A meditative movie that ultimately chokes on its own sweetness, Huo Jianqi's
drama follows a reticent postal carrier as he trains his headstrong son to
assume his rural route in China in the early 1980s. The older man's constant
work-related hikes, however, have made him somewhat of an absentee dad, and
neither communicate with each other very well. The film's universal subject
matter and contemplative pace suggest a wide appeal, but a surfeit of expository
dialogue—"Now I realize I am actually old," sayeth the father—and heart-tugging
flashbacks render the film more treacly than touching.