I was dreading watching this DVD. Hmmm…indy film, Sundance film, a woman “coming out” to her family film. This had all the hallmarks of arty and annoying. Thankfully, Saving Face is not like that at all. Michelle Krusiac plays “Wil”, a surgeon, who falls hard for Vivian (Lynn Chen), a ballet dancer. Complications arise because Vivian is the daughter of Wil’s boss. Yes, there are some screwball comedy elements. But it’s all tastefully done. Joan Chen (what has she done since Twin Peaks) does a n…ce turn as Ma.
Alice Wu writes and directs the film. She shows a steady hand in both areas. The movie verges over into “feel good” territory, but this seems to be on par for the genre. Saving Face has a certain charm, and garners strong performances from the lead actors. Well done
The Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks features a lot of dialogue, but cleanly heard. Ambient effects are kept to a minimum. Sony has made sure this indy film sounds like a big budget release.
The 1.85:1 widescreen transfer is also big budget quality. The picture which was mastered in High Defintion is extremely clean, and the colors are quite wonderful to look at. Very well done.
Alice Wu’s commentary is a candid look at her film. Her comments are quite insightful. Well worth your time to listen. It’s great to hear a talented, emerging director talk about a piece of art that came from the heart.
Rounding out the features is a deleted scenes with commentary. Again, Wu is forthright on her thoughts about these scenes. The behind-the-scenes featurette is standard fare but worth a look. The Sundance Diary is a short, but interesting look, at the Sundance experience. I was at Sundance once. The diary is an accurate snapshot of what goes on.
Saving Face is a charming indy film about “coming out”. The “coming out” aspects aren’t thrown in your face, however. And the film could’ve went wrong in so many ways (my Chinese daughter’s a lesbian!!). Saving Face mostly steps right. Essentially, this is a film about love, romantic and familial. Perhaps a bit too “feel good” in the end, but the movie achieves what it’s trying to accomplish. With a nice set of features, you should check out the work of a promising voice in indy cinema.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Deleted scenes with commentary
- Behind the scenes featurette
- Sundance Diary