The Flowers of War
The Flowers of War is being touted as a best foreign movie from the Chinese even though it stars Christian Bale. It was nominated for the Golden Globe. The director is Yimou Zhang with a large and talented Chinese cast, and it’s really a terrific movie. It’s too long and it has too many plot lines in it, but the basic story is it is during the Japanese takeover of China and there’s some orphans who live in a church and Christian Bale shows up and he’s kind of a wastrel, he’s a drunk, and he ends up pretending to be the priest. At the same time that the kids are there, a number of prostitutes seek sanctuary in the church. The Japanese are not going to be happy about this. They are complete thugs in this particular movie and it’s very violent. There are a whole bunch of sub-plots and sub-characters, and it does go on for a long time. On the other hand, there’s a real heart and soul to the story about redemption and second chances and love and, I guess, the horrors of war. So, if you can kind of weed through the fact that it goes on for a long time and focus on the fact that it’s beautifully shot, and it’s beautifully acted, you’ll enjoy it. Christian Bale, I think, is one of those terrific actors that’s somewhat under appreciated. He’s wonderful in this. He gets to play a whole range of emotions. I give it four and a half stars.