From the director of Hero and House of Flying Daggers, comes Curse of the Golden Flower, a stunning epic about the folly of war and the disintegration of one family under the weight of unrequited love, unforgivable betrayals, and a never-ending thirst for power. It stars Chow Yun-Fat, Gong Li, Jay Chou, and Qin Junjie.
On the eve of the Chong Yong Festival, golden flowers fill the Imperial Palace and when the Emperor (Chow Yun Fat) unexpectedly returns to his Empress (Gong Li) and two sons, the tension is clear in his lavish kingdom. His absence has given rise to illicit love affairs, dangerous alliances, and malicious conspiracies; all of which threaten to overthrow his power. However, it may well be the Emperor’s own dark secret that threatens him most of all. As the secrets of the Imperial family unravel against this backdrop of breathtaking opulence & grandeur, an attack on the Palace by myriad armoured warriors results in a spectacular climax wrought with thrilling action and epic tragedy.
At the time Curse of the Golden Flower was made in 2006, its $45 million price tag made it the most expensive Chinese film in history. It received fourteen nominations at the 26th Hong Kong Film Awards and won Best Actress for Gong Li, Best Art Direction, Best Costume and Make Up Design and Best Original Film Song for Chrysanthemum Terrace by Jay Chou (one of the best selling artists in Mainland China). The plot is based on Cao Yu’s 1934 play Thunderstorm, which was one of the most popular Chinese dramatic works of the period.
The opulent costumes had each actor wearing 4 – 6 layers of meticulously embroidered clothing, with some costumes weighing more than 40 kilos. It’s thought that Li Gong’s wardrobe inspired Mattel’s collectible Barbie Doll, the Empress of the Golden Blossom from the Gold Label.
Writer and director Zhang Yimou and actress Li Gong, had not worked together for 11 years prior to this film after their professional and personal break-up during Shanghai Triad in 1995.
Extras: Secrets Within Documentary. Los Angeles Premiere. The Emperor Featurette. The Empress Featurette. Photo Gallery. Teaser Trailer Theatrical Trailer.