Hmmm... I loved the premise and the slowness that translation affords, but the bald sentimentality undercut the film's momentum. I wonder what it would've felt like not to know both Chinese and English, to be alienated as a spectator sutured to the white subject's perspective. Of course I'm speaking as someone who would watch Ben Whishaw pout at a bowl of cereal for four hours...
Two things - Whishaw and the lighting. Whishaw's acting was perfect, as usual, emotional and honest. He puts all of himself into his character. The lighting adds another layer, transcends the viewer into a world where Kai is still alive, into a world where Whishaw's pain can be understood.
Lilting is exactly what it says it is: it's intimate and one feels almost in the skin of the translator, peeking in their lives. It has some peaks of great dialogue and overall good acting. The slow pace doesn't kill it because it's not a movie that grows slow - it has a mourning sort of limbo feeling to it from the start and so the numbness follows through and gives a nice effect to the film.
A sweet little film, althoug a bit touchy-feely. The setting is quite exquisite, even though I'm not sure whether I can completely buy Whishaw's character: he's almost too "good to" be true. The theme of putting old folks into homes could be much more raw, this here is mostly a palliative care. But I'm not complaining.
It's a sweet movie with pretty imagery, nothing transcendent. Initially it seemed to be a bit lost, not really grasping any trail of thought, following vague ideas and mustering drama through hollow pensive shots and sad music. It eventually picks up, gaining strength and aim. The funny bits were thoroughly enjoyable.
A touching and hear-rending study of grief, guilt, and guidance in the face of tragedy. Ben Whishaw unveils his emotions to the most dazzling effect to which we see a man with a heart that brings out the vulnerability and courage to persevere. Cheng Pei Pei provides a balance of calculating sternness, stubbornness, and sadness to reflect a broken image that is trying to come back together and find wholeness.
Such a sweet film. It keeps on promising and then it delivers in quite a beautiful, remarkably simple way. Ben Wishaw finally gets to shine in a part tailor made for him and all the cast are really formidable. Some talentless director could've deranged such a heartfelt story, but Hong Khaou is a very balanced director that has some smart flourishes that only contribute to his cast's work.