Year of the Fish Reviews

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Burl Burlingame
Honolulu Star-Advertiser
July 5, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
October 18, 2008
The director-writer, David Kaplan, is able to hold our attention, and the film's unusual look lends a magical feeling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle
October 17, 2008
Without the animation layered on top of the action, the film would be thoroughly lacking in dramatic interest.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Stan Hall
Oregonian
October 10, 2008
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.
Top Critic
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
September 26, 2008
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Bill White
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
September 26, 2008
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 | Original Score: B-
Diva Velez
TheDivaReview.com
September 5, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3/5
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
September 2, 2008
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 | Original Score: C-
John P. McCarthy
Boxoffice Magazine
August 29, 2008
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 | Original Score: 2.5/5
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide
August 29, 2008
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
August 29, 2008
Too raw for kids and too simplistic for adults.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
August 29, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
August 29, 2008
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
Top Critic
Bob Mondello
NPR.org
August 29, 2008
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 | Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
August 28, 2008
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 | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
August 27, 2008
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 | Original Score: 2/6
Mark Peikert
New York Press
August 27, 2008
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.
Top Critic
Vadim Rizov
Village Voice
August 27, 2008
Year of the Fish is the kind of really bad movie it takes a lot of misplaced conviction to make.
John P. McCarthy
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
August 26, 2008
Unfortunately, much of the novelty in 'Year of the Fish' is eclipsed by ethnic stereotypes and an oppressive score
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
August 25, 2008
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 | Original Score: 2/4
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