- Starring: Joan Chen, Michelle Krusiec
- Summary: A romantic comedy about a daughter struggling to understand her mother's heart, which ultimately allows her to understand her own. A story of unspoken loves, contemporary and cultural taboos, and the journey of two women towards living their lives honestly. (Sony Pictures Classics)
- Director: Alice Wu
- Genre(s): Drama, Comedy, Romance
- More Details and Credits »
MariaD.Nov 1, 2005This is the best Chines made movie ever. Very up close , very personal. Very deep, very funny, very intellectual.
krislNov 1, 2005One of the best movies i've seen in a long time. although it's a fictional film, i too can relate to Wil and her relationship with her mother. it is all too common for a dutiful daughter to carry so much weight of secrets on her shoulder. a must see film. MIchelle Krusiec plays a very convincing Wil and Joan Chen stepped out of her usual character to play a convincing Ma. and what can i say about Lynn Chen except that she's gorgeous and hot. it had a great overall cast and it's just a really fun film to watch.… Expand
MarcK.Dec 26, 2005I was hesitant to see this in the movies, as it was marketed as a Chinese-American Lesbian Comedy. However, "Saving Face" is so much more than that. It was just a very unique perspective on relationships, not just between lovers, but with family. It reminded me a little of an Amy Tan book, and I mean that as a compliment. Also, parts of this film reminded me of "Kissing Jessica Stein," but I haven't seen anyone point that out yet. And yes, as a poster noted below, Lynn Chen is very hot.… Expand
Jan 25, 2013Saving Face centers on two women who need to get something out of their systems. One of them, a young Chinese woman surgeon, who is coming to terms with her sexual orientation of being a lesbian and desperately wants to tell her mother of her bias, but fears not for her reaction, but for her already deteriorating level of confidence and fondness for life. Her mother, on the other hand, is pregnant by a man she refuses to identify, leaving her ostracized and a societal blackboard for those with impressions and judgments to right on carelessly.
The young woman is Wilhelmina, often called "Wil," played by Michelle Krusiec, and her mother is Hwei-lang Gao, played by the wonderful Joan Gao. Throughout the course of the film, Wil struggles to balance her prestigious job as a surgeon, carry on a relationship with the stunning Vivian (Lynn Chen), and juggle her mom's lack of confidence has her pregnancy continues on. We see that after being shunned and disgraced by her father, her only hope is her daughter Wil, who is almost obligated to welcome her into her home with open arms, seeing as she has nowhere else to go. Wil attempts to get her out in the dating game, much to the dismay of her mother, who feels inferior when she stares at Chinese women half her age.
Coming-out cinema, often regarded as "queer cinema," which sounds more like a demonization, is beginning to channel the formula of heterosexual romantic comedies. The gay white character in present times doesn't shock or surprise audiences like he used to, and because of that, young, ambitious gay filmmakers are looking towards separate cultures and more intimate focuses in order to successfully pull off a unique film in the queer cinema movement. We can view that has subversion of a subversive genre, I suppose.
Director Alice Wu (who after making this film in 2004, has gone on to do nothing since) makes the welcomed change to shift Saving Face into the morals and dilemmas of remaining culturally devoted despite being an enormous outcast. We see how bound to Chinese culture Wil is, which begins by taking her mother in even though she really doesn't need the extra weight provided, and persistently trying to find a date to reassure her confidence. Coming-out cinema would later reach a similar height when director Dee Rees released Pariah, a story about a young black girl embracing her sexuality in a seamy urban setting. Yet while Pariah appeared soaked in grit, Saving Face comfortably channels the comedic genre, accentuating a playful tone when necessary and a serious tone when applicable to the message of cultural devotion and homosexuality.
It was a little stunning to watch the credits for this film and find Will Smith and his agent John Lassiter (not to be confused with Pixar's John Lasseter) holding producer's credits for this small indie picture. During this time, Will Smith was at the height of his game, and this same year released his fantasy action movie I, Robot and the animated film Shark Tale. What was his inspiration for funding a modest lesbian film churned out by a first time director and why was it not publicized?
Starring: Michelle Krusiec, Joan Chen, and Lynn Chen. Directed by: Alice Wu.… Expand
ChadS.Sep 11, 2005If your actresses are willing to bare their bodies, as Michelle Krusiec(Wil) and Lynn Chen(Vivian) do in "Saving Face", the filmmaker has a responsibility to put them in a film that matches the honesty of their lovemaking. The patriarchal figure that controls Ma's life is so unrelenting in his old country ways, his change of heart that comes late in the film is hard to swallow. Ma(Joan Chen) is pregnant, and her father's reaction to the news suggests that his daughter was sixteen, and not forty-eight. If the old man is going to be perturbed by those circumstances, how are we expected to believe that he'd accept the truth about his daughter's suitor, and granddaughter's orientation? The love scene belongs in a movie that seriously examines how the children of foreigners are hurt by the hegemony of old country values over western modernity, instead of a sometimes cute comedy that is by no means difficult to watch.… Expand
TechaiD.Oct 22, 2005Saving Face was just the Asian soap opera drama put into a movie format. So they tried to make it more tantilizing via the lesbian thing, it is nothing new, just the same cultural lessons recycled. Very bland and unsatisfying as entertainment.… Expand