7.4/10
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53 user 84 critic

Mao's Last Dancer (2009)

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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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (autobiography)
6 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Penne Hackforth-Jones ...
Cynthia Dodds
...
Mason (as Chris Kirby)
...
Betty Lou
Madeleine Eastoe ...
Lori
...
Dilworth
Wen Bin Huang ...
Li - as a child
Shu Guang Liang ...
Jing Tring - 8 yrs
Ye Wang ...
Cunfar - 14 yrs
Neng Neng Zhang ...
Gong Mei
Wan Shi Xu ...
Shen Yu
Shao Wei Yi ...
Yang Ping
Hui Cong Zhan ...
Teacher Song
Ji Feng Sun ...
Headmaster
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Storyline

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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Before You Can Fly You Have To Be Free.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for a brief violent image, some sensuality, language and incidental smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

1 October 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El prodigio  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

AUD 2,754,617 (Australia), 4 October 2009, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$199,657, 22 August 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,806,750, 5 December 2010
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Chen and Cunxin Li share similar experiences in life: both were born in 1961, they were picked at a young age to pursue an artistic career and they both came to the United States in 1981. See more »

Goofs

The Company headquarters and studios, as depicted by the Sydney Carriage House, was a far ritzier set of digs than the Academy had in the early 1980s. At the time it was a small white half of a strip mall on Colquitt near the intersection of Kirby Drive and Richmond Avenue, which from the outside looked relatively crowded. A more spacious venue they obtained some years later. See more »

Quotes

Li - as an adult: Um... this all me?
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Connections

Featured in Huckabee: Episode dated 25 September 2010 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Giselle
Written by Adolphe Adam (As A. Adam) and Friedrich Burgmüller (asF. Burgmuller)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Bruce Beresford masterpiece
26 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

This cineaste and balletomane had given up many years ago any hope of ever seeing the dance rendered adequately on film. Enter Bruce Beresford. I suppose every ladies' book club in the English-speaking world has read Mao's Last Dancer, so if you wanted to make a film based on that autobiography, you'd first have to find a brave director. Well, this is it. Linking together life in desolate inner China and a sophisticated western world has been done before. But there is an emotional story here, and the casting agencies deserve enormous credit for finding such competent people. I mean, do you find an actor and teach him to dance, or do you get a dancer to act? Whatever; the lead in this film can dance very well indeed, and his acting is more than competent. I won't retell the story. Just let it be said, that at the performance I saw, most of the audience sat through the credits. Those who left early looked mystifed by the applause. A ladies' book club cum chick flick? I think not. Sure, the tissues were out, but this is one surely exciting film.


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