Mao's Last Dancer (2009)

PG   |    |  Biography, Drama, Music


Mao's Last Dancer (2009) Poster

In Maoist China, a boy is taken from his family and trained to become a dancer, but everything he knows is challenged when he is chosen to attend a ballet summer school in Houston, Texas.

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7.3/10
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  • Joan Chen and Shuangbao Wang in Mao's Last Dancer (2009)
  • Jane Fonda at an event for Mao's Last Dancer (2009)
  • Jane Fonda at an event for Mao's Last Dancer (2009)
  • Amanda Schull and Chi Cao in Mao's Last Dancer (2009)
  • Jane Fonda at an event for Mao's Last Dancer (2009)
  • Jane Fonda at an event for Mao's Last Dancer (2009)

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23 January 2010 | diane-34
10
| Not your average dance film.
Diane and I saw this excellent movie at Paradiso in Northbridge two days ago and we both were entranced by the beauty and sensitivity of Mao's Last Dancer. I admit that I was none too anxious about seeing this film about dancing but after the opening scenes in rural China and a quick cut to Li Cunxin and early dance years and I had become a total fan of the movie. Beresford's direction married to the acting and dancing ability of Chi Cao result in a movie about dance but that theme is only the canvas upon which this moving and quite dramatic story unfolds. The resulting movie is far, far more complex than I thought as I entered the theatre. Yes, of course, the ballet sequences are glorious to watch but this film, as I said, is not just about dancing. The script explores international politics, domestic trauma, family bonds, interpersonal tension and these are only my random memories. At the start of the film, I could not believe that so many hugely dramatic instances could flow from the life of a young man born into less than salubrious circumstances in rural China. There are many different scenes; Beresford edited the film in fast sequences and the total is amazingly complicated; I am in awe of such a complex life so richly lived. Put Mao's Last Dancer on your must-see list!

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