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TOGETHER

A timid but talented violinist from the provinces finds that competing for big-time recognition in the cutthroat world of Beijing is no piece of cake.

CAST: Tang Yun, Liu Peiqi, Wang Zhiwen, Chen Kaige, Chen Hong

DIRECTOR: Chen Kaige

"Since this is a coming-of-age movie about a poor rural kid who grapples with the big city, it would be nice if its protagonist weren’t such a lummox…The movie would have us believe that the price of fame is soullessness...If this moral lesson turned up in an American movie, it would probably be laughed off the screen…Xiaochun’s final retreat into obscurity is meant to be triumphant, but it plays like a scene from ‘Dumb and Dumber.’" --Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

"Not turning his back on cinema, Chen’s new movie ‘Together’ concentrates on music as the direct expression of feeling. It turns out he made the finest new movie so far this year…‘Together’ intuits a cosmic sense of how life works; it joins the soulfulness of music to the soulfulness of sincere filmmaking." --Armond White, New York Press

"The newest movie by the Chinese filmmaker best known for ‘Farewell My Concubine’ is not afraid to push buttons with its heady potpourri of Bruch, Richard Strauss, Liszt and Massenet, all pointing toward a climactic performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D. ‘Together’ may not be overtly political, but its vision of contemporary Beijing, where brazen, fashion-crazed gold diggers like Lili bait their hooks to snare arrogant, slippery wheeler-dealers who end up playing her for a sucker, has bite. --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"Chen got a marvelously natural performance from Tang Yun, a non-actor chosen from a group of boys who play violin…Through it all is some extraordinary music, highlighted by a brilliantly edited scene crosscutting between Xiaochun in a train station and a student in a concert hall simultaneously playing Tchaikovsky's spectacularly difficult Violin Concerto." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"For all of its emotional crosscurrents and voluptuous violin interludes (played with thrilling brio on the soundtrack by Li Chuan Yun), ‘Together’ feels dismayingly simpleminded...You will either go mad over ‘Together,’ or beat a frustrated path back to Carnegie Hall." --Jan Stuart, Newsday

"Well acted by all, ‘Together" combines some fairly trenchant observations about the sacrifices necessary to achieve artistic stardom with one of the schmaltziest endings in recent movie memory. But boy, does it work those tear ducts; be sure to bring plenty of Kleenex." --Lou Lumenick, The New York Post

"The film inspires a certain awe in simply providing the opportunity to observe how the masterly director of ‘Farewell My Concubine’ and other major films plays every second of this shamelessly sentimental tale of love between father and son with flawless finesse. The result is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser that will strike Chen's admirers as a heartfelt but decidedly minor effort…Together’ is not ambitious enough to be disappointing but it does seem beneath a filmmaker of the caliber of Chen Kaige. " --Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times

"Mawkishly clichéd as it is, ‘Together’ is an odder hybrid than it first appears—at once populist and deeply cynical about the price of popularity…In the end, ‘Together’ argues that to offer one's art up for public consumption is to risk contamination—a peculiar message for a movie that so badly wants to be loved." --Dennis Lim, The Village Voice

"It's a beautiful tale told by master director Chen Kaige…‘Together’ grabs unabashedly at the heartstrings. But it succeeds mightily on its own terms, and with the music as an added attraction, it emerges as an emotional and satisfying dramatic experience. " --William Wolf, The Wolf Entertainmet Guide