Coming Home

Coming Home ★★★★

Slow moving but (to me at least) always affecting, 'Going Home' tells a story that feels like it could easily dissolve into a melodramatic mess at any moment and yet never does.

A lot of the credit goes to the fine trio who portray the principals- Chen Daoming is heartbreaking to watch as he lets his face subtly show the pain that his situation causes, Gong Li is in her usual great form and just cements her position as one of the greatest character actresses of our time while Zhang Huiwen is the equal of both her elder peers, bringing a great nuance to her quiet performance.

The direction too is consistently great, particularly in the small confines of the rooms the characters most frequently inhabit, which become symbolic prisons and (in a sense) graves for people who live and yet do not live.

There's no getting around the fact that the pacing is slower than some may find engaging and this certainly isn't the film to watch if you're looking for an uplifting tale of love's triumph. That said, it looks good and there's genuine heart throughout. If your significant other tries to get you to watch 'The Notebook' for the zillionth time, suggest this instead- you might both come away better for it.