Liu Xing (Ye Liu) is an ambitious cosmology student who comes to America under the wing of university patron Joanna Silver (Meryl Streep) and begins working with cosmologist Jacob Reiser (Aidan Quinn) -- yet he is oblivious to the politics of academia. Liu becomes obsessed with his own theories of the universe, a fixation that threatens Reiser's professional future. Director Shi-Zheng Chen's debut won a prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
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- Chen Shi-Zheng
- This movie is
RA scene of violence, brief sexual content and language
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1Subtitles
Spanish (Neutral), English SDHClosed captioned
NoLanguage and sound
English: Dolby Digital 5.1Other features
Color; interactive menus; scene access.
Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that teens aren't likely to be clamoring to see this mature indie drama -- though if they do, its focus on the pressures of academia are likely to give them a lot to think about. A fictional take on a real-life tragedy, it includes mass murder and suicide. In addition to the violence, there are a few brief moments of frank sexuality and a bit of strong language ("s--t," one "f--k"), though it's not very frequent.
- Sexual Content
- A sexual encounter in a crowded rental flat is shielded by a blanket but still audible to the other residents; characters watch scrambled pornography and discuss the nature of female orgasm; brief shot of a naked back. A conference is described as featuring "Free booze, good food and beautiful -- albeit high-strung -- women." Chinese characters discuss the rumor that American teens are "doing it" by age 13. A scene between Streep and Liu has a sensually charged undertone.
- A Western shootout fantasy sequence features "shooting" but no blood; there are also four realistic graphic murders, and a character commits suicide.
- Language includes "bulls--t," "s--t," one non-sexual use of "f--k," and "bastard." A poorly translated toast comes out as "up the bottoms."
- Social Behavior
- Streep's character is a well-off, well-intentioned woman whose interest in Chinese culture is portrayed as the vague affection of a silly tourist. Quinn's character takes advantage of his Chinese students; some of the students attend a church group, but it's clear they're only there for the snacks and social events; one of the students also steals cable. Quinn's character blocks his student's academic progress out of anger and spite.
- Characters drink Heineken; no other visible brands.
- Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol
- Incessant cigarette smoking; cigars are smoked; characters drink hard liquor at social events; characters also drink beer while sunbathing.
- Age appropriate
- Not an issue
- Depends on your kid and your family
- Not appropriate for kids of the age most likely to want to see it