Curse of the Golden Flower (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)



Critic Consensus: Melodrama, swordplay, and CG armies -- fans of martial arts epic will get what they bargain for, though the baroque art direction can be both mesmerizing and exhaustively excessive.

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Movie Info

A dying love between two powerful people leads to deceit, infidelity, and conspiracy in this epic-scale historical drama from director Zhang Yimou. During the latter days of the Tang dynasty, the Emperor (Chow Yun-Fat) returns home from the war with his son Prince Jai (Jay Chou) in tow. However, the monarch gets a chilly reception from the Empress (Gong Li); though she's eager to see her son, her marriage has become deeply acrimonious, and she's taken a lover, Crown Prince Wan (Liu Ye), her stepson from the Emperor's first marriage. The Emperor, meanwhile, has his own plan for dealing with his failing marriage -- he's ordered the Imperial Doctor (Ni Dahong) to find an exotic drug that will drive the Empress insane and administer it to her without her knowledge. However, the doctor's ethical dilemma is intensified by the fact his daughter Chan (Li Man) has fallen in love with Crown Prince Wan and the two wish to elope. As the Emperor and Empress allow their estrangement to sink into violence and retribution, their youngest son, Prince Yu (Qin Junjie), struggles to keep the peace in the household. Curse of the Golden Flower (aka Man Cheng Jim Dai Huang Jin Jia) received its North American premiere at the 2006 American Film Institute Los Angeles Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R (for violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Wang Bin, Yimou Zhang, Wu Nan, Bian Zhihong
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 27, 2007
Box Office: $6.5M
Sony Classic Pictures - Official Site

News & Interviews for Curse of the Golden Flower

Critic Reviews for Curse of the Golden Flower

All Critics (136) | Top Critics (44)

To put a point to it, the lavish period costumes, operatic mise-en-scène and ceremonial grandeur of Curse of the Golden Flower clashes fatally with the nuanced nastiness of modern marital discord.

Full Review… | January 17, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

Lavish, grim, magnificent; a robust successor to Zhang's recent martial arts epics, characterised by similarly baroque spectacle and tragedy.

Full Review… | November 16, 2012
Empire Magazine Australasia

Zhang Yimou serves up a sumptuous sensory feast with spectacular set pieces and--crucially--the story, characters, and connection to back it up.

Full Review… | January 21, 2012

Zhang's beauty is one of furious defiance

Full Review… | August 28, 2009

Um épico que não apenas se encaixa no clima mítico e fantástico do gênero wuxia pian como ainda traz toques claramente shakespeareanos em sua trama repleta de traições e lutas sangrentas por um trono real (ou, neste caso, imperial).

Full Review… | January 16, 2008
Cinema em Cena

Mucho brillo y color y poca sustancia dramática en esta tragedia épica que emula tanto a Shakespeare como a Kurosawa. Vale la pena sólo por su aspecto visual y, sobre todo, por la siempre intensa Gong Li.

Full Review… | September 17, 2007
Uruguay Total

Audience Reviews for Curse of the Golden Flower


Shakespeare would have been proud. The mix of incest, murder, betrayal and tyranny easily could have been part of one of his dramas. In this historical Chinese piece it's portrayed in the most visually pleasing style imaginable. The palaces, clothes, props are full of details and colors. The feast for the eyes never manages to make you care for anything that's going on, sadly. The dysfunctional family's story is way too complicated and unlikable for that. There isn't even all that much action until the showdown suddenly gets a lot more epic than expected. Only the assassin attacks are really awesome. Other than that: visually pleasing but ultimately unimportant.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Okay, right off the bat, A++++ for color. No lie there. Like, Hands Down winner there. Along with costume, set design, and props. FAN-tastic.
I think where this story lost it was the overall pacing and story. The first hour had some small nice fight scenes and then lots and lots of talk. And the ending was quite bloody. However I feel as though what happened here was there may have been some back story that was cut. And that's never good. Other takes and scenes were quite long. Too long, really.
Still, it gets 3 stars for color alone. Another star because I like Yun-Fat Chow and Li Gong. And keep in mind, if you are in dire need for a visual LSD party for your eyes.... WATCH THIS!!

Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

Wow, what a visually amazing work of cinematography. And talk about your proverbial cast of thousands. The climactic battle scene is just beyond epic. I don't think I've ever seen war portrayed quite this way. A very fluid mass of humanity pours across the screen, like two liquids, oil and water maybe, jockeying for position. I love both Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li, and they do not disappoint as the two heavyweight fighters exchanging power punches in a battle of wills. Love and hate, jealousy, intrigue, poisoning, murder, incest, fratricide -- this is Greek tragedy, this is Shakespeare, this is all kinds of hallmark tragic traditions rolled into one pretty tight script. Definitely worth seeing.

Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

Curse of the Golden Flower Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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