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Farewell My Concubine Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

Farewell My Concubine

Rated R for language and strong depiction of thematic material.

R In Theaters 03/15/1994 , 154min.
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Plot & Details

Until Farewell, My Concubine (Ba Wang Bie Ji), not many people were aware that most members of the Peking Opera were originally orphans or illegitimate castaways with nowhere else to turn. Such is the case of the film's protagonists, Duan Xiaolou (Zhang Fengyi) and Cheng Dieyi (Leslie Cheung), two homeless outcasts, trained from childhood in the grueling rigors of the Opera by master Lu Qui. The film traces the 52-year friendship between Xiaolou and Dieyi, a friendship pockmarked with fiery conflicts and tender reconciliations. Though the delicate Dieyi specializes in female roles and the gutsy Xiaolou plays noble warriors, theirs is an essentially heterosexual relationship; still, when Xiaolou takes upon himself a prostitute bride (the magnificent Gong Li), Dieyi is as petty and jealous as an outcast mistress. Farewell, My Concubine holds the viewer in thrall from start to finish; as such, it is thoroughly deserving of its many international film awards and nominations. Surprisingly, this worldwide success was something of a flop in its home country of China; perhaps it hit too close to home for those viewers who'd lived through the same years so painstakingly recreated in the film.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1993 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Cinematography Gu Changwei Nominated
1993 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Foreign Language Film Chen Kaige Nominated

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1993 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Foreign Language Film Chen Kaige Nominated

Golden Globes

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1993 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Foreign Language Film Won

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1993 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Foreign Language Film Chen Kaige Nominated

Cannes Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1993 Cannes Film Festival FIPRESCI Award for Best Film in Competition Chen Kaige Won
1993 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Chen Kaige Won

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1992 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Foreign Film Won

National Board of Review

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1993 National Board of Review Best Foreign Film Won

New York Film Critics Circle

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1993 New York Film Critics Circle Best Foreign Film Won
1993 New York Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actress Gong Li Won

Telluride Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1993 Telluride Film Festival Film Presented Nominated

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