New York Premiere
Dry-eyed and completely unsentimental, Ocean Heaven is the best movie about autism ever made, from any country. Scrubbed clean of melodrama, it’s about a blue collar father trying to figure out just how the hell he’s going to provide for his autistic son after he’s gone. The talent involved is insane. Jet Li took a single dollar in salary to turn in his first non-action performance as the dad. Chris Doyle, the world’s most expressive cinematographer (he shot almost every Wong Kar-wai movie) is on board and Joe Hisaishi (collaborator of choice for both Hayao Miyazaki and Takeshi Kitano) wrote the score. The movie is edited by Wong Kar-wai’s longtime editor and production designer, William Chang, and first-time director, Xue Xiaolu, is not only a female director, rare in China, but she’s spent the last 14 years working with autistic children. A small, quiet, simple miracle of a movie.