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1,473 Ratings

The Grandmaster

Yut doi jung si

Directed by Wong Kar-wai
Hong Kong, China, 2013
Action, Drama, Biography


The film narrates the life of the Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man, beginning in the 1930s in Foshan and moving on to cover his flight to Hong Kong after the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the events leading up to his death.

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The Grandmaster Directed by Wong Kar-wai

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2014 | 2 nominations including: Best Achievement in Cinematography

Village Voice Film Poll

2013 | Nominee: Best Supporting Actress

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2013 | Nominee: Best Cinematography

It’s not surprising that Wong would turn towards the language of martial arts to find a new perspective for his recurring obsessions. Jia Zhangke relied on wuxia tropes and set-ups for A Touch of Sin (2013), and Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s next film will be a period martial-arts work; like them, Wong takes martial arts as an agent of cultural memory very seriously.
December 05, 2014
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The Grandmaster perhaps earns the dubious honour of being the first martial arts movie that comes across as completely non-violent, like Wong didn’t view the cause or effect of the various altercations as demonstrations of power and dominance. It’s as if the various styles are modes of articulation and this is a movie about discourse of a more primal variety. It’s not a kick-ass action movie, but it’s still very strange and beautiful in its own idiosyncratic way.
December 04, 2014
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Wong is the modern auteurist’s dreamtime superhero, and what he’s done here… is convert the martial arts saga, with its strange hierarchal struggles and ideas of honor and repetitious matches, into an imagistic opera, a roaring aria of Wongian rue and mourning. None of the epic and wickedly shot-and-cut battle scenes matter in the story so much as a single coat button, representing, as so many innocent but totemic objects do in Wong, a heartbreaking as gorgeous as falling snow.
November 21, 2013
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