China’s film market growing in size means that you now have enough money to hire famous crew. While I normally would rather these jobs go to rising Chinese artists, so that the industry can actually build up talent, who can say no to Patricia Field? She’s the stylist for Sex and the City, Devil Wears Prada, etc. She flew from New York to Beijing in order to be a consultant for the movie, Du Lala’s Promotion, an adaptation of a very popular novel in China, and the much publicized directorial comeback of actress-director-screenwriter Xu Jinglei.
While Xu Jinglei has had nominations and awards for her films, she would also fit into that ever-increasing group of indie Chinese directors turning commercial; by today’s standards her past three directorial efforts were lower budget so I have no idea what to expect if she tackles this. Her warm-up exercise before directing this, the MV for Supergirls 2009 was pretty, but it was also rather boring. Xu Jinglei is a decent actress but she seems a bit too old for a role about a girl’s first job.
This casting decision isn’t the only one being questioned. People wondered why Taiwanese American hip hop artist Stanley Huang was casted as the male lead, a Beijinger in the original novel. Xu Jinglei said that she wouldn’t be following in the book exactly, raising curiosity, and that the boyfriend character was changed to an ABC. I like Stanley Huang…but together, they are going to be one tall, lanky couple. The rest of the cast also boasts an array of tall, skinny actors from all over…Karen Mok from Hong Kong, Pace Wu from Taiwan, and mainland China’s model turned actors, Li Ai and Song Ning.
Adding to the high-profileness of this project are the bigshots from various fashion magazines in China, such as the editors from Harper’s Bazaar, Comsopolitan, and Hong. Various people from the fashion world may guest in the film. With Sophie’s Revenge teaming up with Elle for their posters (in my opinion a bad move) this type of partnership between movies and magazines is become a trend.
Too bad eeMedia isn’t willing to shell out big bucks just yet for their tv series…they should have gotten Abigail Lorick as a consultant for Meteor Shower.