Michelle Yeoh, Memoirs of a Geisha


Memoirs of a Geisha

Genre: Romance; Starring: Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh; Director: Rob Marshall; Author: Doug Wright; Producer (person): Steven Spielberg; Release Date Wide: 12/23/2005; Runtime (in minutes): 144; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: Sony Pictures Entertainment

A picture is worth a thousand words in director Rob Marshall’s film adaptation of Arthur Golden’s best-selling novel about Sayuri (Ziyi Zhang), a 1930s Japanese Cinderella-turned-courtesan. Memoirs of a Geisha’s visual exquisiteness was rewarded at the Academy Awards — with Oscars for art direction, costumes, and cinematography — but with its soap-operatic plot, the film falls short of epic. And, unfortunately, on the small screen even its beauty loses impact. EXTRAS The best of the 11 featurettes includes interviews with former geisha/film consultant Liza Dalby and the actresses, who had to endure training in gruelingly complex fan tricks and other esoteric skills, in ”Geisha Boot Camp.” Designers explain how they built an entire town without a single greenscreen. And Chef Nobu Matsuhisa — the self-proclaimed ”Codfather” — invites viewers into his kitchen, where he cooks new-style sashimi, black cod with miso sauce, and mushroom toban yaki, and provides recipes, too. Iron Chef, watch your back!

Originally posted March 28 2006 — 12:00 AM EST

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