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Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)

Curse of the Golden Flower



Action, Adventure, Drama

Release Date

December 21, 2006 (NY)

MPAA Rating



Sony Pictures Classics

Official Site

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REVIEWS RATE:  Critics  Go! Watch this movie. You'll regret if not seeing it.    Readers  3 of 5 [Rate It]

Cast and Crew


Zhang Yimou


William Kong, Weiping Zhang, Zhang Yimou


Zhang Yimou, Yu Cao



China, Later Tang Dynasty, 10th Century.

On the eve of the Chong Yang Festival, golden flowers fill the Imperial Palace. The Emperor (Chow Yun Fat) returns unexpectedly with his second son, Prince Jai (Jay Chou). His pretext is to celebrate the holiday with his family, but given the chilled relations between the Emperor and the ailing Empress (Gong Li), this seems disingenuous.

For many years, the Empress and Crown Prince Wan (Liu Ye), her stepson, have had an illicit liaison. Feeling trapped, Prince Wan dreams of escaping the palace with his secret love Chan (Li Man), the Imperial Doctor's daughter.

Meanwhile, Prince Jai, the faithful son, grows worried over the Empress's health and her obsession with golden chrysanthemums. Could she be headed down an ominous path?

The Emperor harbors equally clandestine plans; the Imperial Doctor (Ni Dahong) is the only one privy to his machinations. When the Emperor senses a looming threat, he relocates the doctor's family from the Palace to a remote area.

While they are en route, mysterious assassins attack them. Chan and her mother, Jiang Shi (Chen Jin) are forced back to the palace. Their return sets off a tumultuous sequence of dark surprises.

Amid the glamour and grandeur of the festival, ugly secrets are revealed. As the Imperial Family continues its elaborate charade in a palatial setting, thousands of golden armored warriors charge the palace. Who is behind this brutal rebellion? Where do Prince Jai's loyalties lie? Between love and desire, is there a final winner?

Against a moonlit night, thousands of chrysanthemum blossoms are trampled as blood spills across the Imperial Palace.


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Reader's Reviews

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“..feels downright inept at times..”
by Keith Uhlich [Slant Magazine]
“..a miserable, slow and particularly uninvolving film..”
by David Mercier [Film Judge]
“..Most of "Golden Flower" works as a parody of soap operas' byzantine bloodlines and overheated acting..”
by Wesley Morris [Boston Globe]