Will Oscars go for Christian Bale's China epic? [Trailer]
The trailer for Christian Bale's so-called China movie shows some scenes of noisy war, a quiet moment of dramatic beauty and then some noisier scenes of war. You can even say it shows the flowers of war, which is fitting, as it's the trailer for "The Flowers of War," Zhang Yimou's approximately $100-million Chinese period epic. Based on the book "The 13 Women of Nanjing" by writer Yan Geling, the movie tells of an American priest who saves prostitutes and students during the Rape of Nanking; it's also China's official foreign-language Oscar submission.
It's hard to divine a movie from three minutes, of course, but what we see here is mostly an alternately stoic and histrionic Bale protecting his charges from some very expensive-looking war effects. No distributor yet, and no release date. So we won't get a chance to make larger decisions anytime soon. (You can click here for our assessment of footage shown at this year's Toronto Film Festival.) Will the academy go for it? It has the war setting, a perennial Oscar favorite, and, well, hopefully more than that.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Christian Bale, left, plays an American priest named John in "The Flowers of War." Credit: New Pictures Film