|The Road Home|
Widescreen; in Chinese; English subtitles.
|A girl from rural Northern China falls for a dedicated teacher who moves to her village during the Cultural Revolution in the '50s. Although not as deeply moving as his masterful "Raise the Red Lantern," the new motion picture from Chinese director Zhang Yimou captures the anxiety, melancholy and all-consuming nature of young love. It is helped in no small measure by the magnetism and emotive qualities of its heavenly lead actress Zhang Ziyi. She has achieved rising-star status on the basis of her impressive work as the ingenue/heroine in the hit "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," but she can play intimate human drama as easily as martial-arts fantasy. Designed as a color flashback bookended by modern black-and-white segments, the film has the look of a cosmetics ad whenever it focuses on Ziyi's fresh-faced beauty. Even if it risks trivializing the account of a courtship amid hardship, the cinematography is lovely. And Ziyi bares the jubilation and grief that surge on the tides of ardor.|