|Gong Li's performance is only one reason to love this film.|
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Produced by Fu-Sheng Chiu
Written by Ni Zhen (screenplay); Su Tong (novel)
Starring Gong Li, He Caifei, Cao Cuifeng, Jin Shuyuan and Ma Jingwu
Plot Summary: A young woman becomes a rich man's wife and competes with his other wives for his attention.
Significance: One of Zhang Yimou's most popular films, it was featured in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (tied at #174 in the directors' one). It was even nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, and it won the BAFTA for Best Film not in the English Language.
Thoughts: This engaging period drama showcases a fantastic leading performance by Gong Li. He Caifei and Cao Cuifeng also deliver great performances as two of the competitive wives. Just watching the actresses play these interesting characters is enjoyable. Not unlike other Yimou films, the production values are first-rate, with lavish production design, costume work and cinematography. It's a colorful film with fine direction and excellent performances. If it sounds intriguing, I'd strongly recommend giving it a look.