Cancelled – The Farewell
In this funny, uplifting tale based on an actual lie, Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi (Awkwafina) 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. To assure her happiness, they gather under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding, uniting family members scattered among new homes abroad. As Billi navigates a minefield of family expectations and proprieties, she finds there’s a lot to celebrate: a chance to rediscover the country she left as a child, her grandmother’s wondrous spirit, and the ties that keep on binding even when so much goes unspoken. With The Farewell, writer/director Lulu Wang has created a heartfelt celebration of both the way we perform family and the way we live it, masterfully interweaving a gently humorous depiction of the good lie in action with a richly moving story of how family can unite and strengthen us, often in spite of ourselves.
“Immigrants, for whom such experiences often overlap in intimate ways, can tell some of the most compelling stories about the human condition and the dislocating shocks of modernity.” Zoë Hu, The New Republic
“The Farewell is among 2019’s best films. It becomes deeper, funnier and more resonant with repeated viewing, too.” – John Serba, The Decider
“Wang is unapologetic about the cultural specificity of her (true) story, yet it is this limited framework that ultimately makes The Farewell a vivid and endlessly relatable story of fractured identity in a globalized world.” Manuela Lazic, The Ringer
“The story, “based on an actual lie,” never gets too sappy, and Awkwafina proves she can churn out a memorable, chucklesome performance without turning to her usual gags or one-liners. It’s especially poignant to watch as a fellow Asian American immigrant who lives an ocean away from her own family.” – Kristen Yoonsoo Kim, ArtForum
“It has an eye for absurdity and for the telling detail, and it marks Lulu Wang as a director with the rare but essential ability to make you care about what she cares about.” – San Francisco Chronicle
- 3/14 | 9:30PM