Centre Stage (1992)
Directed by: Stanley Kwan
Tagline: "The story of a great unknown actress"
Maggie Cheung plays a very famous movie star from early 1930's Chinese Cinema named Lingyu Ruan in this drama / documentary film.
This film provides a window into early 20th Century filmmaking in China through the life story of the actress Ms Cheung portrays, and tells of her rise to fame and her untimely demise.
Although I hadn't heard of the actress the film was based on, I really liked the recreations of the films she starred in (as well as the original clips). The documentary parts of the film were also very interesting.
The settings and costumes where also excellent, even though at some points it was difficult to follow whether the story was following the shooting of a movie or the story in general.
This movie is meant to be one of Maggie Cheung's favourites that she has starred in. I have heard that it didn't do that well at the box office, which is a shame as it is a really great movie.
I would recommend this movie for several reasons. Firstly, it shows the range of Maggie Cheung's acting ability and her great talents much better than her 'whiny girlfriend' roles in the Police Story movies. It also gives an insight into an era many people don't know much about.
I would also recommend this film if you are tired of all the usual genres of Hong Kong movies and want to see something more realistic and dramatic.