×

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.

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)

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.

Popular on Variety

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

  • Matthew Modine

    Supporters Back Matthew Modine After Clumsy Joke at SAG-AFTRA Meeting

    More than 100 women, including Ellen Barkin and Allison Janney, have voiced support for Matthew Modine’s campaign for SAG-AFTRA presidency, following a joke at a SAG-AFTRA meeting that some decried as misogynist. With voting set to conclude on Aug. 28, the campaigns have featured vitriolic attacks between supporters of Modine, secretary-treasurer Jane Austin and incumbent [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Earns 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award Nominations

    Variety has received 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie award nominations for its coverage of the entertainment industry over the past year. The awards gala, which will take place at The Hilton Midtown in New York City on Oct. 30, celebrates publications that have demonstrated impressive investigative journalism, in addition to thoughtful digital and print design. [...]

  • WGA Agents Packaging Fight Placeholder

    Writers Guild Withdraws State Suit Against Agencies, Refiles in Federal Court

    The Writers Guild of America has withdrawn its state court suit against WME, CAA, UTA and ICM Partners alleging packaging fees are illegal and re-filed suit in federal court. The WGA also responded to antitrust claims brought against the guild by the three agencies. Those agency suits alleged that the WGA abused its power in [...]

  • Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart

    Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award

    British actor Tim Roth is to receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award in recognition of his “exceptional contribution to the art of film.” The ceremony at the Sarajevo Film Festival will be held on Tuesday. He will hold a masterclass on the same day. His first screen role was the lead in the controversial [...]

  • Isabelle Huppert, receives the Honorary Heart

    Isabelle Huppert on Fateful Encounters, the Nature of Acting and Judging a Good Script

    Celebrated actress Isabelle Huppert, speaking at the Sarajevo Film Festival on Sunday, looked back on her illustrious career in a candid discussion that touched on her acting, the many renowned directors with whom she’s worked, and the importance of dialogue. The festival honored Huppert with its Honorary Heart of Sarajevo award “in recognition of her [...]

  • Inauguracion SANFIC 2019

    15th Sanfic Touts Attendance Rise, Hosts Gael Garcia Bernal, Wagner Moura

    SANTIAGO — Chile’s Santiago International Film Festival (Sanfic) launched its 15th edition Sunday Aug. 18 with three of Latin America’s best-known actors, Gael Garcia Bernal, Wagner Moura (“Narcos”) and Graciela Borges (“La Cienaga”), to which it bestowed career recognition awards. “It’s been 15 years in which we have presented more than 1,400 films,” noted Francisca [...]

  • Sarajevo, Intl. Casting Directors Network Look

    Sarajevo Film Festival and International Casting Directors Network Look to Launch Local Stars

    The Intl. Casting Directors Network (ICDN) and the Sarajevo Film Festival are joining forces to turn the popular Bosnian film fest into a springboard for regional actors looking to launch international careers. After kicking off with a pilot version last year, the initiative expanded to include a series of masterclasses with leading casting directors and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content