Surprise is that the visual antsiness
doesn't pall--partly because the plot keeps springing fresh twists right up to the final scene, and partly because the more rugged style of Mainland acting keeps the film grounded far more than in a comparable H.K.
The banter and antsiness
of small children is no more disturbing than the throat-clearing, coughing, talking, and bulletin-reading of adults.
Amidst therapy sessions run by a wacky woman who sings in a rock band called Mild Neuroses, and an edgy antsiness
about whether or not maybe she should help write plays instead of help quarter them, Babette leaves her husband (after, ironically, he's already ended the halfhearted affair he has indeed, it turns out, been having) and launches on a comic jourcey of self-discovery.