Ang Lee’s timeless masterpiece, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, returns to movie theaters everywhere in the U.S. and Canada in a stunning 4k restoration on February 17th, 2023.
More than a breathtaking martial arts film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a tragic romance and a touchstone of female empowerment. Named one of the ten best movies of the millennium by Time Magazine, Ang Lee’s four-time Academy Award-winning masterpiece is returning to the big screen.
Written for the screen by Wang Hui Ling, James Schamus, and Tsai Kuo Jung, the film is based on the book by Wang Du Lu. The Sony Picture film has an extraordinary star cast – Chow Yun Fat stars Li Mu Bai, Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien, and Zhang Ziyi as Jen Yu.
Why is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon significant?
Set against 19th-century China’s breathtaking landscape, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is an action-packed box office featuring stunning martial arts choreography by Yuen Wo Ping. Two master warriors (Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh) are faced with their greatest challenge when the treasured Green Destiny sword is stolen. A young aristocrat (Zhang Ziyi) prepares for an arranged marriage but soon reveals her superior fighting talents and profoundly romantic past. As each warrior battles for justice, they face their worst enemy- and the inescapable, enduring power of love.
Back in the day, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a global venture on a US $17 million budget. Produced by Edko films and Zoom Hunt productions, the film became a surprise sensation with international success and grossed over $213.5 million worldwide. It is one of the first foreign language films that broke the record of $100 million in the United States.
The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2000 and was later released in theatres in the United States. Ang Lee’s film received an overwhelming response and achieved huge commercial success. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon instantly became famous among action fanatics and won over 40 awards along with nominations for 10 Academy awards the following year after its release.
The film has won four BAFTAs and two Golden Globe awards, including one for Best Foreign film.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was also praised for its story, direction, cinematography, and martial arts sequence, which has become a benchmark for many action films since then. The film score was composed by Tan Dun and performed by Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai National Orchestra, and Shanghai Percussion Ensemble. It is noteworthy that the film’s music was produced within two weeks. The last track of the film – A Love Before Time, features Coco Lee, who also performed the song at the academy awards in 2001.