Review: Curse of the Golden Flower

Internationally, Yimou Zhang made quite a name for himself a few years back, with the a graceful and quite unforgettable Hero (and along, bringing the best out Jet Li). It was later followed by an almost as brilliant House of Flying Daggers (this time headlined by the beautiful Ziyi Zhang).
For this movie, the ante is WAY up, as we no have the biggest budget for a chinese movie, ever. And it shows. The production design is marvelous. Both exterior and interior shots are an attack on your eyeballs, with rich colors and texture, immense detail, and just sheer beauty. If set decoration and/or costume design don’t reign in a battlewagon full of awards, I’ll drop down dead where I stand. (I just looked it up, and I guess the people at the Oscars need a battlewagon full of glasses, since they actually snubbed the award away in favor of the standard costume drama Marie Antoinette)
Grand as it visually is, it’s actually an intimite look in the life of an Emperor and his family (wife and 3 brothers). It plays out like the tragic opera you’ve come to expect, and some here and there, the emotion doesn’t get transfered quite correctly. While I can’t say it has a full 100% WOW factor, it’s definitely a nice sidestep from your average Hollywood production.7½.

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