Synopsis by Mark Deming
The lives of three strangers come together in the run-up to a major holiday in this comedy-drama from China. Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and people all across the country are making plans to visit friends and family in celebration of the holiday. Zhang Guodong (Chen Gang) works with a construction crew and he's struck a deal with a less-than-scrupulous travel agent (Liu Zhongping) -- in exchange for doing some renovations on an apartment building he owns, Zhang and his co-workers will get free fares for their trips out of town. However, the agent is not going out of his way to help the builders, and Zhang accidentally frightens Bai (Feng Dinghong), an aging high school teacher, giving the old man a heart attack when the crew accidentally bursts into his flat. The workers try to repair the damage to Bai's home while Zhang takes him to the hospital, where he's attended to by Li Jialiang (Zhang Tong), a heart surgeon who is being hounded by a family who blame him for the death of a relative. Over the course of the next few days, Zhang has to force the travel agent to make good on his agreement, Li tries to nurse the elderly man back to health while his wife tries to persuade him to help their son get into a better school, and Bai bonds with a fellow patient (Wang Mingzhi) when he ends up back in the hospital. Yi Nian Dao Tou (aka The End Of Year) was directed by Wang Jing, previously best known for his work in documentaries.