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Ratings & Reviews

  1. ionosonde's rating of the film Summer Palace

    made my head hurt, made my heart hurt. beautiful camerawork that floats through every scene like a dream.

  2. cin·aes·the·tic's rating of the film Summer Palace

    Oy. The follies of youth. The film isn't horrible, but it tries to cram too much in what could be a poignant story of love lost and lost again. Not sure if the interlude of the Tienanmen Square protests adds much if anything to the film; I think it rather detracts from it, and invites unfavorable comparisons to "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." I also winced at the "where are they now" updates at the end.

  3. G.'s rating of the film Summer Palace

    Very nearly captures the lame, contrived impotence of Beijing youth culture circa always.

  4. Odradek's rating of the film Summer Palace

    Authentic, raw Chinese epos about a country girl coming to Beijing and losing herself in a swirl of strong desires, confusion and obsessive passion. Set against the background of the 1989 Tianan Men incident, this is one of the best Chinese movies i ever saw. Lei Hao is a brillant actress.

  5. Rhondo Alameda's rating of the film Summer Palace

    I can both see this film being ripped to shreds and highly praised, depending on the reviewer. It could be viewed as innovative, truthful and meaningful or trite, tiresome and overwhelming. It may be a bit of all of those things. 3.5, for now...

  6. Christina's rating of the film Summer Palace

    I actually turned this off about an hour in, bored by a lack of emotional investment in the characters and a constant stream of pointless sex. While there is some lovely cinematography in this film and the back drop of the protests adds an edge, there is just not enough substance to keep me invested. It really lost me as it fast forwarded in time using a titled montage that included characters we'd never met.

  7. Bill Boothman's rating of the film Summer Palace

    Summer Palace is an elegiac allegory for democracy in China. The romances of the film's first half ending with the 1989 protests and the adult romances of the second half are broken up by news footage of the Hong Kong handover and the end of the Cold War. Yu Hong and her romances can be read as symbols of the trajectory of Chinese democracy with the ending suggesting it's impossible. Maturity means accepting this.

  8. Jennifer Sharp's rating of the film Summer Palace

    The backgrounds in this movie really add a lot of symbolism for what’s going on in the foreground. For instance, the erratic string instrument playing from Yu Hong’s roommate shows her emotional breakdown, and the people rushing between her and her old lover when he came to visit show the distance that has formed between the two of them due to the people the Yu Hong has met. Overall a great movie for emotional types.

  9. David Richards's rating of the film Summer Palace

    A complex love affair... historical events take a back seat to human emotions. The filming of the chaotic crowd scenes in and around Tiananmen Square were amazing... not in the center of the action, but at the edges. Very convincing.

  10. Chris Gillespie's rating of the film Summer Palace

    The university scenes are electric and fantastic, but the unnecessary third act drags on too long.

  11. Matthew Martens's rating of the film Summer Palace

    Or: The Unbearable Lightness of Beijing--an aka I'd be too embarrassed to posit if it weren't so unmistakably apt. Like Philip Kaufman's Kundera adaptation, SP is a sumptuous, voluptuous, tortuous tale of twin deliria: love and revolt. Exchange 1968 Prague for 1989 Beijing, refresh the doomed pair of ardent lovers accordingly, then let the superficial parallels ramify for 140 minutes purpled with swollen piano.

  12. Silbutamal's rating of the film Summer Palace

  13. Daniel S.'s rating of the film Summer Palace

    European literary romanticism of the early XIXth century transposed into late XXth century China. And it works! Yu Hong's unsaid yearning for a bright future meets Tian'anmen's demonstrations. Masterpiece.

  14. David Liu's rating of the film Summer Palace

    The closest thing to a Bertolucci/Godard collaboration there is in 21st century cinema, with all of the possible highs and lows in that hypothetical pairing bared for all to see. Lou's become quite adept at borrowing stylistically from other filmmakers (i.e. Hitchcock and Wong Kar-wai with "Suzhou River"), but he does it earnestly. Few can illuminate Anna Karina's face like Godard, but Lou comes close with Hao Lei.

  15. jessessaye's rating of the film Summer Palace

    I went into this having read criticisms of "playing to Western sensibilities," and perhaps this is true, but it was so well acted and beautifully filmed. While it wasn't quite as evocative as 苏州河 Suzhou River, it was a peek at a time+place we rarely get to look at it in fictional form (as opposed to documentary), and at students who were there but not leaders (wondering where they've went since).

  16. Acerk21's rating of the film Summer Palace

    Quite frankly, this is one of the best films I’ve ever seen! If you’re a fan of “Suzhou River” and director Ye Lou’s style, then you’ll absolutely love “Summer Palace”. And how awesome was Lei Hao in this film! Her performance was so fearless and genuine that to call what she did "acting" would be a massive understatement. One word to describe this film: MASTERPIECE!

  17. Zachary Phillip Brailsford's rating of the film Summer Palace

    Pretty fascinating. I do not fully know what to make of it right now, but I very much liked the tone of the piece, and the characters. I should see more by Ye Lou. Savvy

  18. Law's rating of the film Summer Palace