Lover of the Last Empress (1995)

Producer Wong Jing pulls out all the stops for his girlfriend Chingmy Yau Suk-Ching with this glossy star vehicle directed by cinematographer turned director Andrew Lau Wai-Keung. This beautifully mounted production is nothing more than a sexy, fictional retelling of the rise to power of the sadistic Empress Dowager, all done with a broad poetic license. Costumes and set design, lighting and movement combine to create remarkable achievement in cinematography for director Lau.

Lover of the Last Empress does prove that love is blind. Chingmy Yau Suk-Ching doesn't have the dramatic acting skills to handle some of the nastier elements of this story. Everyone but the producer knows that she's better suited in comedic roles and the lighter moments of the film are quite endearing. Performances by Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Yu Rong-Guang, and Valerie Chow Kar-Ling help to keep the illusion working.

Copyright © 2006 John Crawford. All rights reserved.