Pavilion of Women
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A woman defies convention to find happiness, only to discover the costs are greater than she imagined in this drama based on the novel by Pearl S. Buck. In 1938, with Communist rebels on the rise in China and Imperial Japan intent upon expanding its rule into Manchuria and China, Lord Wu (Shek Sau) is a feudal leader who rules both his community and his family with an iron fist. But his wife, Madame Wu (Luo Yan), has just turned 40 and has grown weary of her husband's dominance. With her son Fengmo (John Cho) now 18 and engaged to be married, Madame Wu sees her responsibilities to her… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 6%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"In many ways, this is the East Asian equivalent of the old Europudding productions, where international players have created something that's more cacaphonous than melodious."
‑ Robert Koehler, Variety
"An instant antique."
‑ Mark Jenkins, Washington Post
"The only importance anyone is likely to associate with this overblown melodrama is self-importance."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"Suffers from predictable plotting that occasionally heats to a soap-opera boil."
‑ Marshall Fine, Journal News (Westchester, NY)
"It's stiff and soggy at the same time, and Dafoe's priest-as-Superman performance is unintentionally funny."
‑ Dave White, IFilm
"The backdrop of exotic pagodas and wartime woe isn't nearly potent enough to buoy the feeble drama that plays out in the foreground."
‑ Kevin Maynard, Mr. Showbiz
"Suggests a sudsy version of The King and I without forceful personalities or fancy production numbers."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"Melancholy and plodding."
‑ Christopher Null,
"Even with the brilliant, Oscar-nominated Willem DaFoe in its cast, this movie amounts to nothing more than a waste of two hours."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Ho stages most of this hothouse activity in an alternately turgid and melodramatic manner."
‑ Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
"Despite solid performances and handsome production values, the picture ultimately feels like secondhand goods that have been refurbished for North American consumption."
‑ Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter
"Gets bogged down in enough 'event' to choke a miniseries."
‑ Mike Clark, USA Today
"You have to wonder why this film has been targeted at American audiences at all."
‑ Janet Branagan, Apollo Guide
"Viewers have to wade through many embarrassing moments (and performances)."
‑ Rod Armstrong,
"Poor Pearl Buck deserved better."
‑ Mary F. Pols, Contra Costa Times
More reviews for Pavilion of Women on Rotten Tomatoes