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Thread: The Farewell (Wang, 2019)

  1. #1
    i can't help you with that benutty's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2016
    Location: Waterloo, Iowa
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    The Farewell (Wang, 2019)

    Oh gosh. I don't know where to begin.

    Let's start with "inCREDible" because that was my immediate reaction after the perfect ending to this wonderful, wonderful film. I've always been drawn to Asian-American stories -- mostly with the literature I was exposed to by some excellent teachers throughout my early schooling -- so this film was always going to be up my alley to a certain extent. But I wasn't prepared for how genuinely heartfelt all of the performances were or how impeccably paced and plotted the script was. I do think there's some repetitive writing throughout -- too many conversations where all Billi says is "are you going to tell her" and definitely one too many "Stupid childs" from Nai Nai -- but they don't detract from an otherwise brilliant story. I also wasn't prepared for how showy the techs were -- great photography and high impact music.

    Awkwafina is more than deserving of awards attention and I actually think I'm going to start stanning her Oscar win from here on out (sorry in advance). Shuzhen Zhao is great and so so so touching, BUT the real surprise here is Diana Lin as Billi's mother Jian. Her scenes knocked me out (the hotel bedroom with drunk dad passed out + the taxi to the airport, wowza).

    I loved it bye

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Sep 2017
    Posts: 3,524
    This was lovely and flawless, only held back by it's true story limitations (being that the grandma lives , I feel like the ending did not go where I wanted it emotionally). Awkwafina and Zhao are excellent, and so is everyone. One of the best ensembles of the year no question. Two scenes killed me in particular. First, and I can't really explain why, but when the family are all bowing down to the grandfather and Zhao is giving everyone her blessings. There was just so much going on in that scene beneath the surface now that we know Zhao lied to her husband as well. Second is Awkwafina's Oscar scene (if she gets nominated - I think this was her only scene baity enough to get Oscar voters' attention, so i find her prospects doubtful) where she describes how afraid she was when she first got to America and how different it was, and how that was influenced by her mother's own fear. Absolutely monumental work on her account. 9/10 from me; while I appreciated the subdued approach, I wanted something more emotional. But I'm glad that Lulu didn't stretch the truth even if it would've been more baity.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Apothecary's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2016
    Location: All over the place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by benutty View Post

    Awkwafina is more than deserving of awards attention and I actually think I'm going to start stanning her Oscar win from here on out (sorry in advance). Shuzhen Zhao is great and so so so touching, BUT the real surprise here is Diana Lin as Billi's mother Jian. Her scenes knocked me out (the hotel bedroom with drunk dad passed out + the taxi to the airport, wowza).

    I loved it bye
    I may write more on this once I see it again because it's been a couple of months, but YES! to the Diana Lin shout-out. I mentioned her as the supporting MVP in the film:news' thread. She is the "dry" one because she understands that's how she can support both her daughter and husband and ground them emotionally, she pulls it off beautifully in just a couple of scenes.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dyedred19's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Posts: 23,845
    I also really loved Diana Lin! She was so perfect. The entire cast was great.

    I thought this was really wonderful. I can't stop thinking about the final shot of Nai Nai waving at the car.

    Although, I'd be lying if some of the emotional weight of this movie wasn't lifted a little bit once I found out Nai Nai is still alive lol

  5. #5
    Senior Member pat's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2017
    Location: Brooklyn, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by dyedred19 View Post
    I also really loved Diana Lin! She was so perfect. The entire cast was great.

    I thought this was really wonderful. I can't stop thinking about the final shot of Nai Nai waving at the car.

    Although, I'd be lying if some of the emotional weight of this movie wasn't lifted a little bit once I found out Nai Nai is still alive lol
    Yeah, that lost shot has really stuck with me. Nai nai looks so much like my own grandmother- I started crying immediately, especially when that cover of "Come Healing" started to play.

    I'd listened to the radio segment beforehand so I knew that Nai nai is still alive but I still loved the reaction that reveal solicited from my audience. It went from people audibly crying to laughing and cheering in like 2 seconds flat, lol.

    Anyway, I really really loved this film. It felt so deeply personal yet completely universal, encompassing themes ranging from the immigrant experience, to parental relationships, to, well, death! Awkwafina was great and I'd completely be here for an Oscar nomination for her. Agreed that Diana Lin deserves one too, as well as Shuzhen Zhao of course.

    Another scene I wanted to shout out was at the wedding when Billi's cousin gets extremely drunk (that drinking game, lol) and starts sobbing. It was unexpected since that character had been so quiet until then, but still really affecting.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Posts: 3,164
    I really like this one. It is genuine and heartwarming. I don’t know any of these cast but they made an excellent ensemble. It was a great emotional rollercoaster and I hope Hollywood is able to make more of these films. Pray for it to get award attention by the end of the year.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Keirdancer's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Location: Los Angeles
    Posts: 1,512
    After seeing this, I'm extremely confident it's getting nominated for Best Picture. Easily, the Best film of the year so far. Even though it's being promoted as a comedy for the most part, make no mistake - This is prestigious.

    I's emotionally satisfying on every level, and impressively manages to avoid being emotionally manipulative as well, due to the sincere and authentic cast, direction and writing.

    I can't really add anything that anyone has already said except that for me, there is one scene in particular, that made me start crying, hit me so hard. I never saw coming. It is when they all visit the cemetery, and the lone shot of Nai Nai asking for their late-Grandfather's blessings to the family, and they keep bowing. Perhaps it's the placement of the camera, or the blocking of the cast behind her. The longer it went on, though funny from the constant bowing, the more and more I felt the love for this family; felt the love they had for each other. Maybe because, culturally, we (Americans), don't do this? It's so beautiful, respectful and profound in ways that I cannot describe, and I'm not religious. Perhaps I found something I was looking for. This film forces you to look at things from a different perspective, from both perspectives - and I'm grateful for that experience. It's not East vs. West. It's East + West = Universal appeal. It's ability to satisfy a general and critical audience, the reason I believe it will not be forgotten when awards season comes around.

    Speaking of Nai Nai, the actress (Shuzhen Zhao) is perfection. I really, REALLY hope she miraculously gets awards attention. Because she had to be everyone's Grandmother Nai Nai, and for two hours, she was.

    Edit: CMBYNMafia, I read your review after I posted mine. I'm so happy to see that I'm not alone in my sentiments on the cemetery scene. Too many people use the word, "everything". This scene is everything. It earned it.
    Last edited by Keirdancer; Today at 05:15 AM.

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