Center Stage (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

Center Stage1992

Center Stage (1992)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

International superstar Maggie Cheung (In the Mood for Love) embodies tragic screen siren Ruan Lingyu, known as the "Greta Garbo of China," in this unconventional biopic by Hong Kong New Wave master Stanley Kwan (Rouge). Praised for her moving and emotive onscreen presence, Ruan's private life, which was frequent fodder for the vicious Shanghai tabloids, began to mirror the melodramas which brought her fame, culminating in her suicide at age 24. Kwan and Cheung paint a kaleidoscopic yet intimate portrait of the ill-fated actress, deftly blending lush period drama, archival footage, and metatextual documentary sequences of Cheung reflecting on Ruan's legacy. The result is, much like the films of Ruan Lingyu themselves, "tender, vivid and almost overwhelmingly moving" (Time Out).

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Maggie Cheung
as Ruan Ling-yu
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Critic Reviews for Center Stage

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

The self-aware drama moves at the hypnotic pace of an elusive dream-above all, in spectacularly staged musical scenes, set in a night club, merging sinuous and languid dances with high-stakes emotional battles.

March 15, 2021 | Full Review…

A biopic like no other.

March 12, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

If Center Stage represents the more difficult proposition, it confirms [Maggie Cheung's] status as one of Hong Kong's brightest and most beautiful stars.

August 5, 2021 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Kwan's approach is so quiet, intimate and slow that the whole affair...feels like a lacquered-over still-life.

June 18, 2021 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Always interesting if not always involving.

June 13, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

I am shocked that no resourceful docu-maker has taken on Ruan Lingyun as a subject I now want to know more about.

June 10, 2021 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Center Stage

The film is based on a biopic of the silent film goddess, a legendary Chinese actress of the 30's. Ruan Ling Yu is a link of the lost Chinese black and white genre and the current cinemagraphy. Many Chinese silent film were either unknown, lost or not well preserved. This film can be quite educating when it comes to Chinese film history. Maggie Cheung's performance deserves an Oscar. The flow of the film can be quite confusing nevertheless it's still a good documentary-liked melodrama. Kinda like the movie Ed Wood.

Jojo Shek
Jojo Shek

Super Reviewer

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