One of the best dramas you’ll likely see this year, “The Farewell” takes a wonderful cast and a beautifully shot story, which allows you to take a journey that runs through an entire spectrum of emotions on the way to an excellent time at the movies.
Awkwafina (Oceans 8, Crazy Rich Asians), stars a Billi, a struggling writer, who travels to China after her family decides to hide a terminal illness from her Grandmother, and instead hosts a wedding that will allow everyone to say goodbye, while sparing the emotional pain involved. Billi and her family struggle to keep the secret, while sorting through their own issues and maintaining a smiling face for the party.
All of the performances are terrific, and Awkwafina, who’s better know for her comedic work, jumps to an entirely higher level here. Everyone does such a fine job saying so much both verbally and non verbally, and you hardly even notice the heavy presence of the Chinese sub titles because you’re completely immersed in what’s going on.
Some of the visuals are truly unique and captivating. Director Lulu Wang features some shots on city streets, subways, and even laundromats, that are just wonderful.
If I had to split hairs, I would say that there are some out of place transitions late in the film, but that is really pulling out the white glove to try and find something wrong here. This is a great film.
“The Farewell” is a unique experience and one that is a joy to sit through.
Running time: 1hr 38 minutes