2,5 Ever loyal to sordid non-aesthetics and phony thriller montage pro/premises, SR lures with a fluid, relaxed use of strange-loop gimmicks (Escher’s Drawing Hands or Krasznahorkai’s Satantango ending for that matter) & uncanny, swift camera subjectivization when an objective shot turns POV in a twinkling, secreting tingles while preserving and exposing the processual mutation. Tang Shu Shuen's The Arch in memoriam.
As close to a novel as a film can get. Which in a way is a great accomplishment - but in another, it's incredibly restrictive regarding the full capability of cinema. There is a reason why a book is a book and a film is a film. Still - a beautifully lyrical film.
Everything about this movie is enchanting, but above all its eerie universality and the touching humanity of its characters. Unambiguously the least self-consciously "Chinese" film I've seen out of China in the past few years.