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Friday, May 30, 2008

THE ROAD HOME (2000)

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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