The Flowers of War

The Flowers of War has been reported to be the most expensive film ever produced in China. I’ve seen the numbers and they are in the range of 100 Million US dollars.

Directed by Zhang Yimou, this epic film is about courage and sacrifice set against the ravages and horrors of war in 1937 in Nanjing, China. This film also marks the first time that a Western Actor has the lead role in a Chinese production.

The film has a limited opening playing only in a short list of select cities (just 21 theaters nationwide) beginning on Friday, January 20th, 2012.

Since it is not playing anywhere in Florida, I have to hope that it will achieve a wider distribution later on, or I’ll have to wait for the DVD to review it.

Christian Bale (an Oscar winner for The Fighter and he starred as Batman in The Dark Knight) has the lead role. He plays a traveling mortician, attending to the dead, while not an adventurer, he’s kind of a wayfaring dissolute man who happened to find himself in Nanjing, and at the church, when the Japanese troops attacked the city in December of 1937.

By circumstances unknown to me, so I’ll call them luck and fate, he and a group of frightened Chinese Catholic schoolgirls and another group made up of a dozen beautiful courtesans, find themselves trapped inside a walled compound, a home to a cathedral – which they hope will afford them safety from the marauding soldiers. Bale’s character, John Miller, will take up the role of the church’s priest, donning the clothing and vestments of a recently killed priest for the impersonation.

That’s about all the set up I can provide not having seen the film.

Zhang Yimou’s cinematic pedigree – Raise the Red Lantern (1991), Shanghai Triad (1995), The Road Home (2000), Hero (2002), House of Flying Daggers (2004), and Curse of the Golden Flower (2006) are amongst his best known films that have garnered interest, praise and adulation from western audiences.

He’s worked with Gong Li multiple times (at least 5 films), and with Zhang Ziyi at least three times. So he’s got the talent and the rep to attract China’s most beautiful and best known actresses.

The reviews have been mixed, but if you are attracted to Asian beauties, love going to the movies, and you live in or near LA, San Francisco, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington DC, Houston, Honolulu, Seattle, or Atlanta – then you will have an opportunity to see the film on the big screen as soon as Friday, Jan. 20th.

For interviews with Director Zhang Yimou and lead actress Ni-Ni, visit Sidewalks.

To view a calendar with The Flowers of War beauties as the models visit Beijing Shots.

The trailer for The Flowers of War is below: