Curse of the Golden Flower

2006, History/Romance, 1h 54m

126 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

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critics 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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In 928 A.D. a power struggle emerges in the palace of China's emperor (Chow Yun-Fat). A cruel man, he is secretly having his wife (Gong Li) poisoned with a substance that will eventually drive her insane. Meanwhile the empress is having an affair with Prince Wan (Ye Liu), her husband's son from a previous marriage. But the prince secretly wishes to run away with Chan (Li Man), the daughter of the imperial doctor.

Cast & Crew

Chow Yun-Fat
The Emperor
Gong Li
Gong Li
Jay Chou
Prince Jai
Ye Liu
Crown Prince Wan
Chen Jin
Imperial Doctor's Wife
Ni Dahong
Imperial Doctor
Qin Junjie
Prince Yu
Wu Nan
Writer
Xiaoding Zhao
Cinematographer
Long Cheng
Film Editor
Shigeru Umebayashi
Original Music
Tingxiao Huo
Production Design
Zhao Bin
Art Direction
Wei Xinhua
Art Direction
Sun Hongwu
Art Direction
Dong Chengguang
Art Direction
Zong Minxuan
Art Direction
Chung Man Yee
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for Curse of the Golden Flower

Audience Reviews for Curse of the Golden Flower

  • Mar 08, 2016
    Sumptuous sensory spectacle in every detail from Gong Li's hair ornaments to the gurgle of the medicine pouring into the gilded cup. The Oedipal plot, adapted from Thunderstorm, kept things twisted and interesting but battle scenes were redundant and I lost interest. The fingernail guards the Empress wore might have been anachronistic, as those were fashionable in the late Qing dynasty but this movie was set in the 10th century around the Tang dynasty.
    Letitia L Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2014
    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
  • Dec 11, 2013
    "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown." The Chinese epic Curse of the Golden Flower is a powerful and tragic tale. When the Emperor's wife discovers that she's being poisoned by her husband for her infidelity, she plots a coup to overthrow him; and caught in the middle are the Emperor's three sons, who each have their own ambitions. It's an intricate and well-crafted story full of intrigue and mystery. Starring Chow Yun-Fat and Gong Li the cast is quite strong, and Li gives an amazing performance. Additionally, the costumes and sets are incredible, full of vivid color and remarkable detail. And the fight choreography is extraordinary, with visually stunning battle sequences. A brilliant and engrossing film, Curse of the Golden Flower is a cinematic masterpiece.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 29, 2010
    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

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