Critic Reviews



Based on 31 critic reviews provided by
So strong are the emotions - and, yes, the melodrama - that Snow Flower and the Secret Fan represents one of Wang's best films to date.
To invoke Pauline Kael's review of Diane Kurys's "Entre Nous," it's about two women not having a lesbian affair.
Village Voice
As the parallel friendships evolve over time, both push and pull between platonic and erotic; it's to the film's credit that it never definitively suggests that love can only be one or the other.
This latest film aims for "The Joy Luck Club's" crossover appeal but ends up stilted and emotionally remote.
There are enough decent moments in "Snow Flower" that you can at times see the remains of a better movie amid the jolting transitions between past and present, but these eras never really speak to each other, much less to you.
While the action flashes back and forth in increments of centuries, years or months, we're adrift in the here and now, trying to get a grip on the characters and their relationships, yet finding it loosened with every new dislocation.
The lesson of the lovely-looking, but disappointing, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is avoid tinkering too much with a novelist's work.
Set mostly in modern-day Shanghai and involving two other girlfriends (also Li and Jun), this parallel plot feels less like an attempt to broaden the book's horizons than to cash in on "Joy's" cross-generational appeal while doubling down on cheap-shot melodrama.
Mawkish, clunky and unenlightening about female suffering in this or any generation.
Slant Magazine
Despite gestures toward modernity and clumsy humanism, the film feels regressive, presenting a version of modern China that's as much of an anesthetized fairy tale as its costume-drama past.

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