Flowers of Shanghai (Hai shang hua) (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Flowers of Shanghai (Hai shang hua) (1998)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Flowers of Shanghai (Hai shang hua) Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Shanghai, the 1880s, four elegant brothels (flower houses): each has an auntie (the madam), a courtesan in her prime, older servants, and maturing girls in training. The men gather around tables of food, playing drinking games. An opium pipe is at hand. The women live within dark-paneled walls. The atmosphere is stifling, as if Chekov was in China. The melancholy Wang is Crimson's patron; will he leave her for the younger Jasmin? Emerald schemes to buy her freedom, aided by Luo, a patron. Pearl, an aging flower, schools the willful Jade, who thinks she has a marriage agreement with young master Zhu. Is she dreaming? Women fade, or connive, or despair.more
Rating: Unrated (adult situations)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: T'ien-wen Chu
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 14, 2001
Wellspring Media Inc.


Tony Leung Chiu Wai
as Wang Lingsheng
Michiko Hada
as Crimson
Annie Shizuka Inoh
as Golden Flower
Lin Yu-han
as Treasure
Simon Chang
as Zhu Shuren
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Flowers of Shanghai (Hai shang hua)

Critic Reviews for Flowers of Shanghai (Hai shang hua)

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (7)

The film opens with a brilliant seven-minute take; the languid yet precise cinematography throughout gives it the seductive power of a drug-induced dream.

Full Review… | November 14, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It's beautiful to look at, but you must have patience to enjoy it.

Full Review… | April 30, 2004
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Full Review… | October 28, 2011
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Flowers of Shanghai (Hai shang hua)

Multiple viewings in a theater setting MIGHT get this more stars. ... could also induce suicide.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

A gorgeous-looking film with a beautiful art direction and a camera that appears to glide through the sumptuous spaces and rooms of those four brothels in 38 stunning long takes, making it feel almost like a travel in time to the atmospheric Shanghai of the end of the 19th century.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

moving very slowly from one blackout scene to the next, beautifully shot in the candlelit rooms of various brothels of the 19th century, flowers of shanghai explores the intrigues of 'flower girls' or courtesans, sold as children into a life little better than slavery. there's alot of drinking, gambling and opium smoking and the film requires a good deal of patience. i probably need to watch it again as i felt as though i had smoked opium myself afterward

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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