Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Reviews

March 18, 2010
The ethereal private moments and inspired passages are beautifully shot by Jean-Marie Dreujou, but Dai never quite organizes the material dramatically, and the tone is too often jagged and disruptive.
January 12, 2006
The film is episodic, and most of the scenes are evocative and charming.
November 23, 2005
[A] tribute to the transforming power of books.
Read More | Original Score: B-
November 17, 2005
A nifty little film about the powers of culture and the humanities.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
November 11, 2005
[A] charmer.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 21, 2005
The movie may lose some of its bite when translated from page to screen, but it still delivers a valid message. When one of the boys starts reading good literature, life takes on new meaning.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
October 17, 2005
Offers its share of little pleasures, but falls short of the greatness to which it aspires.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 14, 2005
A funny, sad and absolutely lovely film.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 30, 2005
Dai's episodic treatment has the force of memory, equally embracing the beautiful, the bittersweet and the absurd.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 29, 2005
A fine, gentle film love story and a cinematic tribute to the power and manifold benefits of communications between different cultures and nations.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 29, 2005
The elements in the story push all the right buttons, but the buttons don't seem to be wired to anything.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 16, 2005
It's a lovely little movie about very big things, and the smallness both illuminates it and keeps it from greatness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 2, 2005
Sweet, funny, sad and profound -- the sort of film that becomes more remarkable when you realize it's based on someone's real life.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
August 25, 2005
The transformation of the Little Seamstress is ambiguous and bittersweet and leaves you with the feeling that, like a character out of Balzac, her story will be one of loss of innocence.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
August 25, 2005
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is by turns merry, tough-minded and sweetly nostalgic.
August 17, 2005
Dai Sijie has created a dreamy memory of hardship -- part familiar Chinese parable, part familiar French romance.
Full Review | Original Score: B
August 12, 2005
Visually, Balzac is a jewel of a movie, with panoramic vistas of the lake on the mountain, framed in mist, where the villagers, in a haunting nighttime ceremony, float candlelit paper boats bearing the names of their dearly departed.
August 11, 2005
If the movie is straightforward and predictable in its attitude, it also exudes a sort of documentary lyricism.
July 29, 2005
It's a fanciful tale, but the message is sweet -- that the higher arts speak a universal language that transcends politics and ignorance.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
July 29, 2005
A meditation on literature, love and remembrance that is able to find humor and hope in the dark days of the Cultural Revolution. Quite an achievement, we'd say.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
July 28, 2005
Dai Sijie's tender, touching adaptation of his own novel of the same title.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
July 28, 2005
Its well-earned humanistic frissons should serve as a wake-up call for the great majority of American movies, with their inexhaustible supply of smugness and complacency.
July 26, 2005
Though the film lacks some of the paper incarnation's subtlety, Dai's infidelity to his own text keeps things interesting.
February 28, 2003
A delightful fable about the enduring value of literature.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
February 28, 2003
It's a bittersweet and lyrical mix of elements.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
October 31, 2002
A poignant lyricism runs through Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress that transforms this story about love and culture into a cinematic poem.