Year of the Fish

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Released 2009

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Movie Summary

Director:
Unknown
Released:
2009
Rating:
Not Available

In this modern-day adaptation of Cinderella, award-winning filmmaker David Kaplan transposes the fairytale's archetypical characters to a vibrant urban setting: a massage parlor in New York's Chinatown specializing in "happy endings." An optimistic young girl travels alone to New York City where she hopes to earn money to send home to her ailing father. Expecting work in a beauty salon, the girl is instead delivered into the hands of her father's distant cousin, an embittered woman who runs a seedy massage parlor. The girl surrenders her passport as collateral for her "debt" and is informed of her duties. When she refuses to do the requisite sex work, the girl accepts her fate as the operation's browbeaten servant, her only solace a magical goldfish given to her by a sidewalk fortuneteller. Sprinkled with fantasy, romance and suspense, Year of the Fish is presented in a delicately layered animation style that evokes a painting come to life. The film's first-rate ensemble cast includes Ken Leung (LOST, X-Men 3, Rush Hour), Tsai Chin (The Joy Luck Club), acclaimed Broadway veteran Randall Duk Kim (The Matrix Reloaded, the upcoming Dragonball), and introduces An Nguyen.

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Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The New York Times Jeannette Catsoulis

    Packs more sadness than the familiar fairy tale but offers its own fantastical delights. Ye Xian's party dress, made of teardrops, suits her -- and her story -- perfectly.

  • 50

    San Francisco Chronicle Walter Addiego

    Too raw for kids and too simplistic for adults.

  • 40

    Variety

    That the film is animated gives it an appropriately magical feel, but it can't save the story from being drowned in devices and stereotype.

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    Categories

    Drama

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    Independent, Thrillers