Memoirs of a Geisha – Dec. 9

    “Memoirs of a Geisha” seems to fit the ambitious Oscar-hopeful holiday film bill perfectly. Based on the 1997 Arthur Golden novel of the same name about a young Japanese girl who grows up to become one of Japan’s most famous geisha during World War II, the project sounds like a sure-fire hit, yet the feeling that this will turn out to be an utter disappointment remains. The casting of several Chinese actresses (including lead Ziyi Zhang and Michelle Yeoh) in major roles, the fact that the movie was mostly shot on American soil, and the fact it is directed by a whitey, Rob Marshall (“Chicago”), could doom the movie to failure. There are still enough elements for the movie to prove naysayers wrong — the gorgeous set pieces, rich and complex source material, a John Williams-penned score and the fact that it is produced by Steven Spielberg — but for now, this seems more likely to be a letdown than an award-winner.

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