Amazon Holiday

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mao's Last Dancer

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: The true story of Li Cunxin (Chi Cao), who was taken away from his family as a boy in Moaist China, to train at the Beijing Dance Academy, and later recruited to the United States where he was accused of turning his back on China, and denied re-entrance to his homeland. Meanwhile, in America he becomes an acclaimed ballerino.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Chi Cao, Bruce Greenwood, Kyle MacLachlan, Joan Chen, Amanda Schull, Shuang Bao Wang, Madeleine Eastoe, Aden Young, Chengwu Guo, Wen Bin Huang, Camilla Vergotis, Su Zhang, Gang Jiao, Ferdinand Hoang

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! This film is so beautiful, its beauty can only be properly expressed in French with tears in your eyes. So here goes... C'est beau! (sniff-sniff)

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: There's one musical cue that's kind of funny, although I'm not sure it's deliberately funny. You see, the film takes place in the 70s, so for authenticity's sake, they have no choice but to cut to disco music once in a while.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: I predicted what they were going to do, I knew it was gonna make me cry, and I still cried, full on tears, both eyes.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: This is the kind of slow and important film that the Academy goes crazy over. The only thing it has going against it is that I like it, too.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: After watching Bruce Greenwood play very straight and very powerful men, in both Dinner for Schmucks and Star Trek, it is fascinating to see him pull off a man who is obviously gay, but in no way flamboyant. Joan Chen is delightful as the dancer's mother, with touching moments of both anger and joy. And it deserves a mention that Chi Cao, who is an amazing professional ballerino, but has no acting experience to speak of, makes you believe that you are watching a documentary, and not a scripted movie.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Despite a few passing moments that are pointlessly showy, Bruce Beresford's directing is impressive both in the flawless coverage of the numerous ballet numbers, and in the little touches, like making the film negative look like grainy stock footage, straight out of the 70s and 80s, when he shows us the date of each sequence.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Obviously, it's a true story and a tear jerker. My only complaint is that for those of us that know structure, there are a few moments which feel like they're approaching the ending but then don't, which makes the film feel momentarily longer than it is. But all is forgiven, as the last 10 minutes are worth the wait.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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