Summer Palace

Critics Consensus

Though it suffers from excessive length and inconsistent pacing, Summer Palace is held aloft by Hao Lei's riveting performance.

74%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 31

58%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,735

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Movie Info

Country girl Wei leaves her village to attend university in Beijing, where she soon discovers an intense world of sexual freedom. She falls madly in love with Zhou, another student and, driven by wild passion, they play dangerous games with each other. When he is sent to a military camp and then to Germany after a violent protest, she finds a job and a new lover but cannot forget him. Once unrest begins in Berlin, Zhou decides to return to China and to Wei.

Cast & Crew

Lei Hao
Yu Hong
Lin Cui
Xiao Jun
Long Duan
Tang Caoshi
Ye Lou
Director
Ye Lou
Writer
Li Fang
Producer
An Nai
Producer
Peyman Yazdanian
Original Music
Qing Hua
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Summer Palace

Critic Reviews for Summer Palace

Audience Reviews for Summer Palace

  • Apr 02, 2010
    Summer Palace a Chinese movie that caught my attention from the moment it started on my screen.A young girl encountered her first experiences with love and sex. The movie showed huge changes China was undergoing in the mid-eighties.She was excepted at university in Beijing and met a guy who she fell madly in love with.The acting directing, editing,photography all was very breathtaking. The story was heartbreaking as we followed these 2 student during the protests and how they lost sight of each other and lived separate lives.Sex was an important part of the movie, since it expressed passion, but still it did not have a happy ending and it had a message that you have to discover by thinking and feeling the movie.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 16, 2008
    Even thought I am rating this a 3 Star, its still a pretty good flix, more of a chick flix, about a young lady in china, and the movie is made from her diary. Some Nudity, so those girls under 18 hide your eyes, yea right, if you enjoy this one let me hear from you. bbcfloridabound@yahoo.com
    Bruce B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 21, 2008
    [font=Century Gothic]"Summer Palace" starts in 1987 with Yu Hong(Lei Huo) who lives near the North Korean border being accepted[/font] [font=Century Gothic]to Beijing University where she does not exactly fit in. Sensing her loneliness, Li Ti(Ling Hu) befriends her, saying most people think either she has had her heart broken or she is a lesbian(Well...) Li Ti even goes further, introducing her to her boyfriend, Ruo Gu(Xianmin Zhang), and their mutual friend, Zhou Wei(Xiaodong Guo).[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]When "From Here to Eternity" starts in Hawaii 1941, it is immensely clear where the movie is heading and what the climax will be. In "Summer Palace," there is a similar sense of foreboding concerning the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989(Which does seem like it might have been a seminal year but not when you are living through it.) but here it is anticlimax. After that event, the movie skips ahead to 1997 before finally coming to a halt in 2001.(The movie might have had a chance if it had been less linear.) While it does seem to go on forever, it also gets the college experience just right(That beng said, I am just grateful I never had to use a bedpan) but I do not remember that much sex in college.(Well, I am glad at least somebody was getting some.) And at this quantity and explicitness, it does get very tedious quickly. [/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Considering the setting, "Summer Palace" is strangely devoid of politics which trivializes the student activism of the time and place. For example, there is a scene where there is a political meeting but a character simply says it is boring and that is it.(Which reminds me why I love Ken Loach so much...) No matter where you go, college is a staging area where students are introduced to a panoply of ideas. In conclusion, education does not end at graduation but the movie should have been over by then.[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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