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Saving Face (2004)

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A Chinese-American lesbian and her traditionalist mother are reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations.

Director:

Alice Wu

Writer:

Alice Wu
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michelle Krusiec ... Wilhelmina 'Wil' Pang
Joan Chen ... Hwei-Lan Gao - Ma
Lynn Chen ... Vivian Shing
Jin Wang Jin Wang ... Wai Gung - Grandpa
Guang Lan Koh Guang Lan Koh ... Wai Po - Grandma
Jessica Hecht ... Randi - Hospital Co-Worker
Ato Essandoh ... Jay - Neighbor
David Shih ... Norman
Brian Yang ... Little Yu
Nathanel Geng Nathanel Geng ... Stimson Cho
Mao Zhao Mao Zhao ... Old Yu
Louyong Wong Louyong Wong ... Dr. Shing
Clare Sum Clare Sum ... Mrs. Wong
Qian Luo Qian Luo ... Mrs. Shing
Richard Chang ... Stephen
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Storyline

In Manhattan, the brilliant Chinese-American lesbian surgeon Wil is surprised by the arrival of her forty-eight year old widow mother to her apartment. Ma was banished from Flushing, Queens, when her father discovered that she was pregnant. The presence of Ma affects the personal life of Wil, who is in love with the daughter of her boss at the hospital, the dancer Vivian Shing. Once her grandfather has promised that her mother would only return to Flushing remarried or proving that it was an immaculate conception, Wil tries to find a Chinese bachelor to marry Ma. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It is never too late to fall in love for the first time. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin | Shanghainese

Release Date:

24 June 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gynaikeies ypotheseis! See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$75,104, 29 May 2005

Gross USA:

$1,187,266

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,236,518
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alice Wu: The flight announcer's voice in the airport scene and the woman eating an apple on the bus. See more »

Goofs

Wil consistently wears her hair in a tightly pulled back ponytail, but shortly after her mother moves in she goes to visit her grandfather wearing an army T shirt. While she's adjusting the TV antenna, her hair is uncharacteristically puffed up with no explanation. All scenes before and after show her hair in the tight ponytail. Quite a bit later, there is a scene where Wil's mom sends her to the beauty shop to find out gossip. It's there that Wil is wearing the same army T shirt and getting her hair rolled up in big curls - the end result of which would be puffed hair! See more »

Quotes

Hwei-Lan Gao - Ma: [in Mandarin] No one wants to see a 50-year-old Chinese woman look sexy.
Wil: Ma, you're only 48.
[in Mandarin]
Wil: Connie Chung's sexy, and she must be nearly 60.
Hwei-Lan Gao - Ma: Her show was cancelled.
See more »

Connections

References The Last Emperor (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

I FOUND A REASON
Written by Lou Reed
Performed by Cat Power
Published by Oakfield Avenue Music LTD (BMI)
Administered by EMI Music Publishing
Courtesy of Matador Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A nice, light comedy worth seeing.
13 September 2004 | by Proud_CanadianSee all my reviews

I was fortunate to see the World premier at the Toronto Film Festival. It was an almost finished product with only some minor changes still needing to be done (mostly tweaking the temporary score and sound) but I didn't notice that it wasn't a finished product. Saving Face is a funny film by written and directed by first time director: Alice Wu. It is about a widow (Joan Chen) who is in her late-40's and has a daughter who is a surgeon. She tries to set up her daughter at these Chinese dances that happen once a week but the daughter is not interested. One day the woman shows up on the daughter's doorstep, kicked out of her home because she has brought shame to the family by becoming pregnant out of wedlock. The mother and daughter have to adjust while the daughter tries to hide her lesbian relationship with her boss's daughter. I liked this film. Joan Chen was very funny in this film. The comedy is good, a nice light touch and on a level everyone can relate too. Although, the fact they are Chinese is not glossed over. The dramatic scenes were weaker in contrast to the comedy but still worked. The three main actresses were good although Joan Chen was the star. If you liked What's Cooking or Mambo Italiano or My Big Fat Greek Wedding, then I think you will like this movie. I am Asian but not Chinese so I do have my biases. Having said that, I think that this film will help break the typical Asian stereotype and will be a mainstream success. Apparently Sony pictures has bought the distribution rights so I expect to see it in theatre some time next year. I give it an 8/10. Definitely worth a look if you want a nice light comedy with a little drama. Note the film is half in Mandarin and half in English but there are English subtitles. I will definitely see it again when it comes out in general release and I will buy the DVD when it comes out.


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