Springtime in a Small Town


Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15

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Critic Reviews

  1. This erotically charged drama may not be quite as great as the original, but it's an amazing and beautiful work just the same.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Mar 3, 2014
    Beautifully photographed by Mark Lee (who also co-shot Wong Kar-Wai's In The Mood For Love), and delicately played by an untried cast, this confirms Tian as the Fifth Generation's unsung master.
  3. There's a painterly translucence to this ''Springtime,'' and a mystery, too; each frame is as delicately poised and lit as a Vermeer portrait of a woman, beckoning but unknowable.
  4. 90
    Simply put, it represents the work of a filmmaker so exhilaratingly in command of his craft that he can, among other things, turn a single image of two people standing next to each other -- fully clothed, their bodies not quite touching -- into one of the most sublimely erotic moments we have ever beheld on the screen.
  5. For Tian, who was banned from directing by Chinese authorities for a decade, it marks a triumphant return; for those who have loved the filmmaker's work in the past, few resurrections have seemed as welcome.
  6. 88
    Can be summed up in one word: style.
  7. Only a director who truly knows repression could have made a movie so subtle and so understanding.
  8. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Mar 3, 2014
    The film exudes a sense of fleetingness; however static these lives may be, Tian's narrative perfectly evokes a changing season.
  9. 70
    Has the suffocating intensity of great chamber drama.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 3, 2014
    It is a beautifully acted, exquisitely considered chamber drama of subtlety and nuance: spellbindingly tender and utterly involving
  11. Should please art house buffs across the board. Connoisseurs of Chinese film will be pleased to discover that Tian's meticulous talent has not withered during his enforced hiatus. Moviegoers who like their visions of China rarefied and past tense will delight in the careful period setting.
  12. As Mark Li Ping-bing's beautiful cinematography observes the change of season, the movie becomes a broader meditation on rebirth, and how, in the language of T. S. Eliot, April, the month that stirs such hopes for the future, is also "the cruellest month" for awakening such keen desire.
  13. 70
    A beautiful, slow-motion melodrama.
  14. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    Exquisitely made love story.
  15. 100
    Tian's movie seems to be among the finest expressions of the Chinese new wave.

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