3 items from 2011
In 1981, ballet dancer Li Cunxin defected to the United States after a lifetime of training in the People’s Republic of China. Twenty-eight years later, his autobiography was adapted by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy) and became one of the highest-grossing Australian films of all time...too bad it wasn’t a better movie.
Mired by stolid direction and unimaginative filmmaking, Mao’s Last Dancer emotionlessly spells out its themes and plots in such a way that even its occasional dips into melodrama fail to evoke the eye-rolls they deserve. Much of the film unfolds in flashback, detailing Li’s childhood in an unnamed village of northeastern China and his adolescent training in Beijing.
Played as a teenager by Australian Ballet dancer Chengwu Guo and an adult by Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal Dancer Chi Cao, Li struggles with a lack of talent and must instead develop his skills through sheer »
Director: Bruce Beresford
The Scoop: The "Driving Miss Daisy" director tackles the true story of dancer Li Cunxin (Cao), a boy handpicked from a poor village to attend Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy and later the Houston Ballet Company. Li quickly learns to love his life in the U.S., appreciating his newfound stardom in the dance world, his personal and creative freedom and the blonde colleague he romances (Schull) before his impending return to China.
Special Features: Making-of featurette
Rated PG, 117 min. | Watch the trailer »
- NextMovie Staff
Mao’s Last Dancer, starring Chi Cao, Bruce Greenwood, Kyle MacLachlan and Shuangbao Wang, will be coming to DVD and Blu-ray on March 29, 2011 from 20th Century Fox. Director Bruce Beresford was noted on USA Network’s Character Approved Blog for his work in bringing the true story of dancer Li Cunxin to life.
Mao’s Last Dancer is a drama based on the autobiography by Li Cunxin. At the age of 11, Li was plucked from a poor Chinese village by Madame Mao’s cultural delegates and taken to Beijing to study ballet. In 1979, during a cultural exchange to Texas, he fell in love with an American woman. Two years later, he managed to defect and went on to perform as a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet and as a principal artist with the Australian Ballet.
Mao’s Last Dancer (Blu-ray)
Mao’s Last Dancer (DVD) »
- Buzzfocus Staff
3 items from 2011
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