M. Butterfly
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David Cronenberg's cinematic intensity eviscerates this adaptation of David Henry Hwang's passionate stage production. Based on a true incident involving a French diplomat who carried on an affair for 18 years with a man the diplomat thought was a woman, M. Butterfly begins in 1964 Beijing when French foreign service employee Rene Gallimard (Jeremy Irons) becomes smitten with Chinese opera performer Song Liling (John Lone). Before long, Gallimard is enamored with Song, and they begin an inflamed affair -- bracketed by the stipulation that Gallimard will never be allowed to look upon… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 42%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"When John Lone parades around in mascara and speaks in an asexual monotone, the film audience discovers itself staring at John Lone's whiskers underneath his makeup"
‑ Paul Brenner, Filmcritic.com
"There's a lot to chew on in this incredible love story turned into a grisly horror story."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"M. Butterfly is Cronenberg's least-known and most underrated work, far superior to his great cult hit, Scanners."
‑ Matt Bailey, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"One of Cronenberg's most problematic and most disappointing films, largely due to the source material."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A rare mis-step for director Cronenberg, neutering a challenging play with a bizarrely conservative filming approach."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"Imperfect, interesting."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"Cronenberg no longer needs slimy parasites or exploding heads; the human heart's ability to fool itself is frightening and bizarre enough."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"Downright peculiar film from Cronenberg. Far from his best, but better than its reputation."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Cronenberg and Hwang seem to have conspired to dull the material at every turn."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
More reviews for M. Butterfly on Rotten Tomatoes