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The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

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The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Old 05-07-19, 09:52 AM
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The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)





Synopsis: A Chinese family discover their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies.

This was apparently a pretty big standout at Sundance. Having grown up in it, Chinese families are by and large extremely uncomfortable with death (I mean, ghost movies are still banned in the mainland), so I am sort of looking forward to this -- I have family that would attempt a ruse like this.

Reviews:
100% with 35 reviews: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_farewell_2018

Last edited by RichC2; 05-07-19 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 05-07-19, 10:01 AM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

It's A24... I will see it.
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Old 07-05-19, 04:12 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Wow:

“Farewell” Is Among Year’s Best

Last night I finally saw Lulu Wang‘s The Farewell, which A24 will open on 7.12. It’s brilliant — the most emotionally affecting, most skillfully assembled family drama I’ve seen in many years, and never in an overbearing way. At times Wang’s touch is light and darting, and other times matter of fact. But each and every scene hits the mark, and the ending nails it perfectly (and at the same time delivers an unlikely, last-minute surprise).

Billi (Awkwafina), a Chinese-American 20something, flies to northeastern China after her grandmother Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen) has been diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer. The tension stems from a family decision not to tell Nai Nai of her condition, as they’re afraid that knowing will hasten her demise. I still don’t understand how an 80something cancer victim wouldn’t be acutely aware that something dark and dangerous is growing within, but this was the only roadblock…call it a speedbump.

I was deeply impressed by Anna Franquesa Solano‘s widescreen (2.39:1) lensing, which is unusual for a film that’s almost entirely about MCU and CU interiors. And the editing (by Michael Taylor and Matthew Friedman) is fleet and to the point.

I was a touch suspicious of those Sundance raves and that 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating, but now I understand. I really think The Farewell belongs in the family-drama pantheon along with Little Miss Sunshine, It’s A Wonderful Life, The Descendants, The Grapes of Wrath, Kramer vs, Kramer, Parenthood…it’s one of those.

It addresses all the basic sorrows and frustrations affecting older members of any large family — death in particular but with a particular focus on the gulf between traditional Chinese culture and U.S. culture and a certain melancholy affecting those suspended between the two.

Awkwafina‘s lead performance will definitely snag critics awards in December and be Oscar-nominated the following month — no question.

The Farewell mostly happens in Changchun, a large auto-manufacturing city in northeastern China. To go by Silano’s lensing, it’s nothing but dull, uniform, rotely designed high-rise apartment buildings, one after another after another. You’re saying to herself, “My God, who could live in a high-rise nightmare city like this?” The Changchung Wikipage says it’s “one of [China’s] four National Garden Cities, due to its highurban greening rate.” You’d never know this from watching The Farewell.

I mentioned a couple of months ago that the Farewell trailer “strongly indicates that family members (Akwafina included) are making very little effort to mask their sadness over their grandmother’s situation, to the extent that Nai Nai seemingly has no choice but to ask ‘what’s wrong?’ What’s the point of a family deciding to keep bad news a secret if they’re going to convey their true feelings this blatantly? Wouldn’t everyone try to mask their feelings with too much gaiety?” I still feel this way.

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Old 08-01-19, 08:01 AM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

This expands to more theatres this weekend. I'm going to see it on Saturday.
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Old 08-01-19, 05:19 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Yup, it expands close to where I live. The AMC theatre it's playing at is about a 20 minute drive for me, so I got a ticket to see it tomorrow afternoon.
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Old 08-02-19, 02:48 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Saw this 3 weeks ago - as a Chinese American, it hit a lot of familiar notes I grew up with and does a good explanation on the eastern approach to what family means. It was also nice to see Awkwafina in a more grounded role vs the usual loud over the top ones sheís usually in. Liked the rest of the cast, especially Tzi Ma - his characterís explanation on why the family was doing what they were doing is Chinese families in a nutshell. Itís not because the family is uncomfortable with death - two reasons are given in the movie, and both are compelling reasons.

I donít want to make it sound like itís only a Chinese experience - there are definitely universal family dynamics going on, but for me, a lot of the smaller details hit way close to home

Hope those going to see it this weekend will get as much out of it as I did!
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Old 08-02-19, 09:17 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Just got back from seeing it. I fucking loved this movie. This is easily IMO top 5 material for 2019.

Awkwafina was fantastic in this. I think this was seriously a star making performance for her. And I really loved the family dynamics with her, the parents, uncles and aunts and of course her Nai Nai (grandma)

The chemistry between Awkwafina and the actress who played her Grandma was really strong and believable. You really felt like they were family.

The movie probably 85-90% Mandarin with subs and minimal English. I could relate to a lot of this movie because I'm Thai-Chinese and come from a large family. My Grandparents before they passed were immigrants from China. The family dynamics was a lot of what I saw growing up and when I was 13 living in Thailand with all my family.

It's a really good fucking movie. You don't have to be Chinese or Asian to appreciate a damn good film like this. So don't hesitate or be afraid that you can't relate to it because it's a small Indie film mostly in Mandarin.
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Old 08-06-19, 03:35 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

As she's gaining more positive accolades for her acting chops, how long before rapper-turned-actress Awkwafina reverts to her real name (ala The Rock --> Dwayne Johnson)?
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Old 08-06-19, 03:49 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Originally Posted by Paff View Post
As she's gaining more positive accolades for her acting chops, how long before rapper-turned-actress Awkwafina reverts to her real name (ala The Rock --> Dwayne Johnson)?
I think there's a world of difference between a performer who chose a stage name for the music industry and then transitioned into film acting and a wrestler who was given a stage persona and later became a movie actor.

Thinking about other musicians with stage names who became actors : Prince, Cher, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ice T, Ice Cube, Beyonce, Eminem, Queen Latifah, 50 Cent, Rihanna. Pretty much every one still uses their performing name for acting work.
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Old 08-06-19, 05:34 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

I was watching a review of this on a YouTube channel with the captions on. When the reviewer mentioned her, yep sure enough, the caption had it spelled "Aquafina."
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Old 08-07-19, 11:30 AM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
It's A24... I will see it.
Same for me!
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Old 08-07-19, 12:24 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
I think there's a world of difference between a performer who chose a stage name for the music industry and then transitioned into film acting and a wrestler who was given a stage persona and later became a movie actor.

Thinking about other musicians with stage names who became actors : Prince, Cher, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ice T, Ice Cube, Beyonce, Eminem, Queen Latifah, 50 Cent, Rihanna. Pretty much every one still uses their performing name for acting work.
Yeah, I thought about that, although a lot of people you cite have pretty storied music careers first. Awkwafina is getting far more attention for her acting than her music, and at some point it's gotta dawn on her that it's a pretty stupid stage name. Ludacris goes by Chris "Ludacris" Bridges when acting, Andrew Dice Clay often drops the "Dice".
Awkwafina is also a strong voice among Asian-Americans, and will likely want to emphasize her heritage, which her current stage name does not.
She'll probably do a John Mellancamp thing, where she keeps the stage name but eventually fades it out.
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Old 08-07-19, 12:44 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

She should just adopt the chinese character for Water. 水。
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Old 08-09-19, 02:30 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Saw this in an empty theater this afternoon.

I'll just echo what's been stated already. Wonderful movie. People that bitch about the proliferation of comic book movies should be supporting this film.
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Old 08-15-19, 11:50 AM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

saw this last night. great movie.
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Old 08-18-19, 11:53 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Saw this last night.

Enjoyed this film. It brought back a lot of memories I had during my grandmother's final months as well as her immense spirit.

Loved the casting.
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Old 08-31-19, 04:30 AM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Wow, this was a tough movie to watch for me since my grandma just died a couple weeks ago. I went into the movie having no clue what it was about. I was thinking it was going to be similar in theme to Crazy Rich Asians. Great movie, but wish I had not watched it due to the sad memories it brought out.
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Old 09-02-19, 01:15 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
I think there's a world of difference between a performer who chose a stage name for the music industry and then transitioned into film acting and a wrestler who was given a stage persona and later became a movie actor.

Thinking about other musicians with stage names who became actors : Prince, Cher, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ice T, Ice Cube, Beyonce, Eminem, Queen Latifah, 50 Cent, Rihanna. Pretty much every one still uses their performing name for acting work.
The difference between your examples and Awkwafina is that those names are cool and Awkwafina is a joke name and sounds stupid.

And as someone else said, itís similar to the also stupid Johnny Cougar and it should best be ditched ASAP.
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Old 09-02-19, 02:26 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Looks like it's already out of my area, bummer. If you haven't seen it or can't you may enjoy the original story on This American Life. They added it to a podcast rerun the week the movie came out called "In Defense of Ignorance" and if you listen to that version, you hear an amazing post-story 2019 update from Ira Glass. Spoilers, obviously, but it's a great story and really well done. The update is so, so unbelievable. Only in real life, you know?
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Old 09-02-19, 05:38 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post


The difference between your examples and Awkwafina is that those names are cool and Awkwafina is a joke name and sounds stupid.

And as someone else said, itís similar to the also stupid Johnny Cougar and it should best be ditched ASAP.
Some of the names are cool but others are terrible. Looking at you, Ice Cube, Ice T, Eminem and 50 Cent.
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Old 09-02-19, 11:26 PM
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Re: The Farewell (2019, d: Lulu Wang, s: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma)

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
The difference between your examples and Awkwafina is that those names are cool and Awkwafina is a joke name and sounds stupid.
Better than Nora Lum...
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