Mao's Last Dancer

Watch Mao's Last Dancer

"Before you can fly, you have to be free."
  • PG
  • 2010
  • 1 hr 57 min
  • 7.3  (8,231)
  • 55

Mao's Last Dancer is a 2009 biographical drama film directed by Bruce Beresford, based on the autobiography of the same name by Li Cunxin. The story follows the life of Li Cunxin, a Chinese ballet dancer who became a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet in the United States in the 1980s. Li Cunxin is raised in poverty in China during the Cultural Revolution. When he is discovered at the age of 11 by a local ballerina, he is sent to the Beijing Dance Academy, where he excels in ballet. As an adult, he is selected by the Chinese government to study ballet in the United States. Initially reluctant to leave his family and country, Li eventually falls in love with an American woman named Elizabeth Macy (played by Amanda Schull) and decides to stay in the United States.

Li struggles to adapt to American culture and the freedom that it brings. He is torn between his love for Elizabeth and his loyalty to his homeland. He also faces pressure from the Chinese government to return home and continue dancing for them. Li eventually becomes a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet, but his success is not without challenges.

The movie features outstanding performances from the cast, particularly from Chi Cao, who portrays Li Cunxin. Cao, a former principal dancer for the Birmingham Royal Ballet, brings authenticity to the role and is captivating to watch on screen. Bruce Greenwood and Kyle MacLachlan also deliver strong performances as Li's mentors and confidantes in the United States.

The film is visually stunning, with beautiful cinematography that captures the artistry and grace of ballet. The dance sequences are breathtaking, and the film effectively captures the intense physical and emotional demands of ballet.

Mao's Last Dancer is not just a story about ballet; it is a story about the struggle for individual freedom and the conflict between individual desires and social obligations. Li's journey from poverty to success is both inspiring and heartbreaking, and the film does a great job of conveying his internal struggle.

Overall, Mao's Last Dancer is a beautiful and moving film that celebrates the beauty of dance while also exploring complex themes of identity, love, and loyalty. It is a must-see for anyone who loves ballet, or who appreciates stories about the human experience.

Mao's Last Dancer is a 2010 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 57 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 55.

Mao's Last Dancer
Where to Watch Mao's Last Dancer
Mao's Last Dancer is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Mao's Last Dancer for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 57 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (8,231)
  • Metascore