Panta Oz’s review published on Letterboxd:
I needed the whole afternoon to calm down and to write this review. This Chinese drama directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Chen Daoming and Gong Li was so powerful that I still have fast heart rate 5 hours after watching it!
The story is an adaptation of the novel, The Criminal Lu Yanshi (simplified Chinese: 陆犯焉识), written by novelist Geling Yan. Lu Yanshi was a well known professor before being sent to the labour camp during the Cultural Revolution, but he escaped because he missed his wife Feng Wanyu and daughter Dandan. Of course, the party officials inform the family that any contact with him would be illegal nd they were prepared to recapture him! Dandan, who was then a teenage ballerina, could not play the leading role due to her father's outlaw status, and under the temptation of regaining the leading role, Dandan revealed to the police her parents' secret meeting plan at the train station...
This movie had its international premiere at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival in the out of competition section, and I believe that the quality of the art work was noticeable to every real film lover! Chinese know how to make a good heartfelt, emotionally packed drama, and the acting of the main characters and the young Zhang Huiwen was something i will remember long time after watching this movie.
Real drama, excellent directing, meticulous photography, acting out of this world... what more could I want to enjoy a movie? Do not miss this one!