Springtime in a Small Town (Xiao cheng zhi chun)
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Springtime in a Small Town (Xiao cheng zhi chun)
For his first feature since 1993's acclaimed The Blue Kite, director Tian Zhuangzhuang chose to remake a classic 1948 Chinese film, Springtime in a Small Town. The film takes place in 1946. Yuwen (Hu Jingfan) lives on a country estate with her sickly husband, Dai Liyan (Wu Jun), and his rambunctious teenage sister, Dai Xiu (Lu Sisi). They are waited on by the family's longtime servant, Lao Huang (Ye Xiaokeng). Yuwen cares for her husband and she's kind to him, but she doesn't seem to love him. Frustrated with his inability to give her a child due to his constant illness, she… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The result is paradoxically more theatrical than the original -- but thanks to serene cinematography and superb design, sumptuously so."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"Reinventing his source just as boldly as he has reinvented his artistic identity, Tian circumvents the usual mentality of remakes by making his material brand-new."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"The lead characters smoulder without ever catching aflame, while director Tian Zhuangzhaung weaves a disturbing web of deceit and betrayal."
‑ , Film4
"If you can go with the film's leisurely flow and accept the restraints it holds its lovers in check with, it can be a spellbinding film experience."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Even potentially crushing situations are diffused by the respect each character has for one another."
‑ Gabe Leibowitz, Film and Felt
"Only a director who truly knows repression could have made a movie so subtle and so understanding."
‑ G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
"This isn't a radical film by any means, but in its gentle tempo, its avoidance of the obvious and stubborn insistence on the decency of its three touchingly human characters, 'Springtime in a Small Town' weighs in as refreshingly, pleasurably different."
‑ Manohla Dargis, Los Angeles Times
"As vibrant as a live play in its impact, with its characters almost as tangible, this film draws on not just the words and emotions of the original material, but the classic language of earlier cinema."
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"Tian guides his story with great smoothness, providing a hint of unease with his constantly gliding camera and his penchant for viewing the action from behind grated windows and other obstacles."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"There aren't a lot of plot complications in Springtime, a remake of a celebrated 1948 Chinese film of the same name. It's the way Tian tells his story that impresses."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"Springtime in a Small Town moves at a leisurely pace. And because it's a work of taste and tact, you can watch it in a pleasurable state."
‑ , Orlando Sentinel
"A movie that drifts across the screen with the delicacy of linen floating on a warm breeze, whose slow, sensual camera movements are like tiptoes on rice paper, yet which can sting us with the suddenness of a bee concealed in clover."
‑ Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly
"Beautifully photographed by Mark Lee (who also co-shot Wong Kar-Wai's In The Mood For Love), and delicately played by an untried cast, this confirms Tian as the Fifth Generation's unsung master."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"Crafted in a style that seems to be learned from films of the thirties and, for all its scope, might have been adapted from a stage play."
‑ Jules Brenner, Cinema Signals
"[Springtime in a Small Town is] a quiet, thoughtful and beautifully wrought film."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
More reviews for Springtime in a Small Town (Xiao cheng zhi chun) on Rotten Tomatoes