Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.
out of 100
Metascore®Mixed or average reviewsbased on a weighted average of allcritic review scores.
The final image - a freeze frame of a pas de deux staged to resemble a triumphal Communist poster - perfectly captures the film's overall effect: it's strenuously brainless.
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Director Bruce Beresford ("Driving Miss Daisy") knows how to tug heartstrings but as he moves the inspirational material toward its tear-jerker finale, it's often hampered by awkward melodrama.
Like most films in this underdog genre, the emotional manipulation of the audience is constant and obvious.
The story lights up when world-class performer Chi Cao leaps about as the adult Li, but is marred by lumpy melodrama when the music stops.
The film celebrates artistic freedom without preaching a sermon, and often flies when Mr. Chi is on screen. When he is on stage, spinning and leaping to the strains of magnificent music, the film soars.
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