Love for Life

Mainland China's first AIDS-related pic, "Love for Life" is an anemic mess, notwithstanding stars Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok (neither inspired) and rising helmer Gu Changwei.

Cast:
With: Zhang Ziyi, Aaron Kwok, Pu Cunxi, Jiang Wenli, Sun Haiying, Tao Zeru, Wang Baoqiang, Cai Guoqing, Li Jianhua, Li Danyang, Jiang Wen, Feng Xiaogang, Lu Chuan, Guo Yongzhang, Guo Zetao. (Mandarin dialogue)

Mainland China’s first AIDS-related pic, “Love for Life” is an anemic mess, notwithstanding stars Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok (neither inspired) and rising helmer Gu Changwei. It’s possible the original 2 1/2-hour conception was more coherent, but the current version feels chopped up and assembled by multiple editors with limited communication skills. Set in a remote northern Chinese village, the pic functions as neither AIDS tale nor love story, and with a dead 12-year-old boy narrating and several risible sex scenes, the target audience is unclear. Even most fests will steer clear.

Narrator Xin (Guo Zetao) died from AIDS, like many infected when his unscrupulous father (Pu Cunxi) sold the town tainted blood. Even the asymptomatic isolate themselves in a school, including uncle Deyi (Kwok). Forlorn Qinqin (Zhang) arrives kicked out by husband Xiao Hai (Cai Guoqing), and she and Deyi fall in love. Villagers succumb as if AIDS is the bubonic plague, and the script, far from demystifying the disease, is tonally all over the place. Zhang’s red clothes set her apart but, like the attractive visuals from lensers Yang Tao and Christopher Doyle, aren’t meaningfully integrated into the story.

Love for Life

China

Production: A Stellar Mega Films, Hing Lung Worldwide Group, Beijing Harmony & Harvest Media, Beijing Forbidden City Film, Pioneer TV & Movie Prod. of Chengdu Media Group production. (International sales: Edko Films, Hong Kong.) Produced by Gu Changwei, Chen Xiaodong. Executive producers, Qin Hong, Bill Kong, Ma Hefeng, Zhang Qiang, He Bing. Directed by Gu Changwei. Screenplay, Yan Laoshi, Yang Weiwei, Gu Changwei.

Crew: Camera (color), Yang Tao, Christopher Doyle; editor, Li Dianshi; music, Zuoxiao Zuzhou; production designers, Wang Weiyuan, Han Dahai; costume designer, Zhang Yongyi. Reviewed at Rome Film Festival (competing), Nov. 1, 2011. Running time: 99 MIN.

With: With: Zhang Ziyi, Aaron Kwok, Pu Cunxi, Jiang Wenli, Sun Haiying, Tao Zeru, Wang Baoqiang, Cai Guoqing, Li Jianhua, Li Danyang, Jiang Wen, Feng Xiaogang, Lu Chuan, Guo Yongzhang, Guo Zetao. (Mandarin dialogue)

More Film

  • Alexandra Shipp

    Film News Roundup: Alexandra Shipp in Talks for 'Shaft' Sequel

    Mainland China’s first AIDS-related pic, “Love for Life” is an anemic mess, notwithstanding stars Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok (neither inspired) and rising helmer Gu Changwei. It’s possible the original 2 1/2-hour conception was more coherent, but the current version feels chopped up and assembled by multiple editors with limited communication skills. Set in a […]

  • Producers Guild Taps Seven Documentary Nominees

    'Cries From Syria,' 'Jane' Among Producers Guild of America's Feature Documentary Nominees

    Mainland China’s first AIDS-related pic, “Love for Life” is an anemic mess, notwithstanding stars Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok (neither inspired) and rising helmer Gu Changwei. It’s possible the original 2 1/2-hour conception was more coherent, but the current version feels chopped up and assembled by multiple editors with limited communication skills. Set in a […]

  • Adam Fields Relativity

    Ex-Relativity Executive Adam Fields Accused of Sexual Harassment

    Mainland China’s first AIDS-related pic, “Love for Life” is an anemic mess, notwithstanding stars Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok (neither inspired) and rising helmer Gu Changwei. It’s possible the original 2 1/2-hour conception was more coherent, but the current version feels chopped up and assembled by multiple editors with limited communication skills. Set in a […]

  • Wolf Warriors 2

    China Box Office Passes $7.5 Billion Landmark

    Mainland China’s first AIDS-related pic, “Love for Life” is an anemic mess, notwithstanding stars Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok (neither inspired) and rising helmer Gu Changwei. It’s possible the original 2 1/2-hour conception was more coherent, but the current version feels chopped up and assembled by multiple editors with limited communication skills. Set in a […]

  • Laura Dern Emmy Award Win

    New York Women in Film & Television to Honor Laura Dern, Judith Light, Others at Muse Awards

    Mainland China’s first AIDS-related pic, “Love for Life” is an anemic mess, notwithstanding stars Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok (neither inspired) and rising helmer Gu Changwei. It’s possible the original 2 1/2-hour conception was more coherent, but the current version feels chopped up and assembled by multiple editors with limited communication skills. Set in a […]

  • Murder on the Orient Express

    Fox Developing 'Murder on the Orient Express' Sequel 'Death on the Nile'

    Mainland China’s first AIDS-related pic, “Love for Life” is an anemic mess, notwithstanding stars Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok (neither inspired) and rising helmer Gu Changwei. It’s possible the original 2 1/2-hour conception was more coherent, but the current version feels chopped up and assembled by multiple editors with limited communication skills. Set in a […]

  • 10 Screenwriters to Watch

    Variety Announces 10 Screenwriters to Watch of 2017

    Mainland China’s first AIDS-related pic, “Love for Life” is an anemic mess, notwithstanding stars Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok (neither inspired) and rising helmer Gu Changwei. It’s possible the original 2 1/2-hour conception was more coherent, but the current version feels chopped up and assembled by multiple editors with limited communication skills. Set in a […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content