The Go Master (Wu Qingyuan)
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The Go Master (Wu Qingyuan)
The material and spiritual sides of one man's life are reflected in a game that allowed him to become a hero in this historical drama from Chinese director Tian Zhuangzhuang. Wu Qingyuan (Chang Chen) was born to a wealthy family in China, and as a boy he revealed a remarkable talent for the centuries-old game known as Go. Wu's skill for the game was so great that in the 1920s he was given the opportunity to travel to Japan, where he would learn from the grand masters of Go and compete with champions from around the world. Wu spent most of the rest of his life in Japan, where his life… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Impressively shot in 'Scope, it's a considerable achievement, possessed of a tranquil beauty and sagacity."
‑ Wally Hammond, Time Out
"A deeply thoughtful biopic of a legendary gaming master."
‑ Richard James Havis, Hollywood Reporter
"The rapturous camerawork and Chang Chen's performance as Wu both delight, but there's little insight into what makes a game about white and black pebbles so utterly absorbing."
‑ Jamie Russell, Total Film
"Featuring a game whose practitioners cultivate friendships rather than rivalries, in a time and a place where conflict was otherwise all too easy to find, The Go Master is a biopic of rare subtlety, delicacy and stillness."
‑ Anton Bitel, Film4
"More an example of fifth-gen pageantry than anything by Zhang or Chen."
‑ Keith Uhlich, Slant Magazine
"Under Tian Zhuangzhuang, one of China's leading directors, The Go Master unfolds as meditatively as a game of go."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"The film is structured as a series of tableaux with little connective tissue."
‑ Ronnie Scheib, Variety
"This soporific stupor and final pinch of defeat is the experience that most fully equates with watching this film."
‑ Stella Papamichael, BBC.com
"As the subject for a film biography, there would seem to be a great deal of material there, but screenwriter Ah Cheng and director Tian Zhuangzhuang make a botch of it."
‑ Ted Murphy, Murphy's Movie Reviews
"Tian Zhuangzhuang's biopic is a stately and respectful reflection on the life of Wu Qingyuan, one of the 20th century's top players of go, a Japanese game said to rival chess in complexity."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"With no attempt made to even explain the basic rules of Go, this is essentially a study of forehead-kneading concentration, of how to shut out even the most tempestuous of world events."
‑ Andrew Pulver, Guardian
"Chang captures Wu's dedication and respect for a game whose intricacies reflect the vicissitudes of his own life."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"One of the few pictures deserving of the description "visual poem.""
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
More reviews for The Go Master (Wu Qingyuan) on Rotten Tomatoes