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Saving Face Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The writer-director, Alice Wu, fudges a lot of the basics -- I never believed the heroine was really a physician -- but the final, proudly public girl-on-girl smooch still jerks a tear.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Robert K. Elder

    Younger viewers might be annoyed with Saving Face for not being more in-your-face progressive and edgy. Older audiences will be happy that it's not.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    A juicy Chinese-American romance about preserving "face" at the sacrifice of your whole being. This Sony Pictures Classics release is a comic gem.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Chinese-American mom and daughter reconnect.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie focuses on intergenerational tensions in a Chinese-American family, stemming from two primary difficulties: an immigrant father rejects his 48-year-old daughter when she becomes pregnant and won't name the baby's father; the granddaughter, a NYC surgeon, hides her lesbian relationship with a dancer, out of fear that her mother and grandparents won't "understand." The film features emotional discussions of relationships, artful images of lesbian sex, and a charming black bisexual neighbor who gives Wil advice and watches soap operas with Ma.

  • Families can talk about the love and tensions between mothers and daughters (over three generations), as well as potential conflicts over traditions from another country: how might a next generation's "progress" be enhanced rather than limited by maintaining such traditions? How does Wil's fear of revealing her relationship with Vivian keep her from feeling comfortable or honest with her mother? How do their confessions help them to understand one another?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Some lying among family members; unmarried pregnancy.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Not an issue

  • sex false3

    Sex: Mother is pregnant by unknown man; daughter shares artful sex scenes with a girlfriend; comic references to porn tape.

  • language false3

    Language: Brief.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Video store.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Minor.