'Memoirs of a Geisha' Premieres Dec. 9

By (BI) Paul Temple

LOS ANGELES -- Based on the novel by Arthur Golden, “Memoirs of a Geisha” is a romantic epic set in a mysterious and exotic world. In the years before WWII a penniless Japanese child is torn from her family to work as a maid in a geisha house.

The girl blossoms into the legendary geisha Sayuri (Ziyi Zhang). Sayuri captivates the most powerful men of her day, but is haunted by her secret love for the one man who is out of her reach (Ken Watanabe).

The film is directed by Rob Marshall ("Chicago"), produced by Steven Spielberg and features an international cast including Michelle Yeoh ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"), Koji Yakusho ("Shall We Dance?"), Youki Kudoh ("Snow Falling on Cedars") and Gong Li ("Raise the Red Lantern").

"Memoirs of a Geisha" opens in the U.S. on Dec. 9 and will be available nationwide on Dec. 23.

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