Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: Yao a Yao Yao Dao Waipo Qiao
France/China, 1995. Alpha Films, La Sept Cinéma, Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement International, Shanghai Film Studios, Union Générale Cinématographique. Screenplay by Bi Feiyu, based on the novel by Li Xiao. Cinematography by Yue Lu. Produced by Yves Marmion, Jean-Louis Piel, Yigong Wu. Music by Guangtian Zhang. Production Design by Juiping Cao. Costume Design by Huamiao Tong. Film Editing by Yuan Du. Academy Awards 1995. Cannes Film Festival 1995. Golden Globe Awards 1995.
Gorgeous period piece by Hong Kong master filmmaker Zhang Yimou. A young boy is brought from the rural Chinese countryside to live with a gangster relative in his swanky Shanghai mansion. He is appointed the personal servant of his boss’s spoiled mistress (Li Gong), answering her beck and call every time she needs her slightest whim to be appeased. At first hating this selfish woman who treats him like a stupid bumpkin, the boy gradually learns to understand her and between them a friendship is struck. Things get heated up when the little family has to hide out on a secluded island to avoid a planned assassination on the boss. Impeccably photographed by Lu Yue, this is a heartbreaking tale full of rich characters and sumptuous emotions.