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Long Day’s Journey Into Night

The entrancing Chinese neo-noir — featuring an hour-long 3D tracking shot — is in theaters.

Alissa Wilkinson covers film and culture for Vox. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

Metacritic score: 88

Bi Gan’s dusky neo-noir film Long Day’s Journey Into Night — no relation to the Eugene O’Neill play — is a technical marvel. It premiered at Cannes in 2018 and drew astounded raves for the nearly hour-long 3D single-shot sequence that makes up the film’s second half. Bi had to carefully plot the scene (which winds through many locations and involves dozens of actors and extras), and shoot it seven times before he got it right. The result does not disappoint.

But Long Day’s Journey is also a swoony stunner, the tale of Luo Hongwu (Huang Jue), a man who returns to his hometown of Kaili after many years away, to attend his father’s funeral. And while he’s there, he begins to search for the woman he once loved, Wan Qiwen (Tang Wei). With rich imagery and a dreamlike narrative, Long Day’s Journey establishes Gan as one of the rising stars of world cinema. It’s mesmerizing and unforgettable.

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