The Last Emperor Reviews
A very remarkable film indeed, Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor tells the astonishing true story of Pu Yi, who was crowned the last emperor of China at the age of three and died a simple gardener in Beijing in the 1960s. But the real story is about China, and its turmoil through the wars and revolutions of the 20th century.
The film's richness and beauty are almost daunting, but it's certainly a film which anyone interested in the art of cinema will want to see. The Criterion standard DVD special edition, on which this review is based, includes two versions of the film, the original theatrical release and the director's special television release. Both are digitally remastered and have the same aspect ratio; unlike the usual situation, the television release is longer, and many fans of the film think it tells the story more fully and therefore more clearly, while others prefer the more tightly edited theatrical release. I recommend the television release, provided you have lots of time --- it's very long.
The Criterion set includes many special extras and a booklet. Advisories: a couple moderately explicit sex scenes, and a few short but shocking violent ones.
Spellbinding saga recollecting the final emperor of China.A haunting, sumtous, unforgettable epic, and is among Bernardo Bertolucci's best movie. Acting, dialogue, direction, score, A generally great movie experience that demands multiple viewings.
Everyone is speaking English, well people that are not props or soliders or something. It felt funny at first. Unnatural and even dumb, actually. That's what bothered me the most about this film. I got used to it, but I think I would preffered it in original language. It seems like there would be a rather solid English part anyhow. It's lovely shot, that must be mentioned. 9 Oscars seem a bit over the top, even for this big, solid film.
7.5 out of 10 bicycles.