THE FAREWELL (PG)
THE FAREWELL (PG)
Run time: 100 MINS
Director: Lulu Wang
Cast: Awkwafina, Zhao Shuzhen, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Lu Hong, Jiang Yongbo, Gil Perez-Abraham
Synopsis: In this funny, uplifting tale based on an actual lie, Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi reluctantly returns to Changchun to find that, although the whole family knows their beloved matriarch, Nai-Nai, has been given mere weeks to live, everyone has decided not to tell Nai Nai herself. The aftermath follows Billi as she strives to keep the secret while struggling to navigate family expectations
In The Farewell, writer/director Lulu Wang has created a heartfelt celebration and exploration of both the way we perform as family and the underlying contradictions. She masterfully interweaves a gently humorous depiction of a ‘good lie’ in action, with a richly moving story of how family can unite and strengthen us, often in spite of ourselves.
Obviously personal and culturally specific, the film achieves a universality and a resonance through its vivid depiction of a family in the midst of a crisis.
A beloved grandmother in China is dying, but the family have decided not to tell her, to protect her and prevent her from living her remaining days in fear. Instead, they have planned a lavish wedding as an excuse to bring everyone in the family from all parts of the world together one last time.
Awkwafina [Ocean’s 8 (2018); Crazy Rich Asians (2018)] plays Billi, a New Yorkernavigating a minefield of family expectations and proprieties. She finds there is a lot to celebrate – a chance to rediscover the country she left as a child, to appreciate her grandmother’s wondrous spirit, and to acknowledge the ties that keep on binding even when so much goes unspoken.
A beautiful ensemble production team ensures the quality of this heartfelt, emotional and often hilarious look at cross-cultural sensibilities, introduced as “Based on an actual lie”.
Images courtesy of: EFD