6.1/10
3,371
25 user 55 critic

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2011)

Trailer
2:04 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
A story set in nineteenth-century China and focusing on the life-long friendship between two girls who develop their own secret code as a way to contend with the rigid social norms imposed on women.

Director:

Wayne Wang

Writers:

Angela Workman (screenplay), Ronald Bass (screenplay) (as Ron Bass) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Feng sheng (2009)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

1942, Nanjing (Nanking). Following a series of assassination attempts on officials of the Japanese-controlled puppet government, the Japanese spy chief gathers a group of suspects in a ... See full summary »

Directors: Kuo-Fu Chen, Qunshu Gao
Stars: Xun Zhou, Bingbing Li, Hanyu Zhang
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An exiled detective is recruited to solve a series of mysterious deaths that threaten to delay the inauguration of Empress Wu.

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Tony Ka Fai Leung, Chao Deng, Carina Lau
Wo Yuan Yi (2012)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Weiwei (Li, Bingbing), a career-wise successful business woman found herself in love with a mid-income man Huawei (Sun, Honglei) who is secretly in fact a billionaire. Meanwhile, Weiwei's ... See full summary »

Director: Zhou Sun
Stars: Bingbing Li, Honglei Sun, Yihong Duan
Yong xin tiao (2010)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  
Director: Stanley Kwan
Stars: Angie Chiu, Chao Deng, Wei Fan
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The heart-warming romance story between Kyungjin and Myungwoo. Even though he has passed away, he will be always with Kyungwoo forever.

Director: Jae-young Kwak
Stars: Ji-hyun Jun, Hyuk Jang, Su-ro Kim
Butter (2011)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In Iowa, an adopted girl discovers her talent for butter carving and finds herself pitted against an ambitious local woman in their town's annual contest.

Director: Jim Field Smith
Stars: Jennifer Garner, Yara Shahidi, Ty Burrell
Action | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Legendary Chinese anti-hero Zhong Kui, a young man endowed with mysterious powers who is forced into a battle among the realms of Heaven, Earth and Hell in the course of his attempt to save his countrymen and the woman he loves.

Directors: Peter Pau, Tianyu Zhao
Stars: Kun Chen, Bingbing Li, Winston Chao
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A snobbish producer makes a documentary about the extraordinary behavior of her neighbor who believes himself to be Superman.

Director: Yoon-chul Chung
Stars: Jung-min Hwang, Ji-hyun Jun, Gil-seung Bang
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A con-team couple (Andy Lau & Rene Liu) head west after taking a city businessman for his BMW. But an encounter with a naive young carpenter travelling home with his life savings challenges their fate as thieves.

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: Andy Lau, Rene Liu, Baoqiang Wang
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Barky, 25, lost soul, left home two years ago to escape his abusive father leaving behind everything in the world that was important to him; now that his father's dead, he thinks it's safe to come home.

Director: Alan White
Stars: Marty Denniss, Hugh Jackman, Andrew Wholley
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Russell Wong ... Bank CEO
Bingbing Li ... Nina / Lily
Archie Kao ... Sebastian
Ji-hyun Jun ... Snow Flower / Sophia (as Gianna Jun)
Coco Chiang ... Anna
Hu Qing Yun Hu Qing Yun ... Mrs. Liao
Shiping Cao Shiping Cao ... Mr. Wei (as Shi Ping Cao)
Ruijia Zhang Ruijia Zhang ... Mrs. Wei
Vivian Wu ... Aunt
Zhebing Gong Zhebing Gong ... Professor
Lilia Zhou Lilia Zhou ... Nurse
Congmeng Guo Congmeng Guo ... Little Lily
Danping Shen ... Lily's Mother
Yan Dai Yan Dai ... Little Snow Flower
Yulan Xu Yulan Xu ... Snow Flower's Mother
Edit

Storyline

In 19th-century China, seven year old girls Snow Flower and Lily are matched as laotong - or "old sames" - bound together for eternity. Isolated by their families, they furtively communicate by taking turns writing in a secret language, nu shu, between the folds of a white silk fan. In a parallel story in present day Shanghai, the laotong's descendants, Nina and Sophia, struggle to maintain the intimacy of their own childhood friendship in the face of demanding careers, complicated love lives, and a relentlessly evolving Shanghai. Drawing on the lessons of the past, the two modern women must understand the story of their ancestral connection, hidden from them in the folds of the antique white silk fan, or risk losing one another forever. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexuality, violence/disturbing images and drug use | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

China | USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

24 June 2011 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Seidenfächer See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$134,005, 17 July 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,348,205, 29 September 2011

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,348,205, 29 September 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

IDG China Media See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Rupert Murdoch personally asked Fox Searchlight to release this film in North America. See more »

Goofs

The last paragraphs of the unsent letter that Nina found in Sophias apartment, which can be seen when she closes the notebook, don't match Nina's voice-over. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bank CEO: People say I'm sending Sebastian and Nina to New york so neither will take my job. Hey, perhaps that's partly true. You know, like these butterflies that surround us this evening, it's a time of transformation, new beginnings.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Laotung and Nu shu: Two of the pleasures of a lovely story
20 November 2011 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN is the cinematic adaptation of Lisa See's popular novel by writers Angela Workman, Ron Bass and Michael K. Ray and director Wayne Wang. The film unveils parallel stories between 19th century China and present day Shanghai - the tales of two women joined by laotong - a binding vow and contract to be eternal friends and share each others lives - communicating with a secret women's language called nu shu, carefully inked characters placed on the folds between the spines of a silken fan. By using the same actresses to play the parts of the girls two centuries apart adds a mysterious beauty to the films alluring flavor.

In 1826 Lily and Snow Flower become laotung and though they are from opposite ends of the social stratum they become devoted friends, undergoing the ritual of having their feet broken and bound to remain very small as adults - apparently a desired attribute for physical attraction as a potential bride. The poor girl is chosen for marriage by a wealthy family and the rich girl is promised to a butcher, an extreme reversal of roles in society and it is the manner in which each adapts and aids the other that demonstrates the depth of the bond of laotong. Concurrently in the film we meet Nina and Sophie in contemporary Shanghai: Nina has gained education and stature and is due to move to New York as part of an important business. Sophie is in an accident and only slowly do we realize that Sophie had the promise of moving to Australia to marry an Aussie singer (Hugh Jackman), more because she is pregnant than for love. Because of the laotung between Nina and Sophie the two make sacrifices that overcome all else to prove their loyalty. There are many parallels in the two stories that show a bond between the two sets of girls and to capture this bond securely the two girls form centuries apart are played by the same actresses: Lily/Nina become the roles of Bing Bing Li and Snow Flower/Sophie are portrayed by Gianna Jun. The supporting cast is carefully chosen and uniformly fine.

The sets and costumes and music enhance this film significantly. It is not a great epic of a movie, but it has a tender and touching story that is very well told by everyone involved.

Grady Harp


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed