By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood October 20, 2011 at 8:14AM
TOH! caught twenty minutes of gorgeous, horrifying footage of Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War (formerly Heros of Nanking) at Toronto, along with every distributor in town. It's China's most expensive movie to date, and will open there and across Asia on December 16, and is rumored to be near a deal for US distribution. The film stars Christian Bale, with what looks like a strong performance, as a mortician in wartorn 1937 Nanking who steps up to protect a group of schoolgirls and prostitutes taking shelter at the Winchester Cathedral. Adapted by Liu Heng from the novel by Geling Yan, it is inspired by true events during the Rape of Nanking. Here's more from Toronto. The film is China's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.