Mao's Last Dancer Reviews

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January 31, 2011
September 21, 2010
Bruce Beresford's biopic of Li Cunxin, the Chinese ballet dancer who defected while on a student visa in Houston in 1981, is sometimes the movie equivalent of Oscar Meyer cold cuts. But the dancing is pure caviar.
September 10, 2010
Feel-good movie about a Chinese dancer presses all the right buttons.
September 3, 2010
Australian director Bruce Beresford handles the culture-clash aspects of the story with a surprising lack of subtlety.
August 27, 2010
Lovely and astounding, Mao's Last Dancer is a modern epic of art and ambition triumphing oppression.
August 27, 2010
Too often, though, the film plods along on the ground.
August 27, 2010
Ballet star Li Cunxin's best-selling autobiography gets a curiously tepid treatment in this 2009 adaptation by director Bruce Beresford.
August 27, 2010
Ballet dancer Chi Cao does a great job of capturing both Li's chops on the stage and his sincerity and culture shock in the face of American opulence.
August 26, 2010
Hollywood has a long history of turning highbrow art into middlebrow mush, and Mao's Last Dancer is just one more kick dancer in that long line.
August 23, 2010
Recounts the true story of Chinese ballet star Li Cunxin's defection to the US in the schmaltziest TV-movie terms imaginable.
August 20, 2010
Many films have portrayed the rigors of ballet training, but none will make viewers wince quite like Mao's Last Dancer.
August 20, 2010
The final image -- a freeze frame of a pas de deux staged to resemble a triumphal Communist poster -- perfectly captures the film's overall effect: it's strenuously brainless.
August 19, 2010
Mao's Last Dancer is an appealing and, by its end, quite moving film.
August 19, 2010
The film celebrates artistic freedom without preaching a sermon, and often flies when Mr. Chi is on screen. When he is on stage, spinning and leaping to the strains of magnificent music, the film soars.
August 19, 2010
Bruce Beresford, the veteran director of such Oscar fare as Tender Mercies and Driving Miss Daisy, apparently didn't know when to quit, overplaying the already hokey script at every turn. And at every pirouette and pli.
August 19, 2010
The most interesting elements of Li's story -- dance, politics, and the politics of dance -- have been dulled from their source material, though not beyond recognition.
August 19, 2010
It's artless, obvious, and at times insultingly exaggerated.
August 19, 2010
The life at the movie's center speaks to what an artist sometimes gives up for art. If only we experienced that sacrifice, that turmoil, more vividly.
August 18, 2010
A melodramatic clash of ideologies and a warm, deeply moving third act lift Mao's Last Dancer above politics and into the realm of emotion, art and beauty.
Top Critic
August 18, 2010
Mao's Last Dancer is a masterpiece.
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