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A film so delicate you can almost break it off in your hand, this is a stunning biography of Ruan Lingyu, China's first real movie star, a woman who lived a "colorful" life and was dead before she was 30. Director Stanley Kwan deftly mixes his narrative with actual film clips, re-creations of lost films, interviews with survivors, and his own conversations with his cast. The result is a kaleidoscope of emotion and tragedy. Maggie Cheung is nothing less than astonishing as Ruan, and she is ably supported by Tony Leung (of Anna's the lover).—STSH
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