Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Flowers of War opens December 23

I posted awhile back about The Flowers of War, (you can read that post HERE) the multi-lingual film which is notable for being China's entry into the Academy Awards and for the fact that it stars Christian Bale. Wrekin Hill, the American distribution company, is releasing the film in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco tomorrow, December 23rd.  It was released in China on December 16th. The book the film is based on doesn't even come out in English until next year so we can only rely on reports from others.

I've posted the Hollywood Reporter's review of the film below. It's a negative review on the whole. I will probably ignore the negative review and see the film.  I usually see what I want to see anyway, don't you? The film and the book it's based on, is about the Nanjing massacre which took place in 1937. It's an event I am in absolute ignorance about. I suspect quite a few of you are as well.

I will probably see the film because I am intrigued and looking forward to seeing how the filmmakers used language and subtitles. I don't know if I would be as interested if Christian Bale wasn't playing the lead but because I respect his choices as an actor so much, I'm intrigued to see what it was that attracted him to the role. It will be months before I can read the book in English so I don't have to feel guilty about seeing the movie first.  I intend to do a little reading, to get myself a mini-education as to the facts of the Nanjing massacre. And for that, I thank the filmmakers and Christian Bale for that. Art informs us, broadens and enlightens us. I don't know if this is great art but it can't be completely bad because it does just that!

Here's the Hollywood Reporter review
Based on Yan Geling's novel "13 Flowers of Nanjing,"  the Nanjing massacre plays front and center in director Zhang Yimou's tale.
It's something you'd think only the crassest of Hollywood producers would come up with — injecting sex appeal into an event as ghastly at the Nanjing massacre — but it's an element central to The Flowers of War, a contrived and unpersuasive look at an oft-dramatized historical moment. One of the first Chinese-financed features to topline a major American star (Inseparable, with Kevin Spacey, debuted at Pusan in October), Zhang Yimou's elaborately produced drama automatically will draw attention due to the presence of Christian Bale atop the cast but has the misfortune of coming so close on the heels of a truly outstanding film with the same setting, Lu Chuan's City of Life and Death. After a Dec. 16 commercial launch on home turf, Wrekin Hill has set one-week runs beginning Dec. 23 in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, with a wider release to follow next year. But commercial prospects, at least in North America, look very limited.
To read the entire review check out it out at The Hollywood Reporter  and watch the trailer here. I don't know about you but it sure looks good to me!

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