• Released
  • September 21, 2007
  • Drama
  • Be the first to Rate!
75

TV Guide

By Ken Fox
Chinese director Ann Hu follows-up her tepid 2000 debut "Shadow Magic" with another luscious historical drama that, thankfully, is a lot more interesting. The plot is no less melodramatic, but here melodramatics work along with the film's theme, not against it.
Full Review
70

Salon.com

By Andrew O'Hehir
Hu, a Chinese-American immigrant who made a mid-career switch from business to filmmaking, approaches these characters with genuine passion and compassion, and her evident talent shines through the timeworn material. Acting by all three principals is tremendous.
Full Review
60

The New York Times

The story seems to be occurring in a China of the imagination, an airless place at once sensually ripe and icily formal. Like “Far From Heaven,” it denies its characters and viewers the ecstatic release they crave.
Full Review
50

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
If aesthetics are a prime factor in your movie choices, you may get something out of Ann Hu's overwrought, but beautifully atmospheric, period romance.
Full Review
40

Variety

By Robert Koehler
An unappealing, stiff melodrama.
Full Review
38

New York Post

By V.A. Musetto
So beautifully filmed (as if through a gauze curtain), it is especially sad that the script doesn't measure up.
Full Review
30

Village Voice

The film plays like the work of a fifth-generation Chinese hack faking a lavish Hollywood saga on an indie budget: It's all soft focuses, sax flourishes, and silky slo-mos.
Full Review
49 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.