Inspired, innovative, stunning, with unforgettable performances and images, this is up there with the great screen Shakespeares. The playwright surely would be thrilled with it in its full-blooded vigour.
Utterly absorbing, extremely smart and - considering this is a sad, shabby, drably grey-green world of obsessives, misfits, misdirection, disillusionment, self-delusion and treachery - quite beautifully executed.
For another, this film is that still shamefully rare pleasure, an absorbing ensemble piece in which a fine group of actors get to show their class and range, playing a black American family who are prosperous, cultured and complex.
DJ Audrey Wells' crafty screenplay brims with truths about the sexes, providing great lines for Garofalo, and great business for Thurman's confused waif, and cranks the feelgood factor up so high it's almost off the scale.
Offbeat and downbeat, it’s a film full of thoughtful stillness, powerful moods, reflective internal struggles and shattering, lonely self-realisation, suggesting more critical kudos than commercial impact.
A richer plot, life lessons and loving Chinese cultural references rendered by turns sweet, scary and charming, with yet more fantastical kung fu, make this an engaging winner. Stunning visuals make it real art as well.
Coming from a novice director, the film is not as impressive as "Sense And Sensibility", but as a light-hearted and energetic comedy of who-loves-who? and small upsets, this works well - and it boasts Paltrow's star-making turn.