A Private War
Crazy Rich Asians
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All Critics (11)
| Top Critics (1)
| Fresh (10)
| Rotten (1)
Long and a bit unwieldy, and self-consciously philosophical in parts, yes, but Hu's first (and sadly last) feature weaves together its narrative threads clearly and sturdily.
As remorselessly bleak as it is inexplicably transfixing as it looks at the state of relentless torment and unsuppressed rage exists between the age, gender and class divisions in the film's hopelessly fragmented community.
A well told yarn within a tightly synchronized day that changes the lives of a multitude.
The last shot [is], one of the most beautiful in recent cinema. [Full review in Spanish]
While the hypnotic pace of An Elephant Sitting Still hardly ever falters, the thinly stretched plotline leaves ample space for philosophical introspection, some of which, one suspects, gets lost in translation.
For a first-time director, the confidence and proficiency of Hu's cinematic expression astonishes.
Assembles its parts in such an assured and astute way that changing even one element seems unthinkable.
This is a sprawling but strangely hardscrabble epic that has a very digital look. Nevertheless, Hu and cinematographer Fan Chao use the whole screen, capturing some strikingly scarred urban vistas and playing games with depth of focus for effect.
Unrelenting as its tone may be, the feature proves a delicately layered, deftly shot work that makes an incisive statement about the prevalence of apathy, arrogance and egotism in contemporary China and beyond.
The film's images extricate beauty from the most dismal of situations and together with his actors, Hu manages to evoke emotions so deeply felt and overwhelming that they compensate for any narrative contrivances.
The four hours of An Elephant Sitting Still fly by before culminating in a rigorously powerful final stretch that sneaks up on you; by the end, you feel both emotionally and physically exhausted.
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