Director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Ju Dou, Hero, House of the Flying Daggers) tells an epic story of love and sacrifice in THE FLOWERS OF WAR, starring Christian Bale and introducing Ni Ni. The film, set during Japan's 1937 invasion of China, is told from a young girl's point of view, not as a history lesson, but as an intimate, elemental and paradoxically universal celebration of the human spirit. Bale stars as a dissolute Westerner who seeks refuge in a Catholic church. There he meets a beautiful Chinese courtesan who helps him rescue a group of schoolgirls from a terrible fate at the hands of the Japanese.
- Zhang Yimou
- Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Zhang Xinyi, Huang Tianyuan, Tong Dawei, Atsuro Watabe, Shigeo Kobayashi, Cao Kefan
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
Zhang Yimou revisits the Nanjing massacre of 1937 by making something resembling a backstage musical, with breaks for the occasional ghastly murder or rape.Mike Hale, New York Times, 12.20.2011
"Flowers" abounds with well-worn movie archetypes and slathers on schmaltz.Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times, 12.22.2011
I can't get it out of my thoughts, and I recommend it highly.Rex Reed, New York Observer, 01.17.2012
A strange hybrid of "City of Life and Death" and "Father Goose" that nevertheless, in the hands of Zhang Yimou, musters a few striking moments.Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Inquirer, 01.19.2012