MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 225 this week

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  23 December 2005 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 111,243 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 543 user | 233 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 12 Nov 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 02 Feb 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 03 Jun 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 06 Nov 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 01 Mar 2014
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Memoirs of a Geisha.

User Polls

Won 3 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A romantic police captain breaks a beautiful member of a rebel group out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman's daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.

Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Li Gong, Jay Chou
Hero (2002)
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Jet Li, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two ex-lovers work together to win back their lost loves, but not everything goes according to plan.

Director: Eva Jin
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Bingbing Fan, Ji-seob So
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A British medical doctor fights a cholera epidemic in a small Chinese village, while being trapped at home in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful wife.

Director: John Curran
Stars: Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In Shanghai, an aging socialite's infatuation with her ex-boyfriend manifests itself as a risky game, where her former lover agrees to seduce, then abandon a naive young woman.

Director: Jin-ho Hur
Stars: Cecilia Cheung, Dong-gun Jang, Ziyi Zhang
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Thomas Ikeda ...
...
Hatsumomo (as Gong Li)
...
...
...
David Okihiro ...
Shamisen Teacher
Miyako Tachibana ...
Dance Teacher
Kotoko Kawamura ...
Granny
...
Koichi
...
Korin
Edit

Storyline

In 1929 an impoverished nine-year-old named Chiyo from a fishing village is sold to a geisha house in Kyoto's Gion district and subjected to cruel treatment from the owners and the head geisha Hatsumomo. Her stunning beauty attracts the vindictive jealousy of Hatsumomo, until she is rescued by and taken under the wing of Hatsumomo's bitter rival, Mameha. Under Mameha's mentorship, Chiyo becomes the geisha named Sayuri, trained in all the artistic and social skills a geisha must master in order to survive in her society. As a renowned geisha she enters a society of wealth, privilege, and political intrigue. As World War II looms Japan and the geisha's world are forever changed by the onslaught of history. Written by dumpster_cakes

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature subject matter and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 December 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Memorias de una geisha  »

Box Office

Budget:

$85,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$85,436 (South Africa) (5 May 2006)

Gross:

$213,303 (South Africa) (26 May 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The makeup the Geishas wear early in this movie is less traditional and more modern so that it translates to a more modern audience; a Geisha of the time rarely ever fully painted her lips, and would either paint the bottom lip, just the top, or partially the center of both. The full painting of lips did not come until after the forties and the fifties, with the increase of Western culture and style. See more »

Goofs

When Hatsumomo and Pumpkin are leaving on the night of Pumpkin's debut, neither Mother nor Auntie spark flint on their backs. A Geisha would never leave her okiya without this act being performed as it was believed it brought good luck. See more »

Quotes

Narrator (Old Sayuri): The winter I turned fifteen I saw the chairman again, but that wasn't the only surprise fate brought me that season. Along with the snow came a most unexpected visitor.
Mother: Why is she here? Chiyo, Chiyo, open the gate!
[motioning for her to open the door and straigtening herself before going to her table]
Mameha: Now that your beloved granny has gone you have no need for a maid.
Mother: I would never question the great Mameha, but you could choose anyone in the Hanamachi.
Mameha: You flatter me, truly.
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Ginza No Yanagi
(1932)
Music by Shinpei Nakayama (as Shimpei Nakayama)
Lyrics by Yaso Saijo
Performed by Fumiko Yotsuya
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Duel in the Rising Sun
13 December 2005 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Looking over previous comments here, it is clear that this is a very polarizing movie experience, one that seems to put "Syriana" to shame in that realm. Director Rob Marshall has taken a best selling novel and turned out a feature film that it appears some people love and some absolutely hate. Count me in the first category, but allow me to indulge the critics, too.

First, this isn't a typical Hollywood film. Despite popular western misconceptions about Geishas, there's no sex, almost no violence and beyond that, there's nearly two and a half hours of women's problems that many men may find hard to relate to. This is not "Desperate Housewives" or even "All my Children." This is about deceit, treachery and rivalries as much as it is about a little girl who gets sold into bondage by her impoverished Japanese family. Its also about a lifelong search for love in a society in which people apparently can't just step up and make frank declarations of devotion to one another. This movie is in a word "complicated" and that is going to turn some American movie goers off.

But not all Asian film fans are raving about this movie either, some thinking it is a very superficial look at Japnese customs and others incensed that a movie that's about an important Japanese tradition should star three Chinese actresses. I cannot comment on either topic, since I know little or nothing about Japanese tradition and I don't know why Ziyi Zhang, Michelle Yoeh and Gong Li were cast. They have been seen before by American audiences, but are hardly film stars in this country, so it wasn't as if they were going to draw in tons of fans on their names alone.

The only thing I can think of is, all three are fine actresses and they more than proved that in this film. If Gong Li does not get a best supporting actress nomination, there's no justice. And Zhang should probably get a crack at best actress for her work, as well.

All three just light up the screen.

But, I can understand in this age of political correctness, how some would be offended by the casting and how others might complain about the handling of the Japanese subject matter.

All I can say is, movie makers face trade offs and one is either targeting your film to a mass audience (and in America, that means a generally poorly educated audience) or "narrow casting" your film to people very well acquainted with the topic who will swoop down on any flaw. But that, when dealing with a topic like Japanese geisha culture, is a pretty small audience in America, too small to generate the kind of box office a film like this needs to pull in to pay for itself. From a purely Anglo, American, unschooled in Japanese culture standpoint, I think Marshall made good decisions. I hope he has not slighted Japanese culture too much, but I think he has made a suspenseful, captivating, enchanting film that does something a lot of films haven't in recent years.

He gave us a complex central character we can pull for throughout the film and for that, I thank him.

"Memoirs of a Geisha" ranks among my five best films of the year thus far, and deserves a best picture nomination.


399 of 528 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
quick question on the book and similar films to this? midi_1234
I pitied Hatsumomo. Rowan222
culturally clueless film based off a culturally clueless book. chrisl84notpia
Chinese and Japanese theNakedtruth96
who do you think is more beautiful? black_blizzzzard
Is this movie worth watching at all? cadademon
Discuss Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?