A proud Beijing peasant tries to secure his foundling sons musical future.
After a string of disappointments, Chen Kaige falls back on feel-good in this Beijing melodrama about a proud peasant trying to secure his foundling son's musical future. It's a cornball tale, complete with an eccentric genius, cynical Svengali and tart with a heart.
However, the affectionate bond between Liu Peiqi and teenage prodigy Tang Yun, and the amiable caricaturistics of scruffy, cat-loving Wang Zhiwen and glamourous Chen Hong are enticing. But once the subplot involving Chen's self-serving academy maestro takes precedence, the backstreet charm is replaced by a concert hall superficiality not even a heartwarming finale can thaw. The performances (excepting the director's detached cameo) are a delight, but the lack of depth will dismay admirers of Chen's exquisite 1980s films.