China’s actor for all seasons, Ge You, celebrates 59!
On April 19, 1957 one of China’s top actors and big time movie star Ge You was born in Beijing. With over fifty films, teleplays and stage dramas under his belt, Ge You has built a solid reputation as the go-to funny guy meets sad, romantic lead – think Colin Firth or Paul Rudd – in a host of big hits. Ge You is so well-known and cast that there is a saying in China, which loosely translated says – “Comedy, look for Ge You. Tragedy, look for Ge You. Romantic movie, still look for Ge You.”
In honor of Ge You’s birthday, DMG Entertainment has hand-selected six films that highlight his best work. So get ready to laugh, cry and be moved.
Ge You – Six of His Best
LIFETIMES LIVING (1994)
Director: Zhang Yimou
Starring: Ge You, Gong Li
Summary: Adapted from Yu Hua’s novel, Fu Gui (Ge You) used to be a dandy who suffered from a gambling addiction and gamble away the whole family fortune lead to his father’s death and his pregnant wife Jia Zhen (Gong Li) run way from home with his daughter. After that, Fu Gui finally turn over a new leaf and make a living by Chinese shadow puppetry. Jia Zhen return home one year later and they live a poor but happy life. Unfortunately, they went through many difficult times and miserable experience. But Fu Gui believe that life will be better in the future.
Recognition: The film received positive reviews and won multiple awards from film festivals, including Cannes International Film Festival Jury Prize, British Academy Film Awards Best Foreign Film and Cannes International Film Festival Best Actor Award (Ge You).
THE DREAM FACTORY (1997)
Director: Feng Xiaogang
Starring: Ge You, He Bing, Liu Bei, Feng Xiaogang
Summary: About for young freelances develop a one-day tour’s dream business on a whim to let people’s dream come true in on day. All kinds of miraculous and vagarious dreams have followed, it seems that everyone wants a U-turn. In the process of helping client to achieve their dreams, they devote themselves. And then, Yao Yuan (Ge You) and his fiancée Zhou Beiyan (Liu Bei) contribute their marriage home to a cancer couple with no house.
Fun Fact: The film created two first in the history of China film at least. One is the first movie for specific schedule since 1949 and the other is the director doesn’t get paid but share risks from film’s profit.
Recognition: The film received Hundred Flowers Award Best Film, Hundred Flowers Award Best Actor (Ge You) and Hundred Flowers Award Best Actress (Liu Bei). Hundred Flowers Award, Huabiao Award and Golden Rooster Award are the best movie award in China.
BIG SHOT’S FUNERAL (2001)
Director: Feng Xiaogang
Starring: Ge You, Rosamund Kwan, Donald Sutherland, Ying Da, Paul Mazursky
Summary: Aged famed American director Don Tyler (Donald Sutherland) is in Beijing to film a big budget remake – in his mind, a more authentic Chinese cultural version – of The Last Emperor (1987). His Chinese-American assistant, Lucy (Rosamund Kwan), hires native Chinese and non-English speaker YoYo (Ge You) to be the cameraman for a behind the scenes documentary; YoYo is just to shoot whatever he sees with no editorializing. Part way through the filming, Tyler gets depressed and loses his artistic vision for the movie. Simultaneously, he learns that he is being fired. Tyler, YoYo and Lucy have a philosophical discussion on the similarities of the uplifting feeling of attending the funeral of the elderly and of comedy movies, after which Tyler requests from his new friend YoYo a “comedy funeral”. After Tyler faints and goes into a coma, YoYo, thinking that Tyler is about to die, goes ahead with the planning of what he believes is Tyler’s final wish, the comedy funeral to be bigger than Tyler’s last movie. Because of the astronomical cost, YoYo and his funeral planner have to come up with some creative financing. Lucy, however, is certain that Tyler will come out of his coma, but still goes along with the funeral planning.
Fun Fact: The film reflects lots of social content to reveal and criticize social reality. The plot seems absurd but is also the closest to the reality and easy to resonate.
Recognition: The film received Hundred Flowers Award Best Feature Film Award, Hundred Flowers Award Best Actor, Chinese Film Media Awards Best Actor and Beijing Student Film Festival Favorite Actor(Ge You).
IF YOU ARE THE ONE (2008) & IF YOU ARE THE ONE II (2010)
Director: Feng Xiaogang
Starring: Ge You, Shu Qi
Summary: Qin Fen (Ge You), a funny, honest, single inventor, met a girl called Liang Xiaoxiao (Shu Qi), who was in agony of her boyfriend’s betrayal. They traveled to Hokkaido, tried to help Xiaoxiao cure her pain in heart, and both of them gradually found their true love and life redemption during the journey. The sequel of If You Are the One released in 2010.Qin and Xiaoxiao question their relationship after presiding over good friends Mang Guo and Shan Li’s lavish “divorce ceremony.” Would it be a happy ending?
Fun Fact: It is a romantic movie. The box office of the film is 325 million RMB and became the best seller in 2008.
Recognition: The film received China Film Society of Performing Art Award Special Jury Prize and received award nomination of The Asian Film Awards Best Director and Best Actor (Ge You), Hong Kong Film Awards Best Asian Film.
Director: Chen Kaige
Starring: Ge You, Wang Xueqi, Huang Xiaoming, Fan Bingbing
Summary: The film adapted from Chinese classical drama The Orphan of Zhao. To save the only child of the Zhao Family, whose entire clan was massacred at the hands of a nefarious minister, the doctor Cheng Ying (Ge You) even sacrifices his own son. After the orphan grows up, Cheng Ying decides the time has come to show the tragedy of the Zhao family and reveal to the orphan the truth of his origins. After discovering the truth, the Zhao orphan get his revenge.
Recognition: Ge You received Huabiao Award Best Actor.
LET THE BULLETS FLY (2010)
Director: Jiang Wen
Starring: Jiang Wen, Chow Yun Fat, Ge You, Carina Lau, Chen Kun, Zhou Yun
Summary: While en route to become the new governor of Goose Town, Ma Dingbang’s (Ge You) train is hijacked by notorious bandit Zhang ‘Pock-faced’ Muzhi (Jiang Wen). The chameleon Ma lies to Zhang that he is only the governor’s counselor Tang. Zhang decides to pose as the governor and scam the townsfolk for a fast buck with the aid of Ma. When Zhang arrives with his entourage of bandits posing as officers, he soon discovers that Huang Silong (Chow Yun Fat), the king of the hill, has colluded with former governors and local tycoons to bleed the townsfolk of everything they own. When Zhang’s adopted son Six falls prey to Huang’s nasty trick, he swears a revenge worse than death — he will ‘destroy Huang’s soul.’
Fun Fact: Great stuff that’s worthy of its critical accolades and boffo box-office. Let the Bullets Fly is whip smart and very entertaining while still retaining a unique cultural identity and some perhaps thinly-veiled political commentary. This year’s China film to beat. The title may lead some to expect an action picture, but Let the Bullets Fly is more of a black comedy, with veiled satire mixed with bursts of action and a few over-the-top moments.
Recognition: Ge You received China Film Directors’ Guild Best Actor and Chinese Film Media Awards Best Actor. The film received Golden Horse Award Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Cinematography, Asian Film Awards Highest Asian Film Box Office and Chinese Film Media Awards Best Director.
Happy Birthday Ge You!
Stay tuned to DMG Entertainment for the latest updates on our upcoming feature films.