6.9/10
1,844
8 user 44 critic

I Am Not Madame Bovary (2016)

Wo bu shi Pan Jin Lian (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 18 November 2016 (China)
Trailer
1:34 | Trailer
After being swindled by her ex-husband, a woman takes on the Chinese legal system.

Director:

Xiaogang Feng

Writer:

Zhenyun Liu
27 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Youth (2017)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A look at the lives of members of a Military Cultural Troupe in the 1970s.

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: Xuan Huang, Miao Miao, Caiyu Yang
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Over the course of several decades, a deal between the Japanese army and criminals in Shanghai plays out with violence and betrayal.

Director: Er Cheng
Stars: You Ge, Ziyi Zhang, Tadanobu Asano
Mr. Six (2015)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A well respected man residing in what's left of old-Beijing attempts to exonerate his son from his wrongdoings with his own methods and beliefs.

Director: Hu Guan
Stars: Xiaogang Feng, Hanyu Zhang, Qing Xu
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Qin Fen, a funny, honest, single inventor, met a girl called Smiley, who was in agony of her boyfriend's betrayal. They traveled to Hokkaido, tried to help Smiley cure her pain in heart, ... See full summary »

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: You Ge, Qi Shu, Wei Fan
Cell Phone (2003)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Follows the story of a television host who's hidden so much personal and secret information on his phone, that when it gets out, catastrophe strikes.

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: You Ge, Fan Xu, Guoli Zhang
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A con-team couple (Andy Lau & Rene Liu) head west after taking a city businessman for his BMW. But an encounter with a naive young carpenter travelling home with his life savings challenges their fate as thieves.

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: Andy Lau, Rene Liu, Baoqiang Wang
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Four friends come up with an unusual idea to make some money and have fun doing it. For a small fee, they will impersonate and act out any character role for their customers. In the course ... See full summary »

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: You Ge, Xiaogang Feng, Wei Chen
Mr. Donkey (2016)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In an effort to draw more funding from the government, faculty members of a rural Chinese school try to pass off an uneducated laborer as a qualified teacher.

Directors: Lu Liu, Shen Zhou
Stars: Suxi Ren, Li Da, Shuailiang Liu
Back to 1942 (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A deadly drought in 1942 takes its toll on central China's Henan province during the war against Japan.

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: Guoli Zhang, Hanyu Zhang, Wei Fan
Da wan (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Yankie director Don Tyler faces mounting insecurity and declining health while on location in Beijing, so his assistant hires down-and-out camerman YoYo to take the reins. Scrambling, ... See full summary »

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Rosamund Kwan, Paul Mazursky
Sorry Baby (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The honest and kind taxi driver Han Dong rent his car to the boss of a travel agency Ruan Dawei all year long. However Ruan defaults his overdue 90000-yuan rental to Han all the time for a ... See full summary »

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: You Ge, Chien-Lien Wu, Biao Fu
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two people from Beijing working in Los Angeles whose paths constantly cross in a foreign city attempt to balance work with friendship/love in spite of mounting disasters each time they meet.

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: You Ge, Fan Xu, Bobby C. King
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Chengpeng Dong ... Wang Gongdao (as Da Peng)
Bingbing Fan ... Li Xuelian
Wei Fan ... Guo Nong (as Fan Wei)
Xiaogang Feng ... Narrator
Tao Guo ... Zhao Datou
Zonghan Li ... Qin Yuhe (as Li Zonghan)
Hua Liu ... Lao Hu (as Liu Hua)
Hai Tao Hai Tao
Hewei Yu Hewei Yu ... Zheng Zhong (as Yu Hewei)
Jia-yi Zhang ... Ma Wenbin (as Zhang Jiayi)
Yi Zhang ... Jia Congming (as Zhang Yi)
Lixin Zhao ... Shi Weimin (as Zhao Lixin)
Edit

Storyline

Having no other option, Li Xuelian, a poorly educated villager, and her husband Qin Yuhe agree to fake a divorce. However, during the couple's separation, Qin falls in love with another woman--and as if his divorce with Li was real--he decides to move on with his life, leaving the jilted former spouse out in the cold. Under those circumstances and in the dreadful position of being denounced as a Pan Jinlian--a 17th-century Chinese adulteress who conspired with her partner to kill her husband--Li sets off on a legal crusade to clear her name. But even though Li is undoubtedly determined, on the other hand, she is nothing but a small nuisance in a sluggish and bureaucratic system where, sometimes, ants can become elephants. In the end, how long can a single woman hold on against an entire government? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

18 November 2016 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

I Am Not Madame Bovary See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$181,552, 20 November 2016

Gross USA:

$436,798

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$70,826,207
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (after the censorship)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

Circular
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is presented in a round frame, not the conventional 4 frames. See more »

Quotes

Leader: A sesame seed has become a watermelon.
[pause]
Leader: An ant has become an elephant.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
we must hand it to Feng Xiaogang and co. for braving a hornet's nest with vigor, style and a hard-earned discretion
12 March 2019 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

Madame Bovary might feel slightly flummoxed why her name is in the English title of Chinese populism taste-maker Feng Xiaogang's 16th feature, literally, its Chinese original title means "I am not Pan Jinlian", Ms. Pan is a notorious woman in Song Dynasty, an adulteress in cahoots with her paramour murdered her husband by poison, whose enormity might even make Madame Bovary's countenance color, as far as occidental analogy goes, the transposition looks wobbly.

Based on novelist Liu Zhenyun's 2012 novel, the film bracingly tackles China's contemporary realism by centering around a woman hailed from a rustic backwater, Li Xuelian (Fan), who is ignorant but particularly ornery. After the fake divorce scheme of her and her husband Qin Yuhe (Li Zonghan), to the ostensible purpose of acquiring a second property for the family (taking advantage of the loophole of current policies), unexpectedly backfires, Qin gets the property and on a moment's notice, remarries with another woman and leaves his ex-wife in the lurch. The hoodwinked and aggrieved Li takes on the legal recourse, to first, annul their fake divorce, then officially authenticate a real divorce from Qin, so that she can get the justice she thinks she deserves.

Of course, Li's case is a nonstarter from the legal point, as they are legally divorced, and further exasperated by Qin's insult of her being not a virgin when they were married, Li takes her petition to scale up the entire bureaucratic hierarchy to no avail (shunned by officials and sent to re-education camps), until an off-screen plea with the communist party leader (Gao) during the annual NPC (National People's Congress) meeting in Beijing, which leads the latter to deliver an impassioned homily denouncing the bureaucratic malfeasance and the lack of trust between officials and the vast mass, and many have to walk the plank in the aftermath.

After that, the narrative fast-forwards a decade later, during which, Li continues her crusade relentlessly, and on the eve of another NPC meeting, after consecutive visits from local officials, from the judge Wang Gongdao (Dong), county magistrate Zheng Zhong (Yu) to provincial governor Ma Wenbin (Zhang Jiayi), even she promises she will not petition this time, they refuse to take her at her word, provoked by a wanton demand of writing a guarantee, Li thinks better of it, and again embarks on a journey to Beijing with the help of her admirer Zhao Datou (Guo), which prompts the entire province to act in unison to prevent her reaching the destination, only in the end, after another significant deception from the stronger sex (she totally falls for the honey trap and reluctantly puts out, a borderline rape is a passing note), it only takes a morbid accident (or a man-made one to a cynical mind) to put the kibosh on Li's decade-long endeavor once and for all.

Visually, Feng ups the ante with a unique frame system, most of the time, the film is fixed within a round frame (capturing the scenic composition with Feng's usual keen sense), only when the scene takes place in Beijing and its environs, the frame goes square, a masterstroke that differentiates the local sector's slippery evasion and the central government's rigid authority, only in the epilogue, years later, Li finally makes peace with her situation, the frame reaches wide screen, during a one-on-one with a former county officer She Weimin (Zhao Lixin), who is deposed in the wake of her action, she lets on the real season of her bloody-minded petition, but in this reviewer's ear, it sags the overall impact, to pat imputes hoisted-by-her-own-petard decision to the one-child policy is a disservice at that point, more achingly inconsistent is that Li has no one single scene with her unseen child through and through, Feng's last-ditch attempt to garnish sympathy to a character who has been as yet rigorously flouted our compassion is a sorry mistake.

Mega-star Fan Bingbing painstakingly emulates Gong Li's deglamorizing tour-de-force in Zhang Yimou's THE STORY OF QIUJU (1992), a more sincere story about a simple-minded woman seeking justice against a patriarchal polity, physically exerted to a hilt and emotionally drained, she is nevertheless betrayed by wavering accent. However, sparks fly among the all-male supporting cast (even a cameo from veteran Fan Wei is spot-on for the ironic tone), among which, Zhang Jiayi is particularly eloquent as the senior governor who totally masks his stance on the issue with patient token mannerism which certainly rings a bell for Chinese audience.

After all, I AM NOT MADAME BOVARY is not a Manichaean retake of a wronged individual versus a corrupt Establishment to a gratifying outcome, but a more judicious overview of a society afflicted by the chasm between ordinary folks and functionaries, a deficiency of empathy to those who are mistreated, only appeal for some reasoning to justify their misery, yet, to most public servants, they are threats of their well-paid positions, the canker is down to the bone, and we must hand it to Feng Xiaogang and co. for braving a hornet's nest with vigor, style and a hard-earned discretion.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed