It would be hard to name another director -- Kubrick, perhaps -- who has created so many masterpieces or near-masterpieces with so few lifetime films. Zhang Yimou started with richly sensual tales (Red Sorghum, Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern), moved to sociopolitical epics (To Live, The Story of Qui Ju), and then here, in 1999, presented what might be called a "domestic epic." A fairly young middle-aged engineer from the city returns to the north China village of his birth right after his father's death. His mother insists that all the old rituals be observed, including hand-carrying the body the many miles back from the city hospital morgue to the village so the deceased will know "the road home." The man relates the story of how his parents -- an 18-year-old farm girl and a somewhat older teacher sent to the village by the government -- met and fell in love in 1955, and decides that his mother's wishes must be honored. Most of the movie centers on the earlier love story. It's a shame the more recent "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" made it to these shores first, because Ziyi Zhang, the spitfire young girl of the action flick, is much more incredible in her debut in this movie, aged 20. The simplicity and transparency of her emotions, the incredible beauty of her face, are captivating. There is no sex or nudity, not even a kiss, in this intensely romantic film; and the landcape, seasons, and light -- the sound of vegetables being chopped, the chanting of children's voices in school -- are as much stars as Ziyi. A gorgeous and moving piece of work.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus
A remarkable and touching Chinese film directed by Zhang Yimou. A simple tale about how when a grown man went home to take care of his father's funeral and eventually found out the touching romance story of his parent.
The review of this Movie prepared by Jenny