Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
100 Greatest Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save 44%
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Li Bingbing
Gianna Jun
Archie Kao.
Directors
Wayne Wang.
Screenwriters
Angela Workman
Ronald Bass
Michael Ray.
Running Time
104 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Vacation
2 Star Empire Rating
Strange Magic
2 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Love
3 Star Empire Rating
Pressure
3 Star Empire Rating
Misery Loves Comedy
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating

Snow Flower And The Secret Fan
Tame Swans?


submit to reddit


Plot
19th century China. Two women, Nina (Li Bingbing) and Sophia (Gianna Jun), embark on a formal friendship - or 'laotong' - that gives them a secret freedom from the binds of a fiercely male-dominated society. Greater strife, though, is just around the corner...


Review
Snow Flower And The Secret Fan
Two young female friends swear allegiance in this sentimental adaptation of the book by Lisa See. While See’s novel focused on the 19th century concept of the “laotong” — a formalised female life friendship — this adds a parallel modern story about businesswoman Nina (Li Bingbing) and her sworn friend, Sophia (Gianna Jun). The idea of a friendship that falls somewhere between Platonism and eroticism is an interesting one and the period scenes are fascinating. But by flitting between the two stories, this fails to be more than superficially moving. Not even a cameo from Hugh Jackman as a singing Lothario can save the day: fun as he is, he just feels tacked-on.


Verdict
Taking a much-loved novel as its starting point, Wang's film doesn't do much more than splash colour on a story of deep-felt friendship. Not even the second best Hugh Jackman cameo of the year can save it from being little more than a period curio.


Reviewed by Anna Smith

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Black Mass Trailer Breakdown With Director Scott Cooper
Find out what's what with Johnny Depp's take on Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Read Empire's official verdict

Empire Meets Joely Richardson
On Maggie, Arnie and Event Horizon

100 Greatest Movie Characters
The complete list of your all-time favourite heroes and villains

Vote Now For Your Favourite TV Shows
Pick your top five - if you can...

Paul Rudd Is Awesome
Being awesome: from Clueless to Ant-Man

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)