Curse of the Golden Flower

Liked this much better than the previous two by Zhang Yimou, Hero and House of Flying Daggers. Perhaps seeing it on the huge screen at Alice Tully Hall helped. This was the New York premiere with Gong Li and Zhang Yimou in attendance. They said a few words via an interpreter who botched Gong Li’s comments but it didn’t matter–we just wanted to gawk at her looking tall and beautiful in an amazing dress. I’d seen her once before, in Cannes, but I was much closer this time, and she looked almost superhuman. (Other celeb sightings that night: Glenn Close, Bill Nighy, Julianne Moore.) Where was I? Oh right, the movie. Like its predecessors, Curse of the Golden Flower is absolutely gorgeous–lavish rainbow-colored interiors, massive tableaux of clashing armies, ninjas descending into a valley from a hundred ropes, etc etc. But for the first time with Mr. Zhang’s wuxia pictures, the melodramatic story appealed to me, too. Opens December 22. We have a photo gallery over at About.com.

Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia. Yimou Zhang, 2006. ***

[tags]zhang yimou, gong li, 3 stars, china, historical, wuxia, film, chow yun-fat, lincoln center, glenn close, bill nighy, juliette moore[/tags]