In 1929, a nine-year-old girl is sold to a geisha house where she’s trained to become the perfect female companion; love and war await her as an adult. Director Rob Marshall followed up Chicago (2002) with this epic portrayal of Japanese geishas but without the intensity that set his previous film on fire. There’s long stretches where nothing much happens, but the cast is fine (the complaints about having Chinese stars play Japanese are unfair), it’s a pretty interesting story, and the technical qualities are outstanding, not least the cinematography and John Williams’s music score.
2005-U.S. 144 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Rob Marshall. Novel: Arthur Golden. Cinematography: Dion Beebe. Music: John Williams. Art Direction: John Myhre, Gretchen Rau. Costume Design: Colleen Atwood. Cast: Ziyi Zhang (Chiyo), Ken Watanabe (The Chairman), Michelle Yeoh (Mameha), Gong Li, Kôji Yakusho, Youki Kudoh.
Trivia: Steven Spielberg and Brett Ratner allegedly considered directing the film; the former is a co-producer.
Oscars: Best Cinematography, Art Direction-Set Decoration, Costume Design. BAFTA: Best Cinematography, Film Music, Costume Design. Golden Globe: Best Original Score.