Veteran director Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club) returns to familiar ground, convincingly, with a bittersweet two-track story of Chinese female bonding. The modern side tells what happens to Nina (Li Bingbing) and Sophia (South Korean actress Gianna Jun), a pair of best friends whose busy lives in contemporary Shanghai complicate their lifelong “sisterly” devotion to each other. In the parallel “ancient” half using the same two actresses, rich wife Lily (Li) communicates with poor wife Snow Flower (Jun) using coded characters painted on a series of fans passed back and forth. In both tracks the healing strength of sisterly love overcomes all obstacles. Or at least most. An old-fashioned two-silk-hanky costumed weepy, adapted from Lisa See’s novel by screenwriters Angela Workman, Ron Bass, and Michael Ray. Ms. Li is particularly good as Nina/Lily. Also with Vivian Wu and Hugh Jackman.
Director: Wayne Wang
Producer: Wendi Murdoch, Florence Sloan, Hugo Shong and Ron Bass
Cast: Gianna Jun, Li Bingbing, Vivian Wu, Jiang Wu, Russell Wong, Coco Chiang, Hu Jingyun, Archie Kao, Hugh Jackman, Guo Congmeng and Dai Yan
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan