• Frys.com #5129256
  • Manufacturer: Sony Pictures
  • UPC #043396179134
  • Model #17913



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    Curse of the Golden Flower [Blu-ray] WSE DD5.1

    Detailed Description
    (Manufacturer # 17913 )

      A dying love between two powerful people leads to deceit, infidelity, and conspiracy in this epic-scale historical drama from director Zhang Yimou. During the latter days of the Tang dynasty, the Emperor (Chow Yun-Fat) returns home from the war with his son Prince Jai (Jay Chou) in tow. However, the monarch gets a chilly reception from the Empress (Gong Li); though she's eager to see her son, her marriage has become deeply acrimonious, and she's taken a lover, Crown Prince Wan (Liu Ye), her stepson from the Emperor's first marriage. The Emperor, meanwhile, has his own plan for dealing with his failing marriage -- he's ordered the Imperial Doctor (Ni Dahong) to find an exotic drug that will drive the Empress insane and administer it to her without her knowledge. However, the doctor's ethical dilemma is intensified by the fact his daughter Chan (Li Man) has fallen in love with Crown Prince Wan and the two wish to elope. As the Emperor and Empress allow their estrangement to sink into violence and retribution, their youngest son, Prince Yu (Qin Junjie), struggles to keep the peace in the household. Curse of the Golden Flower (aka Man Cheng Jim Dai Huang Jin Jia) received its North American premiere at the 2006 American Film Institute Los Angeles Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    Movie Type
    Movie Level Themes
      Infidelity, Fathers and Sons, Schemes and Ruses, Crowned Heads, Dysfunctional Families
    Movie Level Tones
      Lavish, Sweeping, Decadent, Atmospheric

    DVD Features

    • Secrets within: Making-of featurette
    • Los Angeles premiere
    • 2006--Art Directors Guild, Huo Tingxiao-Winner
    • 2006--Boston Society of Film Critics, Zhao Xiaoding-Winner
    • 2006--Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Yee Chung-man-Nominee
    • 2006--New York Film Critics Society, Zhao Xiaoding-Winner
    • 2006--Costume Guild Awards, Yee Chung-man-Winner
    • 2006--National Society of Film Critics, Zhao Xiaoding-Nominee
    • 2006--Satellite Awards, Yee Chung-man-Nominee
    • 2006--Satellite Awards, Zhao Xiaoding-Nominee
    AMG Rating


      Curse of the Golden Flower has its work cut out for it in terms of audience expectations. It will disappoint viewers hoping for Chow Yun-Fat to take them on a high-kicking martial arts thrill ride, but if you go into the movie expecting more of a Shakespearian tragedy than a wushu adventure, this epic tale is sure to impress. While it's true that Golden Flower can feel stilted and murky compared to director Zhang Yimou's more enthralling movies like Hero and Raise the Red Lantern, it's still an incredibly textured, multi-dimensional narrative. The opulent costumes and art direction are dazzling enough to keep you transfixed, but as brooding as the mood can be, the story is still eloquent and moving. The twists and turns of who is double crossing whom can get a little confusing, but the film still manages to gracefully run the gamut from an intimate melodrama to a symbolic yarn about human nature. Both of these readings hinge on a plot about a tenth century Chinese royal family that struggles within the confines of the extremely insulated palace through poisonings, attempted coups, and possibly incestuous affairs. All that drama might sound a little too much like a soap opera, and sometimes it is, but the emphasis is on the opera. This is a larger-than-life fable about how the power and isolation of courtly life removes all frame of reference from the lives of royals, so that destructive acts of greater and greater excess and insanity become reasonable. Zhang does an excellent job of imparting that sequestered feeling, making the viewer feel just as confined as the characters, who are almost never depicted outside the narrow corridors, paper-thin walls, and overwhelming ornamentation of the palace. This is the same isolation that fuels a story like Hamlet, where only after their warped hate and paranoia leads most of the characters to kill each other off does the absurdity of the last two bloody hours hit home. While a literal translation of the film's original Chinese title is something along the lines of "The Whole City Is Covered in Golden Armor," the American-release title of the film is extremely telling with regard to the story's meaning. The gold chrysanthemum was a flower symbolic of nobleness and royalty in ancient China, and thus the inherent calamity, betrayal, and misfortune that befall those who wear the crown could easily be called the curse of the golden flower. It's a familiar tale, but a good one, especially when told with such style. ~ Cammila Albertson, Rovi


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