Talk about some beautiful imagery.
The first U.S. trailer for The Assassin dropped last week and it looks like this Cannes favorite (it won Best Director) should be one of the year’s best. The film is directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien and stars Chang Chen and Shu Qi.
The official synopsis is as follows:
9th Century China: 10-year-old general’s daughter Nie Yinniang is abducted by a nun who initiates her into the martial arts, transforming her into an exceptional assassin charged with eliminating cruel and corrupt local governors. One day, having failed in a task, she is sent back by her mistress to the land of her birth, with orders to kill the man to whom she was promised – a cousin who now leads the largest military region in North China.
After 13 years of exile, the young woman must confront her parents, her memories and her long-repressed feelings. A slave to the orders of her mistress, Nie Yinniang must choose: sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins.
The visuals in the trailer look stunning and the action has been preached since it first premiered at Cannes before going to New York and TIFF. Our reviewer out of Cannes was not as impressed with the film saying:
The jumbled script, histrionic acting and paltry characterisation (we know as little about the main character by the end of the film as at the beginning) reduce The Assassin to little more than eye candy – a series of upscale postcards composed of luxurious tableaux of rural landscapes, pretty women in elaborate traditional costumes, a set design minutely recreating the period’s architecture and interiors, all these beautifully lit and filmed. But a superb cinematography alone does not a film make.
The Assassin opens on October 16.