Q. What do you get when you cross "Rocky" with "Billy Elliot?" A. "Mao's Last Dancer," a trueish flick (It's based on an autobiography of the same title.) about a young Chinese boy plucked from his village in 1972 to train as a ballet dancer in Beijing, who finally lands on the stage in Texas.
One of the Movie Slut's favorite reviewers (Marshall Fine) dubbed the movie "middlebrow." And yes, predictability and a precious take on village life in China during the revolution mar this film. What elevates it for the MS is her passion for dance and fervor for strive-and-succeed-stories. And she defies anyone to leave the theater without dabbing tears from their eyes.
Still, "Mao" is not the her fave Chinese Cultural Revolution flick. That honor belongs to "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress."