Tuesday, December 20, 2011

'The Flowers of War' review

The Flowers of War is the second Chinese production to hit the U.S. this year about the Nanjing Massacre. The first was the brilliant, unforgettable City of Life and Death. The latest is The Flowers of War, the mediocre new drama from director Zhang Yimou and star Christian Bale. You can't fault the intentions, but you sure can fault the execution, which has a lot to do with Zhang's overly bombastic, spectacle-rich storytelling style. Everything's too operatic, too showy -- and yet, weirdly, it hardly resonates at all. I reviewed The Flowers of War for The Village Voice.