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All Critics (16)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (10)
| Rotten (6)
Impressively shot in 'Scope, it's a considerable achievement, possessed of a tranquil beauty and sagacity.
Under Tian Zhuangzhuang, one of China's leading directors, The Go Master unfolds as meditatively as a game of go.
Tian Zhuangzhuang's biopic is a stately and respectful reflection on the life of Wu Qingyuan, one of the 20th century's top players of go, a Japanese game said to rival chess in complexity.
A deeply thoughtful biopic of a legendary gaming master.
The film is structured as a series of tableaux with little connective tissue.
... an elegant biopic with sufficient psychological complexity to draw audiences deeply into the characters' lives.
With no attempt made to even explain the basic rules of Go, this is essentially a study of forehead-kneading concentration, of how to shut out even the most tempestuous of world events.
The rapturous camerawork and Chang Chen's performance as Wu both delight, but there's little insight into what makes a game about white and black pebbles so utterly absorbing.
This soporific stupor and final pinch of defeat is the experience that most fully equates with watching this film.
Chang captures Wu's dedication and respect for a game whose intricacies reflect the vicissitudes of his own life.
Featuring a game whose practitioners cultivate friendships rather than rivalries, in a time and a place where conflict was otherwise all too easy to find, The Go Master is a biopic of rare subtlety, delicacy and stillness.
As the subject for a film biography, there would seem to be a great deal of material there, but screenwriter Ah Cheng and director Tian Zhuangzhuang make a botch of it.
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