Visage (Face) (2009)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Visage (Face) Photos

Movie Info

A filmmaker is attempting to complete an ambitious project in the midst of a family tragedy in this self-referential drama from writer and director Tsai Ming-Liang. Hsaio-Kong (Lee Kang-Sheng) is a director from Taiwan who is soon to begin shooting his next picture, a stylized adaptation of Salome, in France, though first he has to help his elderly mother (Lu Yi-Ching) with some plumbing problems. Hsaio-Kong arrives in Paris to discover his producers have cast a well-known model with no acting experience (Laetitia Casta) in the leading role, which adds to the challenge of working in a language in which he's not fluent and having a leading man (Jean-Pierre Leaud) who seems to have lost his memory. Hsaio-Kong's troubles with the shoot are at once exacerbated and made insignificant when he learns of the death of his mother. Featuring guest appearances from Fanny Ardant, Nathalie Baye and Jeanne Moreau, Face was an official selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Rézo Films


Jean-Pierre Léaud
as Antoine et le roi Hérode
Kang-sheng Lee
as Le Réalisateur
Fanny Ardant
as La Productrice et la Reine Hérodias
Laetitia Casta
as La Star et Salomé
Yi-Ching Lu
as La Mère

Critic Reviews for Visage (Face)

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

Tsai Ming-Liang pays vague tribute to Francois Truffaut throughout this slow, self-indulgent, but often shockingly beautiful art film.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Too obscure for my taste.

Full Review… | April 7, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Impenetrable and confounding for all but the most acute cinephiles.

Full Review… | August 9, 2010

To those of use who know and love his movies, it has a pervasive sense of the familiar... not at all revelatory or exciting. It's a fine movie, if you like this sort of thing (most people don't).

Full Review… | October 18, 2009
Antagony & Ecstasy

Face will appeal exclusively to Tsai Ming-liang's devoted fans who find themselves in familiar territory here, but the rest of the audience may be baffled -- to say the least.

Full Review… | September 15, 2009
Screen International

Audience Reviews for Visage (Face)


I don't know how autobiographical this film is, only that Tsai makes it as some sort of self-reflexive experiment (which doesn't actually suit him) that probes into his mind and creative process at the expense of any clear structure but has some moments of poetic beauty.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Jean-Pierre Léaud + Jeanne Moreau + Fanny Ardant + Mathieu Amalric + Nathalie Baye... in sequences of irrelevant & meaningless scenes.


I really have little to know idea what this was "about", from watching it. From the Tsai's I've seen (this would be number 5), it's the most vignette driven, so be prepared for a collection of moments and impressions, rather than cohesive narrative. That being said, the cinematography has never been better or richer. The first hour or so is just staggering in it's simplicity and hypnotic appeal, it's hard not to watch it feeling as it if a masterpiece. Nearly every time I began to get anxious the scene shifts into some new place or character or old one in new context, or of course a song and dance routine. This is easily the most abstract Tsai I've seen, comming of the desert of the real that was "What Time Is It There?", but it's still a glorious experience. More later...

Joseph Sylvers
Joseph Sylvers

Visage (Face) Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Visage (Face) on our Movie forum!

News & Features