The Road Home review

"A pure and simple love story" is Chinese director Zhang Yimou's description of his Berlin prize-winner, which seeks to uphold the values of a less materialistic age. The prologue sees businessman Luo (Sun Honglei) return to the village where he grew up for the funeral of his father. With his mother insisting that her husband's coffin be carried rather than driven back from hospital, Luo remembers the story of his parents' courtship decades earlier...

Shifting from black-and-white (present) to colour (the past), and concentrating on its central female character (played as a youngster by Zhang Ziyi), this is a lyrical, if sentimental, account of romantic love.

It's most affecting in its attention to details, be it the repair of a beloved bowl or the preparation of favourite dishes. And in Ziyi, star of the forthcoming Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Zimou may have unearthed a muse to rival Gong Li.

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