Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)





Zhang Ziyi, Suzuka Ohgo, Shizuko Hoshi, Gong Li, Samantha Futerman, Kaori Momoi, Ken Watanabe, Kōji Yakusho, Michelle Yeoh, Youki Kudoh, Zoe Weizenbaum, Tsai Chin, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Cathy Shim, Kenneth Tsang, Karl Yune, Ted Levine, Paul Adelstein


In the years before World War II, a Japanese child (Suzuka Ohgo) is torn from her penniless family to work as a maid in a geisha house. Despite a treacherous rival (Li Gong) who nearly breaks her spirit, the girl blossoms into the legendary geisha Sayuri (Zhang Ziyi). Beautiful and accomplished, Sayuri captivates the most powerful men of her day, but is haunted by her secret love for the one man (Ken Watanabe) who is out of her reach.


Memoirs of a Geisha is a stunning film, dealing with one of the most beautiful romance stories of recent times.
Director Rob Marshall not only brought to the screen a well-adapted version of Arthur Golden's book of the same name, but he managed to capture each feature of the Japanese culture, far from us yet extraordinary.
The film is a journey into the world of geishas, which are not high-level prostitutes but artists able to play, sing and dance, and that must observe rules of etiquette.
The cinematography, the colours and the music are splendid.
I was expecting an all Japanese cast, and the choice of casting three Chinese actresses - Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh and Li Gong - in the leading roles is annoying. However, the acting from the three ladies is great, although sometimes I was struggling to understand what Zhang Ziyi and Li Gong were saying. The performance by Ken Watanabe is outstanding.


Sayuri: The heart dies a slow death. Shedding each hope like leaves, until one day there are none. No hopes. Nothing remains.

Chairman: We must not expect happiness, Sayuri. It is not something we deserve. When life goes well, it is a sudden gift; it cannot last forever...




  1. Couldn't really get with that. It was gorgeous to look at, but dragged so badly it lost me. The casting of Chinese actors also bothered me. The race of the actors generally doesn't bother me, but in this case the characters being Japanese is integral to the movie.

    1. I think the casting of Chinese actors bothered everyone