One thing for sure, I don't think this historical war drama could be accused of being predictable (an accusation I keep hearing a lot lately). It's the most expensive movie ever produced in China's history ($94 mil), and it has an American savior protagonist (Christian Bale) which the director said was a first and would never happen again. It's based on a novel by a Chinese born American author, and has an absolutely stunning and poised female lead named Ni Ni who subtly milks her beauty for every thing it's worth:
Bale is an American rowdy/mortician who ends up getting involved in trying to save the young girls in a Catholic school because the priest, who he's come to prepare for burial, was their guardian. They're soon joined by a group of prostitutes all trying to hide from the invading Japanese. This sounds like a set up for a comedy, but it definitely isn't (for the most part) since the principle story hinges on the two hostile groups with Bale in the middle. Suffice it to say that the core event portrayed in the climax is, incredibly, historical.
It's hard to believe with Bale in it, it's major budget and the excellent work, that it didn't get better distribution. Had to use the screens for Ghost Rider, Wrath of the Titans & This Means War I guess. Three low distribution films have been at the top of my list* from the last 2 1/2 months, yet all have the makings of wide releases. "R" 9/10
The Flowers of War