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‘The Grandmaster:’ The Story of the Man Who Trained Bruce Lee

Photo: Courtesy Photo, License: N/A

Courtesy Photo

Before Bruce—Tony Leung Chiu Wai as Yip Man, the Master that helped change martial arts forever.


Leung is a similarly gorgeous visual subject, filled with grace and nuance. It’s fair to say that Wong’s camera can’t seem to get enough of him. Whether it’s the angle of his smile, the movement of his hands or the focus in his eyes, the actor delivers a physical performance that offers profound glimpses into Yip Man’s internal landscape. As Gong Er, Zhang is equally ravishing, conveying more defiance, longing and sorrow in her eyes than any dialogue could convincingly explicate.

Taken together it’s almost enough to compensate for disastrous storytelling, but not quite. One can only hope that Wong, who took 14 years to complete Ashes Of Time, dedicates himself to releasing a more definitive version of The Grandmaster, honoring his breathtaking cinematography and gorgeously stylized action sequences with a biography that is equally engrossing.

The Grandmaster

Dir. Wong Kar Wai; writ. Wong Kar Wai, Jingzhi Zou, Haofeng Xu; feat. Zhang Ziyi, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Chen Chang (PG-13) (Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese with English subtitles)
Opens Aug. 30 at Santikos locations
(except Bijou)

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