Purple Butterfly (Zi hudie) Reviews

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Luke Y. Thompson
New Times
May 28, 2005
The plot may be a little hard to follow, but the film-making is skillful and any effort on the viewer's part is well worth it
Top Critic
G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
February 25, 2005
At the center of it all is, of course, Zhang. Charismatic and intense, she excels in her most grown-up role to date.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
February 2, 2005
Just like nuclear energy, long cinematic pauses can be used properly for the benefit of all, while in the wrong hands they can cause mass misery.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
January 21, 2005
There are two movies battling for supremacy in Butterfly, and both lose. As does the audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Brent Simon
Now Playing Magazine
January 20, 2005
An at times pretty but nonetheless forgettable film.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Bob Strauss
Los Angeles Daily News
January 14, 2005
A gorgeous period melodrama, packed with romantic tragedy and violent intrigue, it is both gritty and dreamy, political and personal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
January 13, 2005
As atmospheric and moody as a film noir, the stylish, sometimes perplexing Purple Butterfly is a remarkable period piece, evoking the bustling, dense and increasingly dangerous Shanghai of the '30s.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
January 12, 2005
Hectic, lyrical, swooningly romantic and almost unwatchably brutal.
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
January 10, 2005
... rich with emotional turmoil and searing beauty, but it could have used a little more time in the editing room to make sense of it all.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Jules Brenner
Cinema Signals
January 9, 2005
The art of it is entirely in the atmospherics; the rest is melodrama. Its 127 minute exercise in puzzle solving is draining.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
January 7, 2005
The characters are less compelling than this particular slice of history, which has rarely been dramatized in movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4

E! Online
December 3, 2004
Give in to the mood piece and bathe in its glamorous nostalgic glow. It's a beauty.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 29, 2004
Mr. Lou synthesizes a wide range of styles and influences -- from Casablanca to Wong Kar-wai -- resulting in a movie that, for all its haunting strangeness, seems curiously familiar.
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
November 26, 2004
Throughout, Zhang emotes like Bette Davis.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
November 24, 2004
Too often, Purple Butterfly is as impenetrable as Zhang's placid, obdurate beauty.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Derek Elley
November 24, 2004
An often remarkable, often infuriating lateral spin on genre material that desperately needs another sesh at the editing table.
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine
November 16, 2004
History is scant or purposefully blurred in Lou Ye's abstruse Purple Butterfly, a war drama with Wong-like delusions of love
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jason Anderson
August 28, 2004
An extravagant, intriguing but ultimately very frustrating period piece.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Pablo Villaça
Cinema em Cena
November 1, 2003
O filme é tecnicamente irrepreensível, mas o ritmo lento da narrativa e a auto-indulgência do diretor Lou Ye simplesmente destroem a paciência do espectador.
| Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
May 28, 2003
Lou Ye ... has chosen a murky and disjointed means to narrate this story.
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