A Chinese empress (Gong Li) has an affair with her stepson (Liu Ye), while her cruel husband (Chow Yun-Fat) is secretly having her poisoned.
" ...A spectacle for the eyes and for the soul. "
" Basically, the movie is soap opera done on a grand opera scale -- more Dynasty than Later Tang Dynasty. The immensity of Zhang's vision is eyepopping. Imagine several football fields worth of shimmering golden chrysanthemums. "
" Curse is straightforward and solemn, lacking not for spectacle but for humor and a humanizing touch. "
" Director Zhang Yimou is aiming for glorious visual, kinetic and emotional overload, and he delivers the goods. "
" For all the swordplay and martial-arts fisticuffs, Curse is its most delirious as a lavish argument for the soap opera's roots in Greek tragedy. "
" If looks were all it took to thrill, this opulent, near-operatic historical pageant would rank with Zhang Yimou's last two epics. "
" It's big, it's beautiful, and you won't leave the theater feeling cheated, no matter how much of a letdown the finale might be. "
" It's operatic in its feeling and there's a lot going on here. And there's murders and betrayals, and affairs that are illicit, and women on horse-back and great fight scenes. "
" The melodrama here is of a sort seldom taken seriously outside Shakespeare's tragedies, and the final body count rivals Hamlet in its royal bloodletting. "
" The morbid grandiosity of Curse of the Golden Flower is its own distinctive accomplishment, another remarkable chapter in the career of Asia's most important living filmmaker. "
" The year's most operatic and visually lavish film. "
" This spectacularly decorated movie offers the enjoyment of watching Zhang chronicle the lives of one very nutty family. It also allows Zhang to load every inch of the screen with images so full that you half expect them to collapse under their own weight. "
" Curse of the Golden Flower is a watchable soap opera, but its marching-band martial-arts scenes are little more than weakly staged retreads of the ones in Zhang's Hero. "
" Make no mistake, all is epic, violent, bloody madness once the director hits his stride, and fans of Zhang's work will not want to miss Curse of the Golden Flower. But brush strokes are amiss here. "
" To put a point to it, the lavish period costumes, operatic mise-en-scene and ceremonial grandeur of Curse of the Golden Flower clashes fatally with the nuanced nastiness of modern marital discord. "
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