“Roils with spy intrigue and sexual politics”
“[A] swoony charge of ideas about art, love, and espionage”
—The Film Stage
“The most truly iconic performance that [Gong Li] has delivered in decades”
In Japanese-occupied Shanghai during WWII, a legendary actress (Gong Li) makes her return to the stage to appear in a play written by her former flame. Meanwhile, suspicions emerge that she has a hidden agenda. Director Lou Ye—himself a thorn in the side of the Chinese censors—depicts the story photographically in high-contrast black and white and narratively with a thousand shifting shades of gray.