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Movie Review: The Road Home

Story: I am a big fan of Chinese director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern) and I was not disappointed with this quiet, slow paced love story. Yimou got his start as a cinematographer and his passion for that craft is obvious in the lush landscapes and joyous colors shown in this rural Chinese countryside. This is the simple story of an adult son returning from the city to his small village after his father's sudden death, in order to work out the details of his funeral. In narration (I know, I know, but this time it really works well) the son retells the story of how his mother met his father, fell in love and remained devoted to one another for 40 years. The Road Home refers to the traditional funeral the grieving mother insists upon to honor the dead father. This is a gentle film that guarantees a few tears (at least some welling) and a big sigh. Bravo!

Acting: The very young and beautiful Zhang Ziyi (filmed before her starring role in the crowd pleasing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) is hypnotically beautiful and the camera just adores her. She is a pleasure and a joy to watch.

Critters: Some livestock and horses.

Food: Lots of wonderful Chinese dishes are lovingly prepared including mushroom dumplings and onion pancakes. I was starving when I left the theater.

Visual Art: Some wonderful paper and scissors art and two posters of the most recent Titanic film depicting Leonardo deCaprio. I got a little laugh out of that.

Blatant Product Placement: Titanic poster....but I am pretty sure they were not paid for that plug.

Soundtrack: A bit over the top with violins.

Opening Titles: A nice opening through the windshield of a moving car.

Theater Audience: Pretty crowded with mostly my peers and a smattering of young teenage girls (obviously fans of Crouching Tiger's Zhang Ziyi) They seemed to enjoy the picture as well.

Predictability Level: High, but I didn't care.

Tissue Usage: 1

Oscar Worthy: Yes.

Nit Picking: The music was too heavy in the gushy zone.

Big Screen or Rental: Either. Have a Zhang Yimou festival and rent Raise the Red Lantern, To Live and the Story of Qui Ju.

Length: 100 minutes

LOBO HOWLS: 8