The Last Emperor movie matched with an authentic Chinese menu


Starring  John Lone, Joan Chen & Peter O’Toole

Rating 9/10


– The film begins with ex-Emperor Puyi (Lone) all grown up. In the ‘present’ he has been arrested by the People’s Republic of China as a traitor to the nation. As he tries to harm himself, he flashes back to when he was a tiny kid, when he became Emperor
– Flashbacks follow the evolution of Puyi from cute little button P to teenage betrothed P to adult P. Throughout this he is being tutored by Englishman Reginald Johnston (O’Toole) who helps him see that the fancy pants palace he is in is actually a prison.
– Eventually Puyi is kicked out of his elaborate jail by China’s big wig and his only welcome comes from the Japanese. Dangerous times. First there’s singing, fine wine, food and comfortable lodging but then comes the blackmail as he returns to his native land of Manchuria. Drugs, sex, lies, betrayal, death. Seedy times for poor old Puyi. Even here, he is not free, this time controlled by the Japanese.
– Eventually his story catches up to the other one in the land of Communist China, where he is in yet another type of prison… a jail. All is ok… for a while. But I will let you find out that for yourself.


I love Chinese food – the textures, variety of flavours, crunchy, chewy, spicy and delicious. Yummo. I remember eating these in Hong Kong by the harbour at a genuine Yum Cha restaurant. A full meal cost us $1 each. Crazy. Here’s the tasty, yummy and a little bit different Char Siu Bao ( Chinese BBQ Pork Buns) from Closet Cooking.


This is a fascinating, intriguing film, shot perfectly and, at  times, a little strangely. This is a beautifully crafted movie. The performances are perfect – it feels and looks so real.

Director Bernardo Bertolucci has created a masterpiece here. He interweaves the ‘present’ and the ‘past’ beautifully which keeps your beady little eyes glued to that screen. It is as if you are slowly being fed a meal of uniqueness. And at the end, you feel satisfied… full.

But there were some strange and confronting moments… this is no Disney film that’s for sure and the ending is a little abrupt but overall this is the definition of a Best Picture winner.

Main meal:

There are so many amazing Chinese mains to choose from and this one looks super-delish and pretty easy so maybe add some fried rice, spring rolls and Beef and Brocolli. It’s Sesame Ginger Chicken from Kelsey Nixon.

The Last Emperor Trivia:

  • Budget – $23.8 Million
  • The film had to be shot in China in six months without a break. The Chinese government was so much behind this film that Queen Elizabeth II was denied a visit to the Forbidden City because it was being used for this movie.
  • This was the first feature film ever to be allowed to film in the Forbidden City.
  • Puyi’s younger brother, his prison governor and his manservant were all advisors on the film
  • Guess how many extras were needed to shoot this? 19,000 over the whole film! Whacko.
  • Producer Jeremy Thomas, alone, raised the $25 million needed for the film.
  • The scenes of Puyi’s mansion (1934-45) were filmed in the actual place the real Puyi lived at that time.


To my limited knowledge there aren’t a lot of awesome Chinese desserts out there. I’m not really into rice puddings and in my mind fried ice cream is just for kids… or is it? But check these out. They look amazing – Crispy Sesame Seed Balls with ooey gooey chocolate (or if you like something more authentic red bean paste) streaming out. Oh my!

What’s your favourite Chinese dessert?

More films with matching food:

* Rain Man movie paired with food by numbers
* Driving Miss Daisy film matched with Georgian fare
The Hurt Locker movie matched with a military meal