Homecoming | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
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Cantonese director Yim Ho's delicate and touching film charts the return of Coral (Josephine Koo), an attractive Hong Kong businesswoman in her thirties, to her native village in southern mainland China. Staying with her childhood friend Pearl (Si Quin Gao Wa)--now a school principal married to a farmer, with a daughter-she discovers that her urban life and problems have irrevocably estranged her from the ways and attitudes of the village, although she and Pearl make many heartfelt efforts to bridge their differences. Kong Liang's screenplay eschews melodrama and big events for quiet insights, and a remarkably dense portrait of the village emerges, framed by Ho with a distinctive grasp of composition, landscape, and personal detail that occasionally evokes the complexity of a Brueghel. The performances are nuanced and moving, and one comes to know these people--not only the heroines, but Pearl's defensive and tongue-tied husband, an unruly and mercenary little boy, a man who can't read the letters in English his son sends him from UCLA, a wise uncle, and many others--on a first-name basis. (Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, October 3, 6, and 8, 9:00, 281-4114)

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