What they don't want you to hear
Letter of the week

Memoirs of a Geisha

I see that Mr Fumier and Mr Harbour have both been to watch this movie recently.  Me too.  As you may be aware there seem to be two schools of thought on this one, or maybe three if you include Fumier's perspective:

Criticism has also been made of the crappy dialogue, historical inaccuracies, failure to live up to the book, and the general Holly-woodiness of the film. For me, this is just eggheads carping. We are talking quality totty here - three of the best looking birds around, together in one film. Quality totty is quality totty whichever way you look at it. Rabbitting on about historical stuff is like saying tea tastes better out of a china cup. Pass the sick bag, Alice.

Much has been made of the fact that three Chinese actresses (Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Zi Yi) play leading roles in the film, apparently being plenty Asian enough to pass for Japanese as far as Hollywood is concerned.  As Phil says, it has to be an improvement on having an American actress in the part, which is probably what would have happened ten years ago.  As luck would have it, all the other main characters, speak exclusively in English, but minor characters do say a few words of Japanese lest we forget where the story is set.  I can just about live with that, but was it really necessary for them to talk in pidgin English and mumble a lot of the dialogue?

Apart from that, I don't have much to say.  It's a Hollywood movie, with all that implies, and probably better than average.  The cinematography is stunning, but it's about an hour too long (possibly because everyone talks so slowly). 


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Can we take it that you thought the film was cheesey?


When I saw in the poster "From the director of Chicago" I knew what to expect from the movie. I know that if I go and see it, it´ll be just for the visual appeal, nothing else. Commercial, commercial, commercial...
Thanks God I didn`t read the book. I´d be even more sorry then

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