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Farewell My Concubine

Farewell My Concubine

1993
Romance
Drama
2h 51m
The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years. (imdb)
Your probable score
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Farewell My Concubine

1993
Romance
Drama
2h 51m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 68.42% from 705 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(705)
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Rated 14 Jan 2007
89
92nd
Takes on a sweeping epic scale, and its attempt to cover such thematic breadth gives it a slightly unfocused feel. It's the film's only noteworthy flaw, though: it's extremely well-crafted with great performances all around, an unusual love triangle, and stunning photography. Chen makes excellent use of numerous callbacks and meaningful objects. The tragic moments of the story are all very heartbreaking.
Rated 21 Jan 2010
96
91st
Everything in this film is gorgeous, from the cyclical plot to the masterful, emotional cinematography.
Rated 27 Jul 2010
75
68th
Okay, so it's too long, but hell; pieces of picture poetry like some modern chinese films, are exactly the kind of films you can accept an extra half hour of. It tells the story of modern China, from the warlord era in the 20's, via the japanese invasion and the civil war to the different communist eras. Interesting, for sure. The acting is sublime, especially the beautiful Li Gong and also Fengyi Zhang impressed. Sometimes, though, it becomes weird and "undertold" which prevents understanding.
Rated 23 Sep 2013
70
40th
Great acting that helps dull but cannot overcome the negative effects induced by excessive length and a rather conventional eye behind the camera. Once Gong Li shows up, the human drama really takes off, though it never really connects solidly with ALL THE HISTORY that is happening all around them. I think the film would be much more successful with a more subtle approach to the cultural changes.
Rated 22 Sep 2013
85
92nd
The whole movie is 80, Leslie Cheung's acting was 98, and other actors were good too including the short-show of Wenli Jiang. Although this kind of set for actors is kind of stiff and for story is over symbolised, luckily,it fit here. Considering the surrounding when this movie was made, it was not bad to use these old-fashioned and academic art styles. The only good movie of Chen Kaige's.
Rated 20 Sep 2020
89
81st
Sweeping, graceful epic is Chen's answer to 1900 - telling the story of two men against the backdrop of a fascinating tour through modern Chinese history. Never quite tops its opening hour depicting the savage opera "boot camp", the after-effects which resonate down the years, leading to the most poignant scene where the major players from this segment are revisited. A dip into melodrama in the mid-section is a minor debit, but all is forgiven for a haunting and devastating finale.
Rated 17 Dec 2010
94
71st
Epic but depressing.
Rated 18 Aug 2021
86
92nd
Richly textured, fiercely acted & lavishly presented epic melodrama with almost unbelievably ambitious thematic breadth. Explores the dynamics of rebellion & oppression, love & betrayal, fantasy & reality, ambition & fulfillment, sex & power, addiction & trauma, sacred & profane, tradition & modernity, art & politics, identity & persona, on & on. Almost effortless cyclical structure (almost) in which roles & stages are constantly repeated & switched around. All the world's a Peking Opera house.
Rated 02 Jun 2010
4
56th
Everything in this exists to be unremarkable.
Rated 17 Jun 2009
25
35th
It took 45 minutes for the movie to get to the movie part. Then, said movie part was just as anime as the beginning, with less interesting shit going on. They mostly just talked about the beginning part. The amount of people who just burst into tears or start slapping themselves really does remind me of anime. That's a terrible thing.
Rated 30 Mar 2007
60
47th
Entirely too much about Chinese opera
Rated 01 May 2022
75
86th
very good movie
Rated 18 May 2024
80
81st
It is very difficult to make films that tell nuanced individual stories with major socio-historical and political developments in the background and show their impacts on the lives of the characters. Farewell My Concubine is one of them, and it's beautiful.
Rated 13 Jan 2022
80
85th
It's a lot of movies all confined in one. You have the historic angle, the romance, the thriller, a musical, a bit of courtroom drama. It's got everything in its very expansive running time but it never ceases to have beauty and grace to its shots. I learned a lot more about the Chinese culture and history, though I had to look up some stuff to understand some parts of the movie a little bit better. It's no wonder it was banned in China for all the punches it makes.
Rated 06 Dec 2022
69
36th
This is a well made film, but I think it's ultimately a little too ambitious for its own good. The version I saw didn't have the best picture, which didn't help, but I at times found the chronology and narrative a bit difficult to follow. Still, I caught most of what it was throwing, and it did that well. I liked it but was not as blown away as its reputation led me to believe I might be.
Rated 25 Apr 2023
73
70th
It takes a while to get immersed in this epic.
Rated 16 Nov 2023
85
75th
Was Leslie Cheung the GOAT? This makes for a good argument. Amazing lead performances and cinematography. Bleak af. Also, things you wish you knew in hindsight: don’t save the baby.
Rated 16 May 2020
65
35th
Rewatched on 30 April, 2022. About how criteria of arts, spirit towards the infinite and cosmic warmth are destroyed by the ruthless and ignorant will to power, which was just what happened in Cultural Revolution. Afterwards, capitalism and the criteria of calculation swept across this void of cultural inheritance and cosmic belief with no resistance. Sad that one of the best films in the last good decade for Chinese cinema is about a death of art in China that still hasn't been lived properly.
Rated 28 Nov 2018
84
95th
"I am a boy by nature"... Laizi's suicide was one of the most innocent thing I've ever seen.
Rated 07 Sep 2017
82
70th
A staggering epic that pits Chinese history and culture against melodramatic romanticism in a conventionally beautiful, powerful way with lush camerawork, intricate costuming and set design, sweeping and lyrical themes, and passionate performances. If anything, it's too devoted to the conventions of the form, making it feel a bit rigid. Nonetheless, it's a dark, gruesome, and revealing take on the show-business character study with lots of observations on creativity, abuse, and sexuality.
Rated 09 Feb 2017
75
68th
I did identify strongly with the drama-queen of an ambiguous gender identity
Rated 04 Feb 2024
80
78th
Almost a Chinese sprawling Dickensian saga. There's a lot of impressive parts of this film, notably the costuming and the somewhat unconventional love affair. It is a little long (and there were a few parts where I was pretty confused as to what was going on). Personally, I found the first part fascinating, as I also liked Painted Faces. (And the history lesson is intense.)
Rated 23 Mar 2014
87
91st
87.000
Rated 31 Mar 2013
90
78th
Sumptuous, though the drift into melodrama in the middle is a little offputting. Sure ends well, though.
Rated 14 Jul 2012
85
80th
84.500
Rated 28 Feb 2012
87
87th
Beautifully shot, great story - long: the sum is better than the parts
Rated 30 Nov 2011
69
38th
#618
Rated 26 Apr 2011
58
81st
#11#, reviews, story, Gong Li!
Rated 22 Oct 2010
83
60th
Seems to be a lot of parts in this movie where the plot takes a giant leap without explaining anything.
Rated 04 Aug 2010
76
47th
Very nice but ultimately it's too unwieldy in what it tries to do.
Rated 15 Jan 2010
69
38th
617
Rated 17 Mar 2009
83
82nd
Elaborate aria, no favorite at home but cowinner of Cannes's top prize. A long but consistently absorbing drama. At its best in the first half.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
72
44th
551
Rated 02 Mar 2008
72
55th
# 565
Rated 02 Feb 2008
70
66th
Cool music.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
82
42nd
powerful chinese film

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