Mao's Last Dancer

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Released 2010

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Movie Summary

Director:
Bruce Beresford
Released:
2010
Rating:
PG
A drama based on the autobiography by Li Cunxin. At the age of 11, Li was plucked from a poor Chinese village by Madame Mao's cultural delegates and taken to Beijing to study ballet. In 1979, during a cultural exchange to Texas, he fell in love with an American woman. Two years later, he managed to defect and went on to perform as a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet and as a principal artist with the Australian Ballet.

Metacritic Score

  • 70

    Variety

    The story lights up when world-class performer Chi Cao leaps about as the adult Li, but is marred by lumpy melodrama when the music stops.

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times

    Director Bruce Beresford ("Driving Miss Daisy") knows how to tug heartstrings but as he moves the inspirational material toward its tear-jerker finale, it's often hampered by awkwa...

  • 30

    The New York Times Mike Hale

    The final image - a freeze frame of a pas de deux staged to resemble a triumphal Communist poster - perfectly captures the film's overall effect: it's strenuously brainless.

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