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Friday, May 30, 2008


It’s ironic that the Sundance Fest gave an audience fave award to just the sort of small foreign pic whose market has been usurped by the navel-gazing 20-something American indie pic they’re known for. And only a bit less ironic that they chose such a pile of sentimental mush. The usually extraordinary Zhang Yimou is (hopefully) just slumming on this story of the city boy who finds a true vocation and true love as a school teacher in a small mountain village, and the illiterate country lass who falls hard for him. Book-ended with arty B&W present day scenes as their son returns home to help his mother arrange a traditional burial (the coffin must be carried all the way home by many hands), Yimou can’t be bothered with events beyond the initial courtship (with our cute as a button heroine) and the funeral sequences (with our stubborn as a mule widow). Bring two hankies & three antacids.

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