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Screen International by
The film’s look is as striking as Fan’s performance.
The Hollywood Reporter by
The sarcasm of superstar director Feng Xiaogang reduces Chinese bureaucracy, the legal system and government inefficiency to ashes in I Am Not Madame Bovary, but risks doing the same for audiences in a caustic, overlong satire whose coy visual effects overpower the story and characters.
Long, relatively low-key but always engaging, I Am Not Madame Bovary wears its expansive scale lightly.
The New York Times by
There’s some intriguing social commentary in the Chinese comedic melodrama I Am Not Madame Bovary.... But appreciating it, and the other points of interest in the movie, requires a perhaps unusual amount of patience, or even indulgence.
Washington Post by
Although it’s intended as a satire, director Feng Xiaogang’s movie has a literary tone, a leisurely pace and relatively few laugh-out-loud moments. It captures not only Lian’s frustration, but also the exasperation of the authorities who must deal with the demanding woman during her 11-year quest for justice.
The A.V. Club by
Fans of both non-action Asian cinema and stifling bureaucratic nightmares, your long wait is finally over.
Los Angeles Times by
The hyper-dramatic touches help disguise that this is essentially a film about paperwork. The rest of the weight is carried by Fan, who’s funny and heartbreaking. She’s a hero for our times: a stubborn woman, willing to inconvenience the powerful to get a fair hearing.
Movie Nation by
The acting is rarely broad and Fan Bingbing delivers a credible haplessness in Lian. The broader comedy translates well-enough.
The Seattle Times by
The script by Liu Zhenyun becomes ponderous and redundant, kept on oxygen by its lead actress’s complex performance as a child-woman with enigmatic wisdom.
The Film Stage by
An overlong mid-section stagnates after the novelty of the premise wears off, but a couple of plot twists late in the game raise the stakes again and Xiaogang Feng, with his signature dry humor and newfound creative juices, hits too many marks on this one for it to disappoint.