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Year of the Fish Reviews

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Burl Burlingame
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Making the film 'animated' creates a remove from the harshness of reality, like erecting a scrim between performer and audience, but it also makes for a certain glow.

Full Review Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 5, 2011
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The director-writer, David Kaplan, is able to hold our attention, and the film's unusual look lends a magical feeling.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

October 18, 2008
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle

Without the animation layered on top of the action, the film would be thoroughly lacking in dramatic interest.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

October 17, 2008
Stan Hall

A re-imagining of Cinderella set in a massage parlor in New York's Chinatown, David Kaplan's film juxtaposes grime and exploitation with winsomeness and superstition.

Full Review Source: Oregonian

October 10, 2008
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
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Apart from the debut of appealing An Nguyen and a pet fish instead of a magic slipper, there's nothing particularly innovative here, and the film's seedy milieu ensures that it's anything but a kid-friendly fairy tale.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2/4

September 26, 2008
Bill White
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Year of the Fish is an eye-opener for those unfamiliar with the tribulations many immigrants endure on their road to American citizenship.

Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Original Score: B-

September 26, 2008
Diva Velez

Charming and dreamlike, Year of the Fish wrings every dime out of its low budget with wonderful performances that are by parts adorable, sharp and sweet and certainly worth a look.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3/5

September 5, 2008
Cole Smithey

Although writer/director David Kaplan attempts to elevate his amateur narrative attempt with the same rotoscoping animation technique that Richard Linklater used to great effect with "Waking Life" and "A Scanner Darkly," the effect comes across as overwro

Full Review Source: | Original Score: C-

September 2, 2008
John P. McCarthy
Boxoffice Magazine

The result [of the animation technique] is similar to the look of Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly, but much softer and more fluid. It's ideal for the storybook plot and quite dazzling at times.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/5

August 29, 2008
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide

That kind of broadness plays fine in Disney movies, but feels deeply when applied to the world of undocumented sex workers, urban poverty and economic exploitation that looks a lot like 21st-century slavery.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 2/4

August 29, 2008
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
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Too raw for kids and too simplistic for adults.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

August 29, 2008
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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David Kaplan's sweet, if superficial, fairy tale won't change the world, but it makes nice use of its setting (Chinatown) and visual style (rotoscope animation).

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

August 29, 2008
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
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An adult fable told with childlike simplicity, Year of the Fish updates an ancient Chinese version of the Cinderella story with imagination, charm and just the right amount of sweetness.

| Original Score: 4/5

August 29, 2008
Bob Mondello
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kaplan keeps the story breezy and brisk, and provides his down-to-earthily modern fairy tale with an appropriately other-worldly visual style.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 6/10

August 29, 2008
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
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To some degree, it's trying to find the magic in the everyday, but the attempts to ground it are cringe-inducing and problematic.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B-

August 28, 2008
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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Even animation addicts might find their eyes glazing over at this digitally rotoscoped Cinderella story set in an oh-so-magical modern-day Chinatown.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/6

August 27, 2008
Mark Peikert
New York Press

Year of the Fish does feature more than enough clever moments and ideas to compensate for forcing audiences to sit through yet another tale of a woman who needs a man to rescue her from a life of drudgery.

Full Review Source: New York Press

August 27, 2008
Vadim Rizov
Village Voice
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Year of the Fish is the kind of really bad movie it takes a lot of misplaced conviction to make.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

August 27, 2008
John P. McCarthy
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Unfortunately, much of the novelty in 'Year of the Fish' is eclipsed by ethnic stereotypes and an oppressive score

Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews

August 26, 2008
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

HBO's 1990s cartoon series Happily Ever After multiculturalized traditional fairy tales, and Year of the Fish may as well be a live-action episode of the now-defunct program.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

August 25, 2008
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