Keith Staskiewicz
July 12, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Snow Flower and The Secret Fan

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
100 minutes
Limited Release Date
07/15/11
director
Wayne Wang
distributor
Fox Searchlight Pictures
author
Ronald Bass
genre
Drama

We gave it a D+

A feat of East-West rapprochement that would have stupefied Nixon, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan weepy tale is set in China but has plenty of English dialogue — and even a brief appearance by Hugh Jackman. Lily (Li Bingbing) and Snow Flower (Gianna Jun) are two close friends who must contend with the rigidly patriarchal culture of 19th-century rural China. Their travails are mirrored by those of two women in modern-day Shanghai, also played by Li and Jun. Sadly, rather than melding the best of two worlds, the film only takes the worst of their soap operas. D+

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