In a beautiful, underplayed and truly powerful drama, Jet Li stars as a father trying to teach his autistic son how to live on his own. Dry-eyed and completely unsentimental, it’s 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 how to provide for his autistic son in the case of his death. The talent involved is extraordinary. Jet Li took a single dollar in salary to turn in his first non-action performance as the dad. Chris Doyle, the stellar cinematographer who 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. 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.
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