The Message, set in 1942 during the Japanese occupation of the mainland, stars two of China's best-known actresses, Zhou Xun (周迅) and Li Bingbing (李冰冰), alongside Zhang Hanyu (张涵予) and Huang Xiaoming (黄晓明) as a particularly nasty Japanese interrogator. It's based on a best-selling novel of the same name.
Meanwhile The Founding of a Republic, which was released two weeks before The Message continues to roll on its merry money-making way (see this earlier blog post), and is now officially the biggest grossing local film of all time. It has pulled in a total of 350 million yuan at the box office, overtaking the previous number one, the romantic comedy If You Are the One. Both The Message and The Founding of a Republic performed well enough to feature on Screen Daily's top ten global box office list - and it wouldn't be too often that two Chinese films have managed to achieve that feat.
As well as proving a popular hit, The Message has also won praise from some (but not all) critics. It recently gained 6 nominations at the upcoming Golden Horse Awards, including Best Actress nominations for both Zhou Xun and Li Bingbing. Probably not surprisingly, the Taiwan-based Golden Horse Awards instead ignored The Founding of a Republic, which celebrates the victory of the Communists over the Nationalists on the mainland.