The alteration in the dynamics between the two characters makes perfect sense as Muyl relocates his original French story to China for what is now the second-ever official co-production between the two countries. With Beijing’s long-running one-child policy, the issue of parents pampering their offspring to the point of creating a generation of spoilt brats has been much discussed in recent years; The Nightingale‘s narrative arc of teasing a kid’s open, curious inner self out her egocentric, iPad-attached shell is perhaps what the Chinese authorities would really want to see.
Whether audiences would warm to this, however, is another matter. Boasting of Sun Ming‘s lavish cinematography – the rural landscapes of the southwestern Chinese province of Guangxi are rendered in remarkably lush, warm tones, as is Beijing’s new bourgeois milieu rendered cold and unfriendly – and an engaging performance from Li Baotian (Ju Dou) as the grandfather, The Nightingale is technically remarkable. Beyond its socio-political context, however, the film offers hardly anything inventive to the familiar generation-gap rite-of-passage dramedy; festival bookings – such as its premiere in Busan, and then the outing on Thursday at the ScreenSingapore trade event – are probably where the film’s future lies rather than commercial runs in either France or China.
“The Nightingale demonstrates the ways urbanization has sapped our appreciation of country values and landscape” – Andy Webster, New York Times
“Productio -wise, everything is top notch, especially the cinematography of Sun Ming, who captures some almost epic images of rural Guangxi — makes you want to go there” – G Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
“[Sun Ming, the film’s cinematographer has] lavish cinematography of the rural landscapes of the southwestern Chinese province of Guangxi.” – Clarence Tsui, Hollywood Reporter
“[The Nightingale is] the second – ever official French-Chinese co-production [with film producer, Ning Ning] the plot is easy to understand by international audiences…” –Julie Makinen, Los Angeles Times
“The film is charming and works irrespective of language. It makes you really want to visit the
Chinese countryside.” – Peter Caranicas, Variety
Theatrical Trailer – iTunes Trailers