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
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
Ling, delicate and haunted, and Wu, a real spitfire, make their reconciliation sting as much as it soothes.
| Original Score: B
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'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 sincere but superficial version of a familiar story.
| Original Score: 2/4
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.
The movie never really finds a fresh groove.
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 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.
Feels like the stretched-out short student film that it is.
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.
[Pan's] actors are exceptional.