21 May 2014 5:10 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Filmmaking doesn’t get more traditional or timeless than Chinese master Zhang Yimou’s “Coming Home,” a family drama of guilt, love and reconciliation set during the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. Heartbreaking in its depiction of ordinary lives affected by political upheaval, this ode to the fundamental values that survive even under such dire circumstances has an epic gravity that recalls another great historical romance, “Doctor Zhivago.” While younger viewers may find Zhang’s classical style and grungy period backdrop too unfashionable to engage, the film’s rich melodramatic thrust has opened the floodgates for domestic audiences, grossing nearly $19.6 million in five days. Sony Classics will release the film Stateside.

Coming Home” is adapted from the novel “The Criminal Lu Yanshi” by American-based novelist Yan Geling, whose “The 13 Flowers of Nanjing” was adapted into Zhang’s “The Flowers of War.” While Yan’s fiction traced Lu’s life from »


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