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Mao's Last Dancer (2009)
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Mao's Last Dancer (2009)

PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  1 October 2010 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 5,764 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 51 user | 81 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chi Cao ...
...
Penne Hackforth-Jones ...
Cynthia Dodds
...
Mason (as Chris Kirby)
...
Madeleine Eastoe ...
Lori
...
Dilworth
Wen Bin Huang ...
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 | Add 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

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Release Date:

1 October 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El prodigio  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$199,657 (USA) (20 August 2010)

Gross:

$4,806,750 (USA) (3 December 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Schull, Amanda who plays Li's wife Elizabeth--the American dancer who leaves him to audition for the San Francisco Ballet--was herself a member of the SF corps de ballet until she retired in 2006. 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: I carry a picture of them wherever I go. And when I dance, I dance for them
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Maltin on Movies: The Switch (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The East Is Red
Written by Li You Yuan and Li Huna Zhi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hits all the right notes!
28 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's by no means the perfect film; however, when it works, your heart will soar, and you might start believing in the magic of movies again. It's been a great year for showcasing classical music, framing it with hilarious comedy, such as "Le Concert", and now with the beauty and exuberance of ballet in "Mao's Last Dancer", a beautifully told real-life story of a man who opens his mind, heart, and see his dreams come true.

Raised in Communist China, a young man's strong and determined spirit make him climb higher and higher in the competitive world of ballet. With his true and remarkable talents, he conquers obstacle after obstacle, while being lucky enough to have some key people's love and support behind him. Still, it's not an easy journey to fame and fortune.

Somehow, his experiences in Houston are presented a little bit too sanitized, as he assimilates rather quickly into a very foreign universe for him. This is after all, Texas, and he briefly mentions to some derogatory comments, which are rather quickly brushed away by his mentor.

There are some gorgeous moments in the film, mostly involving the presentation of his astounding talents, and some emotional, climatic scenes that are bound to leave everyone in the audience misty-eyed. Bruce Beresford is back again in top form and it's very likely he will be mentioned later on in the year's award race for this is a theme he knows very well: Human spirit's indefatigable power. Be warned, this film will move you and probably lead you to believe just that.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Li is a horrible horrible person mablecheng1981
Great film apart from one terrible scene... feilidh_dwyer
Why Ballet?? mail-3288
Simplistic Anti China- Western propaganda film endecottp
Bruce Greenwood's performance gwendyloo
Loved it! Meira78
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