The Farewell review: One of the best films of the year so far
Written and directed by Lulu Wang and closely based on her own experiences, The Farewell is hilarious and heartwarming family drama.
The excellent Awkwafina is Billi Wang, an aspiring Chinese-American writer whose career choice causes her immigrant parents endless anxiety.
Though she left China aged just six, Billi’s maintained a close relationship with her paternal grandmother Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen), who she talks to constantly on the phone.
But when Nai Nai is diagnosed with lung cancer, Billi’s parents rush home to the city of Changchun to be at her side.
When Billi follows them, she finds out about the Chinese tradition of families hiding cancer diagnoses from their loved ones, the idea being that they carry the burden for them.
Billi thinks this is a crock, and will struggle to hold her tongue through an excruciating family wedding.
It’s wonderful stuff from start to finish, and one of the best films I’ve seen so far this year.