The Last Emperor, 1987
Directed By Bernando Bertolucci
Nominated for 9 Oscars, Won 9
Wins: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound
The Last Emperor tells the story of Pu Yi, who becomes emperor at age 3. He is also the final emperor of China. Documenting his entire life.
I know very little about Chinese history. Correction, I know nothing about Chinese history. Seriously, like at all. Fortunately, the aforementioned history major that is my husband, did take a Chinese history class last year, and thankfully generally had answers for my numerous questions.
This film was... odd. I'm not sure there's another way to put it. While it's a very serious topic, which is handled quite seriously, there were many really head scratching moments that made me not able to take this film seriously. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
In the midst of the odd moments (such as child Pu Yi sucking on his wet nurse's breast, hiding a mouse in a small pouch attached to his belt, etc), there was some good acting. Point out for me would be the 3 year old Pu (he was incredibly adorable and seemed very natural running around where he wasn't supposed to, and standing and slapping his sleeves around on the throne), and the 8 year old Pu. Both were very good in their roles, and I sort of wish they had stayed around longer.
Another thing I wasn't so keen on in this film was the lack of explanation. Events in the film feel a bit poorly explained, and I asked my husband a time or two to reassure that I knew exactly what was happening, or just straight asking him why something was happening or why it was a big deal.
It seems a very irrelevant movie to win best picture. I'm not saying that a film about Chinese History shouldn't win the top prize. But the film seems to have very little appeal to people who don't actually know the story or Chinese History, especially since this is one that took little to no time to explain what was happening.
Overall, not a bad film per se. Well acted, and it looked incredible. The costumes and make-up were fantastic. But this movie really wasn't for me, and was a bit uneven.
Music- 8/10 Emotional Connection- 4/10
Overall Enjoyment- 5.5/10
Overall Package- 6/10