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6.9
/10
1,839 Ratings

The Grandmaster

Yut doi jung si | 一代宗师

Directed by Wong Kar-wai
Hong Kong, China, 2013
Action, Drama, Biography

Synopsis

The film revolves around Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man, whose life expressed the philosophy and physical elegance of kung fu. After the Second Sino-Japanese War he leaves his native Foshan for Hong Kong; here he will fight other martial arts icons and confront the turmoil of war and fated love…

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The Grandmaster Directed by Wong Kar-wai

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2014 | 2 nominations including: Best Achievement in Cinematography

Village Voice Film Poll

2013 | Nominee: Best Supporting Actress

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2013 | Nominee: Best Cinematography

The Grandmaster perhaps earns the dubious honour of being the first martial arts movie that comes across as completely non-violent, like Wong didn’t view the cause or effect of the various altercations as demonstrations of power and dominance. It’s as if the various styles are modes of articulation and this is a movie about discourse of a more primal variety. It’s not a kick-ass action movie, but it’s still very strange and beautiful in its own idiosyncratic way.
December 04, 2014
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Wong is the modern auteurist’s dreamtime superhero, and what he’s done here… is convert the martial arts saga, with its strange hierarchal struggles and ideas of honor and repetitious matches, into an imagistic opera, a roaring aria of Wongian rue and mourning. None of the epic and wickedly shot-and-cut battle scenes matter in the story so much as a single coat button, representing, as so many innocent but totemic objects do in Wong, a heartbreaking as gorgeous as falling snow.
November 21, 2013
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This utterly sensorial kaleidoscope, this irregular and oneiric fable, savagely jumps in many directions and follows many different devices. The storytelling is layered, blending – as usual in the work of this poet-director – small islands of marvelously spectacular entities with some (epic) historical events, and speeding up to the vertiginous from dreamy slowness.
September 27, 2013
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