UK Release Date: 3rd August 2012.

Stars: Yimou Zhang (director), Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Zhang Xinyi, Tong Dawei, Shigeo Kobayashi.

Plot: In 1937 China, during the second Sino-Japanese war, a mortician, John arrives at a Catholic church in Nanjing to prepare a priest for burial. Upon arrival he finds himself the lone adult among a group of convent girl students and prostitutes from a nearby brothel. When he finds himself in the unwanted position of protector of both groups from the horrors of the invading Japanese army, he discovers the meaning of sacrifice and honor.

You probably haven’t heard of any members of the cast of The Flowers of War other than Christian Bale but that shouldn’t come as any surprise as this is a huge made-in-China epic. Whilst you may not be familiar with the name of director Yimou Zhang you may be more familiar with a couple of his works; Jet Li’s Hero and the brilliant House of Flying Daggers made him a name to be noticed among the world of cinema in the early noughties.

It seems strange that Christian Bale is in a film with a load of Chinese people just because we are used to seeing him in American or British films but it becomes clear from reading some interviews that he found the experience very educational and entertaining and could help him bring another level to his acting ability. The Flowers of War, at an estimated budget of $90 million, is the most expensive production to ever come out of China.

The Flowers of War has already been released among many nations and is coming to the UK a little late. The film was actually shot before The Dark Knight Rises and perhaps they want to try and make money off the back of Bale’s popularity as Batman. Despite holding a 7.6 rating on IMDB The Flowers of War didn’t go down well with critics but was still nominated for the Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Language Film (it didn’t win). Go see it and make your own mind up though.

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