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Variety Review: ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night’

Variety

Tracking a lovelorn drifter’s return to his hometown of Kaili in Southwest China, emerging independent auteur Bi Gan’s sophomore feature “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” is one long pose featuring a virtuoso long take, though the film itself comes up short in substance. Plunging viewers into an extended dream sequence in the name of abstract motifs such as memory, time, and space, the film is a lush plotless mood-piece swimming in artsy references and ostentatious technical exercises, with a star (Tang Wei, “Lust, Caution”) as decoration. Diehard art-house fans and critics eager to scout new auteurs will deem it an ecstatic, transporting experience, but a general audience expecting to have a basic idea of what they’re watching will be left clutching at straws.

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