The critics may not have liked it but it takes a special talent to make a film about heartbreak, loneliness and dislocation feel so warm and nourishing.
Of course you know how it will end right from the off but that's not the point: the point is the journey, and a sumptuously painted trip it is too. Wong's visual palette suits its American setting and seems refreshed within it.
The acting is uniformly superb and affecting; yes, even Jude Law! Newcomer Norah Jones' inexperience makes her perfectly cast as a seemingly delicate woman who heads off into unknown territory, both geographical and emotional. Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman are both stunning as hard-shelled, life-battered women who contrast the sweetness of Jones' character Elizabeth.
Overall, there's a wonderful modesty to this film and I think this may be why some see it as 'ordinary', but ordinary is surely the point: ordinary lives depicted extraordinarily. Yes, the veil of exotic mystery which his Chinese films wear has been removed but now it's Wong as the foreigner with an outsider's view; and the view from the exterior is, as they say, always clearer.
I'll give it Five for it's accessible, life-affirming beauty - and also for those poor, cold-hearted souls who only gave it Two!