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Time Out says

Fresh from the debacle of Killing Me Softly, Chen returns to the all-male themes he's most comfortable with (fathers and sons, teachers and pupils) and turns in a slick and sentimental crowd-pleaser without a trace of the aesthetic ambition which coloured even his weakest previous work. The teenage Xiaochun (Tang), brought up in scenic Suzhou by his uneducated lone-parent dad (Liu), is a whiz on the violin. Father takes son to Beijing to seek training for his obvious talent; they wind up first with the eccentric and irascible Professor Jiang (Wang) and then with the aloof and competitive Professor Yu (Chen Kaige himself), who engineers a rivalry between the boy and his existing star pupil, a girl. Meanwhile Xiaochun finds a surrogate mother-sister in Lili (Chen Hong, the director's current wife), the outwardly hard-as-nails gold-digger who lives opposite his picturesquely squalid digs. The film aims for a tone of rhapsodic melodrama and - nauseatingly - achieves it in a climax in which victory is snatched from the jaws of defeat and Xiaochun's true origins are revealed in out of the blue flashbacks, all to a Tchaikovsky soundtrack.
Written by TR

Release Details

  • Duration:118 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Chen Kaige
  • Screenwriter:Chen Kaige, Xue Xiaolu
  • Cast:
    • Tang Yun
    • Liu Peiqi
    • Chen Hong
    • Wang Zhiwen
    • Chen Kaige
    • Cheng Qian
    • Zhang Qing
    • Kim Hye-Ri
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