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Saving Face (2005)

Joan Chen , Michelle Krusiec , Alice Wu  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)

Price: $29.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Joan Chen, Michelle Krusiec, Lynn Chen, Jin Wang, Guang Lan Koh
  • Directors: Alice Wu
  • Writers: Alice Wu
  • Producers: Bergen Swanson, James Lassiter, Jeff Morin, John Penotti, Robin O'Hara
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Mill Creek
  • DVD Release Date: October 18, 2005
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AQOHN0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,895 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Saving Face" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

When 48-year-old widow Hwei-Lan Gao (Joan Chen) informs her less-than understanding father she's pregnant, he banishes her from Flushing until she remarries or proves Immaculate Conception. With nowhere else to go, Hwei-Lan moves in with her grown daughter, Wil (Michelle Krusiec), a Manhattan doctor who doesn't want a roommate, especially since she's met Viv (Lynn Chen), her sexy young lover. So Wil does what any dutiful child with an expectant, unmarried mother on her hands would do: she proceeds to set Hwei-Lan up with every eligible bachelor in town.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and poignant June 30, 2005
I recently had the immense pleasure of seeing "Saving Face" a few days ago. I must say it is refreshing to see a Chinese film where the writing is consistent and good as is the acting. What makes "Saving Face" even more special is that two of the main characters Wil (Michelle Krusiec) and Vivian (Lynn Chen)are lovers. To see two Asian women as lovers on the big screen is quite the momentous occasion for Asian and homsexual people alike.

The film takes place in Flushings, New York. Wil is a surgical resident who is forced to take in her mother Ma (Joan Chen), a 48 year old widow, when it is revealed that she is pregnant and refuses to tell her father who the father of her unborn child is. Ma is disowned therefore ends up moving in with Wil. This happens just right around the time when Wil meets Vivian (Lynn Chen) and begins to fall for her.

I found the writing of the film very consistent and does a good job of covering all the bases from Wil's relationships with both Ma and Vivian. This is the first Chinese film that I have seen in a year where the writing is consistent (unlike "Hero" and "The House of Flying Daggers"). I thought Wil's struggle to try to decide to either follow her heart or to conform to the expectations of her family. She eventually makes that decision in the film. While the question of who was the father of Ma's unborn child was in the film, the issue did not take front burner and was merely part of the overall scheme of the film for both Ma and Wil which was to be happy or to conform to their Chinese roots which basically is the overall storyline of the film. Ma and Wil have to decide to whether to deny their happiness by conforming to their Chinese roots or to embrace the personal happiness they had discovered.
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ma May 27, 2005
My 48 year old mother is pregnant, has shown up at my doorstep with a suitcase and to top it off I have just discovered the joys of love...now what am I going to do?

Ma is like an alien in NYC though she has lived in Flushing Queens for years in that she speaks no English and has lived in the insular confines of her parent's home. That is until her father throws her out for not naming the father of her unborn child.

Wilhelmina (Michelle Krusiec) is a surgeon, has a very nice apartment in the Lower East Side of NYC and likes Women. She has almost no free time to date, is always at the hospital working and to put it bluntly: Ma showing up on her doorstep asking for shelter is an imposition...to say the least.

But, in Alice Wu's "Saving Grace" this "imposition" naturally evolves into a re-connection between Wil and her mother that also blossoms into a deeply loving and respectful relationship. Wu, who also wrote as well as directs here has fashioned a film that steers clear of the chasm of melodrama and sentimentality that often plagues this type of scenario with her crisp dialogue, acidic wit and precise directing of the mise en scene.

The character of Ma is played by the hauntingly beautiful Joan Chen and in Chen's hands Ma transcends her physical and social limitations and becomes a full-bodied, open-hearted person: ready for the prospect of really living,ready to give birth and not afraid of the future and maybe even finding a father for her baby.

"Saving Grace" is very wise, it is extremely charming and it is ultimately poignant in the manner of "The Joy Luck Club" or "Hanging Up." It is obvious that Wu shared a wonderful relationship with her Mother and this film stands as the ultimate Love Poem to that relationship.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I've looked at life from both sides now October 16, 2005
Format:DVD
This is a rather cute romantic comedy set in the Chinese community in one section of New York about a widowed mother who discovers that she is pregnant and who prefers not to disclose who the father of the unborn child is.

To complicate matters, her daughter is a successful doctor who has great potential in her chosen profession who does not have the time or apparent inclination to seek out a mate for herself.

The choice of New York as the backdrop for this tale is symbolic in the city's role as a gateway to the new world. The tale itself is replete with contrasts of new versus old culture, old family forms and authority structures versus the new, old versus new cultures etc. In one scene mother and daughter are having two conversations with|not with each other: the mother addresses her daughter in Chinese, the daughter addresses her mother in English.

As the movie proceeds the viewer is drawn into the tale almost imperceptibly so much so that one begins to empathise with each of the characters rather than take sides. Joan Chen is in superb form as the restrained mother, keeping her secret but managing all the while to maintain face for the family name. Her cautious daughter, torn as it were, between old and new, is often uncertain about the direction in which to go but which ultimately achieves resolution in the final scene.

This is a story of love and life cutting across conventional and cultural boundaries. The tale is told in a gentle and charming way, lending poise to the proceedings and allowing for the possibility for change to be affected by the rather revolutionary actions of an individual and for gradual but significant cultural changes to occur which are, in their own way rather monumental.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
I love to learn about other cultures. This movie was a fun way to learn. I can understand the concerns of the families, it's been this way for decades, no, eons! Read more
Published 10 days ago by S. T. P.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movies
I enjoyed the way the author portrays the culture by using humor; especially when dealing with sexual identity and pregnancy. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Maria C.S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Really great movie!!! I have a new perspective on Chinese and I love the lesbian story line. Although their were alot of parts with where you have to read subtitles
Published 1 month ago by Chasity Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Tricky but very entertaining
now a day, most of the movies are actions with special effect. Not much feeling, love, kindness and understanding. That is exactly what is happening around you. Read more
Published 1 month ago by myaK
4.0 out of 5 stars How not to be Chinese
A well written story about the taboos of the Chinese community. Being Chinese I can tell you how good the actors/actresses were in their respective roles.
Published 1 month ago by T. Law
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, Poignant, Delicate, and Smart
If you are second generation Chinese American, Saving Face is a MUST WATCH. Everybody else, if you know any second generation Chinese Americans and want to "get them"... Read more
Published 1 month ago by applecoreo@aol.com
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie
I love this movie. I had it before, but I let someone borrow it and never saw it again. I bought it again and got it shipped fast. The movie plays perfect and the case was intact. Read more
Published 1 month ago by B. Jackson
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading description.
Terrible movie. Lesbian storyline is overlooked in description. Why not give the true description of movie plot. Are you ashamed?
Published 1 month ago by Bunny
3.0 out of 5 stars The description wasn't very accurate
This is more about a lesbian daughter accepting who she is and coming out to her parents than it is about finding a husband for her mother. It was interesting, but not fabulous.
Published 1 month ago by Film Lover
1.0 out of 5 stars couldn't get into the movie
Just couldn't get into this movie. Finally decided it wasn't going anywhere so shut it off instead of tourchering myself any longer.
Published 1 month ago by Lois Wolters
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