Photographer Chris Doyle, who along with his own still work, has served as a cinematographer for Wong Kar-wai, Chen Kaige, and Edward Yang, makes his directorial debut with Away With Words, a very loosely plotted story that concerns what Doyle has called the two most important things in his life -- women and beer. Asano (Tadanobu Asano) hops off a ship in Hong Kong and makes his way to The Dive Bar, owned by a gay alcoholic named Kevin (Kevin Sherlock). Asano starts knocking back brews with Kevin and two of his friends, Susie (Mavis Xu) and Georgina (Georgina Dobson), and each begins to drift into flashbacks about their childhoods and previous experiences. Away With Words had its world premiere at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, where it was screened in the <I>Un Certain Regard</I> category, provoking a wildly mixed reaction from critics and audiences.
~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide