Feels like the stretched-out short student film that it is.
the director seems all too cognizant of her pedestrian script's inability to express more than superficial pathos
| Original Score: 2.5/5
With no access to these women's inner selves, we are left wanting at least a fuller portrait of their outer lives, some way to infer the meaning that the film declines to provide.
| Original Score: 3/5
Too slight in realization and trite in characterization to work as it might have.
There's something especially frustrating about small, personal independent movies that adhere to the stodgy conventions of small, personal, independent movies as if compelled by a cadre of militant MFA candidates.
| Original Score: 2/5
The movie never really finds a fresh groove.
The performances are almost enough to overcome the story's essential inertness.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A picture to admire even if not quite one to recommend.
Well made, nice performances, very slowly paced.
| Original Score: 2/4
The story's conflicts between modern and traditional attitudes, family and independence feel like familiar fodder, and the pedestrian approach fails to inject much freshness into the material.
A sincere but superficial version of a familiar story.
[Pan's] actors are exceptional.
Face is a film of considerable charm and warmth, even if the material sometimes feels well worn.
| Original Score: B-
It's a tale worth telling again -- especially if you feel the material as strongly as recent Columbia film-school grad Bertha Bay-Sa Pan seems to.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A meditation on the conflict between family loyalties and personal ambition, Face ... can feel slight on a first viewing. But ... it is likely to remain in your head long afterward.
A film with visual flair, musical inspiration and dramatic gravity. From the top to the bottom of the cast list, there are performances rich in detail and intelligence.
It is an emotional and rewarding film for anyone who's ever struggled to find their place in their family and the world.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
By the end of Face, we've been drawn deep into the battle for both communal support and individual freedom that marks the progress of so many ethnic groups in America.
| Original Score: 3/4
It is the best performance of [Ling's] eclectic international career, and it raises the level of this otherwise competently made movie to something more special.
New Jersey-born, Taiwan-raised director/cowriter Bay-Sa Pan gives the conflict a culturally particular spin and elicits strong performances from her appealing cast.