Memoirs Of A Geisha

Memoirs Of A GeishaBB

(out of 5)


Shallow, endless adaptation of Arthur Golden’s unbelievably successful bestseller, with as a poor young Japanese girl who is taken from her home as a child and sold into the home of a geisha when her mother dies. Raised as a servant girl, she is eventually taken under the wing of mentor  (who is superb) and turned into the country’s most celebrated geisha. This creates nothing but bloody enmity with the reigning queen of the night,  (who is, as always, ravishing), and their feud threatens Zhang’s happiness and livelihood at every step. Meanwhile, our heroine has been nursing a secret love for a politician () whose giving her a kind word as a child has now turned into a lifelong obsession. Their chemistry is absolute zilch and definitely not worth the payoff at the end of this boring two hour-plus trek, but the same can be said of all the relationships here. The wooden script can’t get any real passion out of the actresses, who do some terrific work but don’t overcome the awkward English dialogue being spoken in stilted accents. Director Rob Marshall (Chicago) does a terrific job of making everything look beautiful, it’s one of the most eye-popping spectacles of its year, but the airheaded dramatic content owes more of its style and technique to the exotic Josef von Sternberg melodramas of the thirties than to anything resembling Ozu or Mizoguchi.


Columbia Pictures Corporation, DreamWorks, Spyglass Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment, Red Wagon Entertainment

USA, 2005

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the book by

Cinematography by

Produced by , ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by


Academy Awards
Best Art Direction (art direction: John Myhre; set decoration: Gretchen Rau)
Best Cinematography (Dion Beebe)
Best Costume Design (Colleen Atwood)

Nominations
Best Music (Original Score) (John Williams)
Best Sound Editing (Wylie Stateman)
Best Sound Mixing (Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell, Rick Kline, John Pritchett)

Golden Globe Award
Best Original Score-Motion Picture (John Williams)

Nomination
Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama (Ziyi Zhang)


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