Miss Wonton

2002

Miss Wonton (2002)

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An immigrant trying to make a new life for herself in America discovers her old life is following close behind in this independent drama. Ah Na (Amy Ting) was born and raised in a Chinese village where her desire to challenge the norms led to ugliness and violence, so she decides to emigrate to the United States in hopes of starting over. Ah Na finds a job at Buddha's Happiness, a Chinese restaurant run and staffed by fellow Chinese expatriates, but her tiny shared apartment and long working hours do not afford her much more freedom than she knew in China. One day, Ah Na stumbles upon "the Golden Palace," a section of Grand Central Station where other women from China hang out to talk, share gossip, and try to catch the eye of American men. In time, Ah Na strikes up a relationship with one such man (James Burns) who, unfortunately, turns out to be married; her new relationship is looked upon with scorn by her co-workers, and when Ah Na's mother decides to come to the United States, she must scramble to come up with a likely cover for the lie that she lives in a fine home in the suburbs. Miss Wonton was the debut feature from writer and director Meng Ong; the film was screened in competition at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for Miss Wonton

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (6)

The central character isn't complex enough to hold our interest.

Mar 21, 2002

Call it magic realism or surrealism, but Miss Wonton floats beyond reality with a certain degree of wit and dignity.

Mar 13, 2002
Observer
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Suggests puns about ingredients and soup and somebody being off their noodle, but let's just say the ingredients don't quite add up to a meal.

Mar 8, 2002 | Rating: 2/4
Newsday
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A baffling mixed platter of gritty realism and magic realism with a hard-to-swallow premise.

Mar 8, 2002 | Rating: 1/4

Ong chooses to present Ah Na's life as a slight, weightless fairy tale, whose most unpleasant details seem to melt away in the face of the character's blank-faced optimism.

Mar 7, 2002 | Rating: 1/5

The movie barely makes sense, with its unbelievable naïveté and arbitrary flashbacks.

Mar 5, 2002 | Full Review…
Village Voice
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