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The Farewell

audience Reviews

87% Audience Score87%
  • 3.5 of 5 stars
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    A bit slow at times, but still an overall good movie. Touches upon the differences between and East and Western values. Cinematography of China was great. Awkwafina was great as the lead.
  • 5 of 5 stars
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    Good god this is the best movie I've seen of 2019 (which truthfully has been a bit of a down year for movies so far). I absolutely loved this one and found it very touching featuring a great cast, a plot full of heart and an overall satisfying conclusion. Based on Director Lulu Wang's actual real life event involving her own family this movie follows a family that learns that their mother/grandmother Nai-Nai (Shuzhen Zhao) has terminal lung cancer. Instead of telling her though the family made up of her son's Haiyan (Tzi Ma) & Haibin (Yongbo Jiang) decide to not tell her at all. It's apparently a Chinese thing to not tell people since they believe the grief is what ultimately kills the person and it's better they live the rest of their life happy and not worried. We follow Haiyan's daughter Billi (Awkwafina) who does not agree with this at all. She is taken aback that her parents try and not even tell her that Nai Nai is sick. Her parents even try and not have Billi come with them to China (Haiyan moved his family to America). The plan is that instead of telling Nai Nai they are having a sort of false wedding involving BIlli's cousin Hao Hao (Han Chen). This ensures that family can come and visit Nai Nai and in the guise of celebrating the wedding they actually are saying their final good byes. Not sure if everyone knows, but I'm half Filipino and while the Filipino culture is different from Chinese I still connected a lot to this film. A lot of the customs, attitudes and the way certain family members act just hit home for me. I could relate to it all in a way and I really liked that. Back to the movie though I absolutely loved Awkwafina's performance here. She was so good and believable. You really feel for her. I also have to say Zhao as Nai Nai was so good. She really comes off as the loveable grandma that you miss. The movie blends comedy in here really well. I would say it comes off as more of a dramedy because it blends a very serious event, but I found myself laughing throughout the movie. The movie brings a really good question about what family means and what truly is best for someone that is about to die? Do you see it as a whole where family bears the burden and keeps the sick person happy until the end? Or is this one of those moments where you need to tell them everything, so they can get their own arrangements in order? It's an interesting take and it shows how devastating these events are. Without spoiling it the film ends on a fairly positive note and I really look forward to Awkwafina in more roles like this in the future.
  • 5 of 5 stars
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    emotionally charged movie
  • 4.5 of 5 stars
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    An emotional, amazing movie.
  • 3.5 of 5 stars
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    Initial reactions for "The Farewell" were not just good – they were phenomenal, with many critics saying it is clearly the best movie to come out of 2019 so far. With a 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, reviews for "The Farewell" set a very high bar for audiences before they had a chance to see it. While "The Farewell" certainly has its moments, the high standard set by the critics will most likely disappoint the majority of "regular" audiences who will go to see this indie drama produced by A24. The best aspect of "The Farewell" is the cast of the film and the wonderful performances that the cast members give, especially from the star, Awkwafina. The start of the movie establishes the close emotional bond Awkwafina's character, Billi, shares with her grandmother, "Nai Nai." When Billi learns that her grandmother is expected to pass away in the near future (though Nai Nai knows nothing about that), Billi's parents warn her that she has never been able to hide her emotions effectively, so she is advised not to go visit her grandmother like the rest of the family. The minute she arrives at her grandmother's place, Awkwafina proves to portray this characteristic of her character perfectly. She is clearly struck with grief, but her face shows her holding her emotions back just barely enough to not give anything away to Nai Nai. Though the writing is not necessarily enticing, later in the movie, Awkwafina delivers a couple different monologues about the ethics of lying to Nai Nai with such powerful emotion that she steals the show for this movie. The dramatic irony of the audience, as well as the rest of Nai Nai's family, knowing that Nai Nai has cancer is a pretty important part of this movie, as it sets up a lot of emotional moments as well as some humorous ones scattered throughout the film. It really pulls the emotional strings whenever Nai Nai makes offers to help with her grandson's wedding since she should be in charge of the planning or when she refers to doing something in the distant future. It also will evoke tears from the audience when Nai Nai sees somebody crying or upset and she genuinely asks what the matter is with no idea of what is going on. The movie proves to be particularly emotional at the wedding scene very late in the story. As mentioned above, however, the movie is not as enticing as a majority of critics have led audiences to believe. The story may be an emotional one, but most scenes in the film simply consist of the family having long conversations, whether it is with or without Nai Nai. It becomes very repetitive that the movie keeps pounding it into your brain that Nai Nai does not have long to live and how it is affecting the emotions of her family members while it does not affect her at all since she is ignorant to the fact she has cancer. It is a good quality movie, but it is also a very boring movie, especially for a movie that is under two hours in duration. "The Farewell" has great intentions, and its phenomenal cast makes it worth it to watch once. However, it is also simple and repetitive to the point that you'll be looking at your watch every so often wondering how much time has passed since the last time you looked. 7/10
  • 4 of 5 stars
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    Very heart wrenching but enjoyable
  • 2 of 5 stars
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    I did not like this movie because it did not make sense to me and the movie did not tell you that it had subtitles😠
  • 2 of 5 stars
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    They just kept pushing the same theme of the movie, "Don't tell Grandma," over and over and over. That was it. And then it ended.
  • 1 of 5 stars
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    What a waste of time. Slow, boring and terribly miscast. Tza Ma's talents were wasted here. The only thing I enjoyed was the theater air conditioning. I really thought I would like this film.
  • 1 of 5 stars
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    Boring and overly-hyped.