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21 Reviews
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Keeping up appearances' goes to the US
Very funny movie which is set among the Chinese community living in New York. Wil is an up and coming doctor who is a closeted lesbian. She begins to fall for the bosses daughter but picks a bad time to do it as her own (widowed) mother ends up pregnant without husband!

The two end up living together again while trying to find the courage to go against social...
Published on 28 Nov. 2006 by RD

versus
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I had considerable expectations for this film. Alas it did not live up to expectations although it could have been so much better. The problem is that much of the film is in Chinese and if you speak Chinese it would no doubt have been easy to follow. There were subtitles but these were infrequent and often brief and incomplete. There were times when when the plot was...
Published on 26 May 2011 by Booknut


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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Keeping up appearances' goes to the US, 28 Nov. 2006
By 
RD - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saving Face [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Very funny movie which is set among the Chinese community living in New York. Wil is an up and coming doctor who is a closeted lesbian. She begins to fall for the bosses daughter but picks a bad time to do it as her own (widowed) mother ends up pregnant without husband!

The two end up living together again while trying to find the courage to go against social and cultural 'norms' in order to discover and enjoy being in love.

The dialog changes from english to mandarin (with subtitles) in an easy to follow manner which actually works to enhance the humour. The acting did waver a bit from time to time, hence the 4 stars.

Otherwise, a top notch movie....and certainly one of the better movies that features a lesbian relationship!!
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different, 19 April 2006
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This review is from: Saving Face [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Being a Chinese myself, i can definitely relate to this story in terms of what it means to be a closeted individual in the realms of consistently keeping in tune with such a diverse society. It's not easy keeping a balance between preserving conservative family tradition and finding your desired independent values and beliefs. I reckon it's the same for every one of us, to some certain extent, regardless of whether you're gay, straight, chinese, african, indian or caucasian.

This is definitely a very good break in the gay film industry in respect of the Chinese culture, but more than that, it's a story about self-conflict, tradition, faith and love.

Very nicely projected, indeed.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FORBIDDEN LOVE STORY, 7 May 2006
By 
F. Sweet (Midwestern USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Saving Face [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This movie is about families in transition from a mainly Chinese (American) and trans generational woman's point of view. To begin with, Alice Wu's SAVING FACE is bilingual, half in Chinese [easy to read subtitles] mixed with English. The movie tries to bridge the divide among three generations of Chinese-Americans living in New York City, and three women struggling with their cultural and sexual identities.

Most of film is about the seeming impossibility of the three women to solve the problems of their forbidden love. This is the result of intense pressures put on them by a constantly intervening, conservatively traditonal Chinese community.

Rather than seeing this as the cliché of a "lesbian film" -- I'd rather relax with the timeless human problem (like the star crossed lovers Romeo and Juilliet) in this film about women falling into deeply passionate, albeit forbidden love. Director (screen writer) Wu brilliantly takes us through the angst felt by each of the women -- and keeps us guessing as to whether or not they will be able to come to terms with their problems so that they can live happily ever after with the person they love.

So I look upon this delightful movie not as a "lesbian film" but rather as a movie about three women who must try to consumate loves that are forbidden by their community. Vivian and Mil happen to be in love with one another. That is, they're lesbians.

Great film. I loved the characters in it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films I've seen of late, 10 Jan. 2008
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This review is from: Saving Face [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Not so much of a review as it is a commentary. I absolutely love this film! I've watched it numerous times, mainly because the characters are believable and my appreciation for the subtle humour and depth continues to grow.

Definately more than worth a watch. Enjoy!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful romantic comedy, 10 July 2007
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This review is from: Saving Face [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I loved this film. It is romantic, funny and poignant and also not a very well known film. It was directed by Alice Wu and is her first film. Joan Chen is superb in it as are the two actresses who play the lovers - Michelle Krusiec and Lynn Chen.
The dialogue is in Chinese and English as the characters are Chinese Americans and this help make the film work a lot better than if it was all in one language as the story is all about our cultural differences between Chinese and non Chinese but mainly between old Chinese bought up with Chinese values and American Chinese bought up with both Chinese and American values.
Highly recommended.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I've looked at life from both sides now..., 17 Oct. 2005
By 
Junglies (Morrisville, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Saving Face [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This is a rather cute romantic comedy set in the Chinese community in one section of New York about a widowed mother who discovers that she is pregnant and who prefers not to disclose who the father of the unborn child is.
To complicate matters, her daughter is a successful doctor who has great potential in her chosen profession who does not have the time or apparent inclination to seek out a mate for herself.
The choice of New York as the backdrop for this tale is symbolic in the city's role as a gateway to the new world. The tale itself is replete with contrasts of new versus old culture, old family forms and authority structures versus the new, old versus new cultures etc. In one scene mother and daughter are having two conversations with|not with each other: the mother addresses her daughter in Chinese, the daughter addresses her mother in English.
As the movie proceeds the viewer is drawn into the tale almost imperceptibly so much so that one begins to empathise with each of the characters rather than take sides. Joan Chen is in superb form as the restrained mother, keeping her secret but managing all the while to maintain face for the family name. Her cautious daughter, torn as it were, between old and new, is often uncertain about the direction in which to go but which ultimately achieves resolution in the final scene.
This is a story of love and life cutting across conventional and cultural boundaries. The tale is told in a gentle and charming way, lending poise to the proceedings and allowing for the possibility for change to be affected by the rather revolutionary actions of an individual and for gradual but significant cultural changes to occur which are, in their own way rather monumental.
The movie kept my attention throughout and although there are a number of minor issues which drew my attention I did not find them sufficently distracting to disturb my enjoying. Although lightweight in a way it is a pleasant experience which throws some light on a number of important social issues. Although my 11 year old son was disinclined towatch my fifteen year old daughter enjoyed the movie and was comfortable with the issues exposed.
Good stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 27 Feb. 2010
By 
N. Bowen "MovieAddict" (Keighley, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saving Face [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This is a fantastic movie, uplifting and feel-good. Well written and witty also. In fact, it makes you want to stand on a roof top and scream "I'M GAY/STRAIGHT, AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!!" I recommend it for those LGBT archivists who do it much better than I do.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUCH A GOOD FILM!!, 19 May 2006
By 
M. Flynn - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saving Face [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This is one of the best films i have seen all year! Despite thinking that i wouldn't enjoy it due to alot of the film being shot in chinese it actually added to the huumour and depth of the film. I would definitely recomend this film it is well worth a watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and nice, 17 Oct. 2012
By 
Michelle Carline "~*Mickie *~" (Doncaster, South Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saving Face [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
It must be said that most films aimed at the gay community tend to be a tad shoddy! They'll have poor scripts, poor acting and rely on a film filled with sex.

This on the other hand is a well written script. Great directing and acting and a funny and lovely story too boot! It's a wonderful love story between Wil and Vivian. As well as some funny moments between Wil and her Mother who is pregnant!

I laughed and cried throughout this film. It was able to deal wonderfully with different topics from Wil dealing with being gay and a new relationship. Her pregnant mother and loss!

This is definitly a favourite film now and is very close to being as good as scuh main stream films like Notting Hill :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comedy of manners, 12 April 2010
By 
Clare (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saving Face [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This is a really sharply observed, very funny film. I bought it as a bit of a random punt and seriously loved it. Great scenes, uplifting ending and some fantastic performances from the leads.
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Saving Face [DVD] [2005]
Saving Face [DVD] [2005] by Alice Wu (DVD - 2005)
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