Release date:July 16, 2004
Studio:Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA Rating:PG-13 (for sexuality)
Screenwriters:Cun Be, Mei Zhang, Sun Zhou
Starring:Gong Li, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Chen Quing
Love is not logical, desire not rational, and obsession inexplicable. China's screen goddess and Venice Film Festival Best Actress Award winner Gong Li reunite with director Sun Zhou in a story about an inimitable woman's search for love that is drenched in bitter-sweet desire and a romantic fatalism. Zhou Yu, a painter at a ceramic factory in the town of Sanming in northwestern China, has fallen in love with Chen Qing, a shy poet who works in a library in Zhongyang and lives in the clouds. To see him, she travels from Sanming to Zhongyang by train on every weekend, and whenever the longing to see him overcomes her. Zhou would wait for her at the train station, with roses, lilies or carnations. Back at Chen's tiny apartment, they make passionate love, and always conclude their amorous encounter with a bowl of sweet tofu soup from an old street peddler. Their future together seems so assured that Zhou Yu never talks or even thinks about it, but applies her energies raising money and pulling strings to get Chen's poetry published. Until one day, on one her train journeys, she meets Zhang Jiang, a cynical traveling veterinarian who is not without worldly charms. An accident takes them to Shen Hu, the lake of fairies, a prominent place in one of Chen Qing's poems. That chance meeting will change the destiny of Zhou Yu and the two men.