The Wasted Times

Original Title: 罗曼蒂克消亡史
Directed by: Cheng Er
Written by: Cheng Er
Cinematography: Du Jie
Music by: Shigeru Umebayahi
Country: China, Hong Kong
Genres: Drama, Mystery
Duration: 125 min
Release Dates: 16 Dec. 2016 (China, USA)
Filming Dates: November 2014 – January 2015
Places of Shooting: China (Beijing, Tianjin, Sanya)

Love, hatred, and betrayal abound in Shanghai during the chaotic, war-torn 1930’s. Mr. Lu is ambushed during an important meeting with the Japanese army, but his sister’s husband, Watabe sacrifices himself to save Mr. Lu. Worse still, the Japanese brutally murder Mr. Lu’s children and sister. To avenge their deaths, Mr. Lu’s mistress attempts to kill the culprit but ends up dead. Years later as the Sino-Japanese war comes to a close, Mr. Lu visits the abandoned wife of his former boss, Mrs. Wang. She reveals that Watabe is still alive and did not sacrifice himself to save Mr. Lu, but is actually a Japanese spy responsible for the deaths of his family members and captured her as a slave in his basement. Given this new revelation, Mr. Lu takes Mrs. Wang to the war camp where Watabe is held to finally make him pay for his sins.


Ge You
Mister Lu

Zhang Ziyi
Xiao Liu

Tadanobu Asano

Gillian Chung
Xiao Wu

Quan Yuan
Hu Die

Production stills


More pictures




♦ Ziyi learned to speak some Shanghainese for the film. It was the first time the actress had to learn a chinese dialect for a movie.
♦ The film was formely premiering at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival, being part of Special Presentations. Not long before the start of the festival, the film was removed from the festival’s schedule for unknown reasons.

Awards and Nominations
Ceremony Category Recipient Result
2017 Asian Film Awards Best Cinematography Du Jie Nominated
Best Costume Design Kenneth Yee Nominated
2017 China Film Director’s Guild Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Director Cheng Er Won
Best Screenplay Cheng Er Nominated
Best Actor Ge You Nominated
Best Actress Zhang Ziyi Nominated
Best Actress Yuan Quan Nominated