The cinematography is striking & artistically lush with color (or lack thereof) & contrast, & the shot composition/pacing is haunting, to say the least. The image of a bright red, yet soft, burning lantern in a plain of seemingly harsh white snow with remain forever fresh in my mind. The desperation of being truly together but alone, along with the elegant but socially damning femininity here really shines through.
Not only gorgeously shot, but a "creeper" of a film that will slowly, methodically lure you into the story and not let you go all the way through its crushing climax. This has to be the best Yimou film I have seen and one that I will be watching again in the near future.
Why there is something special about Asian actors?. Especially Gong Li, the way she throw things and wipe her tears is just so classy and delicate...
An oppressive films about women, well executed and directed by Zhang Yimou, definitely a 5 star!!!
An excellent film; engrossing, vividly acted, directed, shot and written. Set in 1920s China, but containing timeless and universal explorations of conformity, roles for women in a male dominated society, and petty jealousy and backstabbing.