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A charming tale of a love affair that overcomes cultural taboos. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Wil (Michelle Krusiec) is a lesbian, but she not dare tell her widowed mother, Hwei-lan (Joan Chen), or her very traditional grandparents. She's shocked, however, to find out she's not the only one in her family with romantic secrets when she learns that her 48-year-old mother is pregnant. Unwilling to reveal who the father is, Hwei-lan is kicked out of her parents' home and must move in with Wil, which puts a strain on Wil's budding relationship with openly gay Vivian (Lynn Chen).

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Critic Reviews for Saving Face

All Critics (88) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (76) | Rotten (12)

Audience Reviews for Saving Face

  • Dec 27, 2012
    Absolutely delightful. An American-Born-Chinese lesbian finds her world rocked when her widowed mother is disowned for getting pregnant out of wedlock. The story subverts stereotypes about race, gender, sexuality, and age, but it never seems to do too much. Enough time is spent on major and minor characters and plots. The end teeters on Joy Luck Club-level saccharine, but the performances are all nuanced and the bilingual script is seamless in mixing the elders' traditional Mandarin and the ABCs' mix of English and broken Mandarin. There is the requisite nagging Tiger Mom we've come to expect from Asian culture clash films, but Joan Chen brings a quieter, more sensual layer as well, since Ma is also back on the market. Michelle Krusiec, as the surgeon daughter, is brilliantly still and funny in a serious way. There are even a few mannerisms of hers that I know I do/did in my one short film acting experience. She, along with Carey Mulligan and Emmanuelle Béart, are actresses whose faces I'd like to wear, "Silence-of-the-Lambs"-style.
    Alice S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 16, 2012
    An American-born Chinese doctor falls into a lesbian relationship with a woman who rejects the strictures of their shared culture against the backdrop of her mother's scandalous pregnancy. The first act of this film is positively delightful, a Chinese version of Imagine Me and You. Michelle Krusiec is a gem as Wil, full of quick wit and a reserved sexuality. Joan Chen perfectly captures the type of Chinese mom I've seen in real life, commanding yet somehow behind the times enough to make one cautious to rebel, feeling a sense of respect we automatically associate to antiquity. And Lynn Chen is the perfect leading lady to Krusiec's character. The film is about all the things one might expect, prejudice, modernity, and the need to rebel against the mores of the past. Obviously, these themes aren't new, but they seem fresh through writer/director Alice Wu's lens. The second and third acts were a little slow; it was almost as though the film had to stop to unravel itself, and the sharp, charming wit of the first act slipped away. Overall, Saving Face is a delightful film, and I hope to see more of Krusiec.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Apr 25, 2008
    I really like these two characters a lot. Very good acting and a sweet but believable little movie.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer
  • Dec 08, 2007
    A GREAT FILM!! LOVE IT!!
    Leo L Super Reviewer

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