Directed by Stanley Kwan
I knew this was going to be a bit of a chore to sit through. Biopics always are. I was hoping I would find this one interesting because of the subject matter. No such luck. I am still glad I endured this one, though, as Maggie Cheung's performance was incredible.
The film tells the story of Ruan Lingyu, a silent movie actress who, at the age of 24, committed suicide, as she couldn't handle the intense media scrutiny of her personal life. The movie alternates between reenactments and discussions of the film by the cast and producers. There are also a few interviews with people who knew Lingyu.
It is an interesting format for a biopic; the film Reds used the same approach. I guess the format can't be done unless the film is over two and a half hours. I suppose the style worked, but I think I would have preferred just the reenactments. Like I said, Maggie Cheung was stunning here; she had a presence that made her stand out even when she was surrounded by other people. Maybe I should start spending two hours a day on my eyebrows...
I pretty much summed it up in my first paragraph: dull, but brilliantly cast. 150 movies to go! Okay, I swear I will stop with the countdown.
Maggie Cheung won Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival, making her the first Chinese actress to win a major European film award.