Center Stage (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

Center Stage (1992)

Center Stage (1992)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In the 1930s, in China, there was a woman film-actress who was tagged as "the Chinese Garbo." She was a wildly popular performer who made her first film at age 16 and died by her own hand at age 25. Ironically, she was famous for playing tragic heroines, and her own life mirrored the kinds of situations she portrayed onscreen. In this biopic, Ruan Ling-yu (Maggie Cheung) is riding high in her career when the press decides to take her down a notch or two, bitterly criticizing her for an affair with a married man. This situation is unbearable for her, and she kills herself, but not before uttering the words "Gossip is a terrible thing." In addition to the central drama, scenes from actual films starring the actress are included, and the actors in this biopic occasionally step out of character to address the camera, recounting some significant fact about the individuals whose lives they are playing, and the nature of those times in China.


Critic Reviews for Center Stage

All Critics (3)

The luminous Maggie Cheung, who deservedly won the Berlin Festival Acting Award, offers a sensitive portrait of the popular actress Ruan Ling-Yu (she was compared to Garbo), who committed suicide over a scandal in her personal life.

Full Review… | July 1, 2005

An overwhemingly moving tribute to the popular Hong Kong actress Ruan Ling-yu of the 1930s...

Full Review… | September 28, 2002
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Center Stage

Believe it or not, I had never watched this film (neither in cinema, VHS, VCD, LD, DVD, nor on TV) until tonight! "Centre Stage" was arguably the most significant piece in Maggie Cheung (as Yuen Ling Yuk, the protagonist)'s career. It was a watershed how people recognize her as an 'actress' transformed from a movie star. The film was undoubtedly an ambitious project directed by Stanley Kwan. Apart from its fictional part, the film is also a mixture of documentary & behind-the-scene footage. It is an hard-to-take avant-garde even for today's standard. It maybe an good Art House example in the history of HK Cinema. It is however way too overlong, trivial & too much to say at the same time.


I like the structure of the film, including actual footage of the film's subject, and interviews with the cast. A little different.

Andy Cramer
Andy Cramer

The film is based on a biopic of the silent film goddess, a legendary Chinese actress of the 30's. Ruan Ling Yu is a link of the lost Chinese black and white genre and the current cinemagraphy. Many Chinese silent film were either unknown, lost or not well preserved. This film can be quite educating when it comes to Chinese film history. Maggie Cheung's performance deserves an Oscar. The flow of the film can be quite confusing nevertheless it's still a good documentary-liked melodrama. Kinda like the movie Ed Wood.

Jojo Shek
Jojo Shek

Super Reviewer

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