If you haven’t yet seen it, I recommend you do.
Both the acting and choreography are excellent. The movie is brilliantly directed with some great sound effects. And the snapshots scenes in China are a stark contrast to the city of Huston, Texas.
Li Cunxin’s story, first published as a biography, is unforgettable. From his childhood, growing up in poverty in Communist China, to his defection in America through to the final dramatic climax, the story reveals what one man can achieve through artistic talent and determination.
The few reviews which I have read, which are less positive, come from male reviewers. I believe it will be the females in the audience whose hearts will be touched by this powerful story. Interestingly however, in an interview on ABC (AU) radio this morning, the male critic admitted that he was unable to halt the flow of tears at the emotional climax.
I was the same and would liken my feelings to those at the end of Finding Neverland, A Town like Alice, and Billy Elliot.
Made on a limited budget by Australian director Bruce Beresford, Mao’s Last Dancer features world renowned dancer Chi Cao playing the role of (adult) Li Cunxin. It also features members of the Australian Ballet.
It is a splendid movie which I will certainly buy when it comes out on DVD.
Note: Li Cunxin now lives in Melbourne Australia and recently received the award of Australian Father of the Year, 2009.