金陵十三钗 (The Flowers of War) @ IFC Palace (HK)

张艺谋的 Nanjing massacre's epic is in one word: almost. It almost reaches greatness. It almost makes you cry. It almost is too violent. A blatantly anti-Japanese movie that shoe-boxed the Japanese to be cruel, lascivious and brutal, Americans to be self-centred and selfish and the Chinese to be brave, self-less and loyal. The ultimate prostitute-with-a-heart-of-gold story that if was true, then is really amazing! There were a few scenes by Yimou that stood out and it really can stir up the Nationalistic pride of a billion people! However, it is the scenes within the church confines, especially between the 十三钗 and the girls that are best played. 倪妮 was a revelation and I do hope she can grow and shine further and be the next 巩俐. Christian Bale's character arc was not well developed but he did a good job towards the end of conveying his motivation for his actions. When Joshua Bell's violin solos come on, you know more than just violin strings will be pulled. It is good that the left certain parts ambiguous; gives a glimmer of hope for mankind.

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