, Suet Lam as Uncle Ji, Xiao Che as Anran's mother, Wen Ling Li as Zhao Yongyuan's grandma, Pengyuan Shi as child Zhao Yongyuan, Shi Xinyi as child Anran, Qin Hao as Michael, Anya as travel agency boss, Dawei Tong as English teacher, and Jack Kao as Anran's father, with supporting roles by Zang Tianshuo and Anna Sampson.