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Movie Review: Mao's Last Dancer

This is a biopic about a Chinese ballet dancer who ultimately defects to the US in the eighties. It's a great movie, but Bruce Greenwood as the spectacularly gay dance choreographer for the Houston Ballet stole my heart. The first third of the film alternates between Li Cunxun's coming of age in Communist China and his culture shock as an exchange student in the US. Strangely, they never discuss how he's staying with a spectacularly gay man when there is no homosexuality in China.... ANYWAY.

There's a scene where they are at dinner and Li is flipping through his dictionary, and he tells Greenwood that on the street that day a man called him a "chink" but he can't find the word in the phrase book, and what does it mean. Greenwood pauses for a beat and then very naturally says, "Well, you know when you're onstage and there's that space where the curtain doesn't quite meet and the stage lights go through it? That's called the chink in the curtain. So what that man on the street was saying was that he sees the light shining out of you." And Li grins and I started tearing up because OMG I loooooooooved thaaaaaaaat.

The film loses steam towards the end as it abruptly fastforwards through Li's deteriorating romance and then climaxes with a happily ever after when he visits China with his new wife and discovers his old dancing teacher is still alive. But all in all I quite liked it, and like I said, it is totally worth it for Captain Pike. *G*


( 8 comments — Add your .02 )
Jul. 6th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC)
And...you forgot to mention...it actually has great dancing.
Jul. 6th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
*is sheepish* Um, 'cause I don't know enough about dance to say whether it was or not?
Jul. 6th, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
*agrees on the movie and sexy Pike *G*
Jul. 6th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
Truly enjoyed the movie, the dancing was gorgeous! (I've been trying to get my son to watch it so that he can see that boys do dance and quite amazingly.)

Bruce surprises me, often enough. The accent and the character that he played was spot on and very familiar to me. Guess that comes from growing up in OK and knowing one too many flamboyantly gay boys.
Jul. 6th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
My heart just melted! O the wisdom he so darlingly projects!
Jul. 7th, 2011 01:22 am (UTC)
OMG I know, soooooo adorable! I live in Texas: I want spectacularly gay Captain Pike as my roommate!!
Jul. 7th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
Clearly, I need to watch this movie.
Jul. 7th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)
YES. Do it do it do it!
( 8 comments — Add your .02 )

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