The Hollywood Reporter

By Kirk Honeycutt
So strong are the emotions - and, yes, the melodrama - that Snow Flower and the Secret Fan represents one of Wang's best films to date.
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Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
The connection between the two time frames and stories (the contemporary one with the addition of screenwriters) is flimsy as a frayed rope bridge, forced as the stepsister's foot into Cinderella's glass slipper.
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Miami Herald

By Connie Ogle
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan moves slowly, languidly; its art direction is often lovely, and despite their truncated screen time Lily and Snow Flower do make you care about their fates. But you would have cared more without all the distraction.
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By Stephanie Zacharek
To invoke Pauline Kael's review of Diane Kurys's "Entre Nous," it's about two women not having a lesbian affair.
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Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
It's hard to tell whether this is a tribute to female solidarity or a lamentation.
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Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
While the action flashes back and forth in increments of centuries, years or months, we're adrift in the here and now, trying to get a grip on the characters and their relationships, yet finding it loosened with every new dislocation.
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USA Today

By Claudia Puig
The lesson of the lovely-looking, but disappointing, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is avoid tinkering too much with a novelist's work.
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New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
Unfortunately, its present-day tale, involving a career woman seeking to mend her 20-year bond with a girlfriend injured in an accident, is lax and clunky, and its story-within-a-story - a tale of two laotong, or soul sisters, in oppressive mid-1800s China - is gorgeous but simplistic.
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Entertainment Weekly

Sadly, rather than melding the best of two worlds, the film only takes the worst of their soap operas.
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San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
This latest from director Wayne Wang, about the friendship of two young women, travels from 2011 to 1997 to 1829 to 1838, in search of a reason for the audience to keep watching and start caring. That reason is never found.
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42 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.