|Columbia Pictures | Release Date: December 9, 2005||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
The film comes to life whenever the cartoonishly vindictive Gong throws a tantrum, but she played virtually the same role in Zhang Yimou's "Shanghai Triad," which presented a far more compelling rationale for her star fits. Without her, this expensive piece of backlot pageantry turns vivid history into an ossified tchotchke. Read full review
Mr. Marshall can't rescue the film from its embarrassing screenplay or its awkward Chinese-Japanese-Hollywood culture klatch, but Memoirs of a Geisha is one of those bad Hollywood films that by virtue of their production values nonetheless afford a few dividends, in this case, fabulous clothes and three eminently watchable female leads. Read full review
Oh, what awful voices -- clumsy words as well as cheesy accents -- come out of the actors' mouths! Though I wanted to appreciate the human story, and the lavish spectacle, I couldn't get past the clangorous echoes of Charlie Chan.
Swaddled in the posh vulgarity that passes for awards-season elegance, Memoirs is deluxe orientalist kitsch, a would-be cross between "Showgirls" and "Raise the Red Lantern," too dumb to cause offense though falling short of the oblivious abandon that could have vaulted it into high camp. Read full review
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