This film left me weeping.
Zhang YiMou's been doing nothing but martial arts epics and the Olympics this past decade, so it's wonderful to see him pare everything down and go back to what he's actually pretty good at - telling stories. It's stunning to see the contrast between directing such a minimalist film and the 2008 Olympics opening/closing ceremonies, but it's a return to the Zhang that people have forgotten about. Behind the theatrics, all those grand swatches of colour lies the brilliant storyteller that gave us the classic artistic masterpieces, 大红灯笼高高挂 (Raise the Red Lantern), 摇啊摇，摇到外婆桥 (Shanghai Triad) and 活着 (To Live).
This film is so heartbreaking, you don't really want to finish watching. But you have to.
Cinema doesn't have feeling anymore. But this film does. Behind all those furtive glances and quick smiles between the lovers shimmers deep ribbons of feeling, the kind that catches your breath . . . it's almost unbearable.
Don't weep for the characters, so much as the loss of innocence.