7.4/10
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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

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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

Chi Cao's parents were two of Cunxin Li's former teachers at the Beijing Dance Academy. Li wanted Cao to portray him. See more »

Goofs

A scene in a bar has Cunxin talking with a friend who offers Cunxin a Pepsi. Cunxin takes a sip, then lets the straw fall into the bottle. When the shot cuts to the reverse, the straw is sticking out a long way from the bottle without being held. When the shot cuts back, the straw is down again. See more »

Quotes

Li - as an adult: In China, not so easy. Tell you what to do, where to go, what can say
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Connections

Referenced in Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (2011) 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

 
Not your average dance film.
23 January 2010 | by See all my reviews

Diane and I saw this excellent movie at Paradiso in Northbridge two days ago and we both were entranced by the beauty and sensitivity of Mao's Last Dancer. I admit that I was none too anxious about seeing this film about dancing but after the opening scenes in rural China and a quick cut to Li Cunxin and early dance years and I had become a total fan of the movie. Beresford's direction married to the acting and dancing ability of Chi Cao result in a movie about dance but that theme is only the canvas upon which this moving and quite dramatic story unfolds. The resulting movie is far, far more complex than I thought as I entered the theatre. Yes, of course, the ballet sequences are glorious to watch but this film, as I said, is not just about dancing. The script explores international politics, domestic trauma, family bonds, interpersonal tension and these are only my random memories. At the start of the film, I could not believe that so many hugely dramatic instances could flow from the life of a young man born into less than salubrious circumstances in rural China. There are many different scenes; Beresford edited the film in fast sequences and the total is amazingly complicated; I am in awe of such a complex life so richly lived. Put Mao's Last Dancer on your must-see list!


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