“She’s Got No Name” Cannes Premiere

Yesterday night was the worldwide premiere of She’s Got No Name at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. The director Peter Chan and the cast members including Ziyi, Lei Jiayin, Yang Mi, Li Xian, Da Peng and Ci Sha were all present for the occasion. Ziyi wore a transcendent dress designed by Maison Margiela to both events that night: first a special ceremony for the Chinese edition of W Magazine and second, the red carpet and screening of the movie.

The movie received a three-minute standing ovation at the end of the screening. Nonetheless, a few walked out before the end, mostly because they deemed the movie too long or too violent. Ziyi’s performance definitely didn’t deceive anyone. As for the critical reception, it is very quiet so far. Lee Marshall from Screen Daily is the first to come forward. Here is an excerpt.

In some ways it’s an unashamedly old-school exercise, one where every tattered cheongsam dress, bloodstained floorboard and iron prison grate has a tactile quality. It’s old fashioned too in tricks like the use of slow-motion footage to drive home poignant moments, or the soft halation effects that bring a mist of memory to the film’s black-and-white flashbacks. But She’s Got No Name gives this historic cause celebre contemporary relevance by first teasing the story as a lurid true-crime tale before revealing it to be a drama of domestic abuse.

In a country that only passed its first domestic violence law in 2015, one that has been rocked recently by a series of high-profile cases and viral Weibo videos, Chan’s film is riding a wave that it should also help to augment. Overseas play will be helped by its widescreen allure, the return of of Zhang Ziyi as a leading lady, and a script that flirts with sentimentality but also has some other more interesting moves – for example, in the way it interlaces supporting characters like pig-headed police commissioner Xue Zhi-wu or Xi Lin, a playwright, journalist and divorcee who takes up the case of the so-called husband-butcher.

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