Part synchronized swimming training practice, part group therapy session, the group of aging, out of shape, and hopelessly dedicated men make an unexpectedly supportive and uproarious—if not unoriginal—party.
Bi Gan makes 3D film into a cinematic experience integral to the film’s second half, in a way that amplifies the first half’s slow-moving narrative—both in direction and in plot—a beautiful tale of a man in search of the ghost of his past.
By shirking away the potentially moralizing and prescriptive tone the movie could have taken, Desrosières goes too far and instead turns sexual assault into the punchline of a tasteless joke of a movie.
“How much love can be repeated? How many people are worth waiting for?” croons an amateur singer, words that echo throughout Jia Zhangke’s “Ash Is the Purest White.” As it turns out, not that many—if any at all—at least for Qiao.