15 August 2013 1:29 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Wong Kar-Wai's "The Grandmaster," now being officially presented by Martin Scorsese, is getting an ambitious release from the Weinstein Company, taking the chance that subtitles won't be a barrier in reaching a wider audience. Moviegoers have not had much access to high-budget prestige martial arts films since Ang Lee's spectacular 2000 success with "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." With all the recent major hits from the Weinstein Company (while French, silent "The Artist" was less foreign), one area that that hasn't quite replicated earlier Miramax success is subtitled films. In its heyday in the 1990s, the company transformed the normally limited market for foreign language pictures, starting with "Cinema Paradiso" in 1990 and then later "Il Postino," which both grossed over $10 million (a rare achievement today, even with higher ticket prices), and prestige successes like "Farewell My Concubine" and Kieslowski's "Three Colors" series. Miramax peaked with Roberto Begnini's »

- Tom Brueggemann

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