Memoirs of a Geisha
2005
When 9-year-old Chiyo is sold to a geisha house, she endures harsh treatment from the owners and the haughty head geisha, who's envious of Chiyo's beauty. Chiyo eventually blooms in her role, but World War II threatens to change her life forever.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

Movies like this are why December is my favorite month at the cineplex. It's a gorgeous, lavishly-created adaptation of a classy piece of literature, with some showy acting performances and grand waves of melodrama. As long as it doesn't take itself too seriously – this one has a generous and self-depricating sense of humor – it's some of the best entertainment movies can offer, letting us inhabit other people's lives, great lives, the same way a novel does. The critics weren't kind, but I found it to be a moving story with great villainess, still resonating in my heart weeks later. But what I loved most about it was Dion Beebe's rich cinematography: Nearly every shot was a complex play of light, color, and detail, giving the film the look of a painting. It's the kind of movie where if you happen to pause it, you wind up studying the screen, admiring the composition. I'd love it even if it didn't include a fan-service reference to that Ang Lee movie with which it shares its lead actresses.

− September 24, 2006 • more by Scottlog in or create an account to reply

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