Curse of the Golden Flower

Curse of the Golden Flower

4.1 7
Director: Zhang Yimou

Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Gong Li, Jay Chou


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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) inSee more details below

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
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.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Secrets within: Making-of featurette; Los Angeles premiere

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Chow Yun-Fat Emperor Ping
Gong Li Empress Phoenix
Jay Chou Prince Jay
Liu Ye Crown Prince Wan
Chen Jin Mrs. Jang (Imperial Doctor's Wife)
Ni Dahong Imperial Physician Jiang
Li Man Jang Chan
Qin Junjie Prince Yu
Guo Changhui Actor
Feng Bai Actor
Li Ming Actor
Guo Jiukong Actor
Wang Cong Actor
Chen Xinhua Actor
Hong Zonghan Actor
Feng Dinghong Actor
Chen Xiaoyi Actor
Sun Menging Actor
Zhang Shihan Actor
Hou Jingkun Actor
Song Huiru Actor
Li Yufei Actor
Zhang Jiao Actor
Ge Dan Actor
Li Shuang Actor
Liu Shanshan Actor
Zhang Jihang Actor
Liu Wanting Actor
Wang Lanqi Actor
Hu Pan Actor
Yu Tingting Actor
Li Sisi Actor
Zhang Yu Actor
Liu Yang Actor
Li Lu Actor
Li Jingfei Actor
Ai Lisen Actor
Xi Sailan Actor
Yang Ziu-Neng Actor
Liu Weijie Actor
Zhang Wen Actor
Liu Shabai Actor
Liu Xiaohui Actor
Shu Aiqin Actor
Zeng Yali Actor
Li Junxi Actor
Li Xianjie Actor
Wang Jinbo Actor
Sun Quan Actor
Li Yang Actor
Zhu Guarangyu Actor
Yang Zeyu Actor
Wang Xingye Actor
Gao Yudong Actor
Jiang Houli Actor
Li Geng Actor
Liu Zhengeng Actor
Liu Lianyuan Actor
Shi Renshan Actor
Jiao Lianshi Actor
Cong Shusheng Actor
Ling Daiying Actor
Wang Hongsheng Actor
Zhang Hua Actor
Huo Guangxi Actor
Liu Chunyu Actor
Sheng Honglin Actor
Zhang Yide Actor
Zhang Ziaoqing Actor
Shi Chuan Actor
Mao Yangming Actor

Technical Credits
Zhang Yimou Director,Screenwriter
Dong Chengguang Art Director
Yee Chung-man Costumes/Costume Designer
Wen Deguang Camera Operator
Liu Guonan Asst. Director
Sun Hongwu Art Director
Liu Jianping Makeup
Tao Jing Sound/Sound Designer
Bill Kong Producer
Raymond Lam Camera Operator
Cheng Long Editor
Fu Lulu Asst. Director
Zong Minxuan Art Director
Wu Nan Screenwriter
Zang Qwu Asst. Director
Huo Tingxiao Production Designer
Ching Siu Tung Action Director
Shigeru Umebayashi Score Composer
Zhang Weiping Producer
Sun Wongwu Art Director
Zhao Xaoding Cinematographer
Zhao Xiaoding Cinematographer
Wei Xinhua Art Director
Liang Yu Asst. Director
Man Yun-ling Makeup
Zhang Zhenyan Associate Producer
Bian Zhihong Screenwriter
Ban Zhihong Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Curse of the Golden Flower
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16

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