About the film
Director: Lulu Wang
Actors: Awkwafina ., Diana Lin, Jiang Yongbo, Lu Hong, Tzi Ma, Zhao ShuzhenPOIGNANT, FUNNY, AND BASED ON AN ACTUAL LIE.
Would you tell someone you loved that they were gravely ill, or would you spare them from grief and hopelessness?
Director and screenwriter Lulu Wang’s remarkable new film THE FAREWELL explores this question – drawn from Wang’s real life – as seen through the cross-cultural perspective of a Chinese American woman played with astounding depth by your new favorite actress, Awkwafina (yes, really).
Based on a story Wang recounted in a 2016 episode of “This American Life,” THE FAREWELL follows Billi, a New York-based writer who learns that her beloved grandmother – who lives in Changchun, China – has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But Billi’s appalled to learn that not only is her extended family not telling her Nai Nai that she’s going to die, they’re actually manufacturing a fake wedding as an excuse to gather together to be with her.
THE FAREWELL could have been a silly black comedy or a devastating drama, but it’s something more than that – a depiction of how this family, split across multiple countries and cultures, experiences grief and celebrates life.
Awkwafina continues her hot streak with a surprising, dynamic, Oscar-worthy performance. The rapper-turned-actress has been killing it lately with hilarious supporting roles in OCEAN’S EIGHT and CRAZY RICH ASIANS, but THE FAREWELL is her opportunity to show how truly gifted she is as a performer. Acting in both English and Mandarin, she brings an incredible range to the lead character Billi, using her innate sense of timing to find heart and humor from moment to moment. Seriously, she should be considered one of the first major contenders in the Best Actress Oscar race.
Regardless of your family’s roots, we think THE FAREWELL is one of the best movies you’ll see this year.