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Though controversial in its native China, Li Yu's Ping Guo, or Lost in Beijing, is nothing to be feared. In fact, this social melodrama should be celebrated as it was at the Berlin and Tribeca film festivals. Set in the modern-day Chinese capital, the plot revolves around a sometimes visceral, sometimes absurd sexual relationship involving a young woman (Fan Bingbing), her working-class husband (Tong Dawei), her new-rich boss (Tony Leung Ka-fai) , and his barren wife (Elaine Jin). None of the foursome''s encounters, which include revenge sex and a possible rape, are unmotivated or salacious when viewed as microcosmic byproducts of Lost in Beijing''s larger socio-economic critique. As A.O. Scott wrote, "In spite of its raw, explicit moments, the film is at heart a sturdy morality tale about innocence and corruption, wealth and want, sex and power" (New York Times). English subtitles.

Li Yu---China---2007---113 mins.