claira curtis’s review published on Letterboxd:
Alan Yang has created something truly special with his feature debut, Tigertail. A beautiful portrayal of life in Taiwan, immigration, and coming to terms with what we’re willing to sacrifice in order to try to achieve our dreams.
I found Tzi Ma wonderful in The Farewell last year and it was a joy to see him take on a larger role here as the story’s lead. I would argue that this is one of his best performances - at least from what I’ve seen of his work.
Tigertail carries with it a well executed feeling of melancholic homesickness. There’s a longing interwoven within it’s nonlinear timeline, interchanging between a hunger for an idealized future and a regretful desire to return to a romanticized past.
I would argue that Michael Brook delivers one of the best scores of 2020 thus far. The score adds so much extra oomph to an already powerful story.
The one downfall is the leaner runtime. While used wisely, I think an extra 20-30 minutes would have really elevated things here to an almost The Farewell level of power. Despite that opinion, Tigertail uses its limited time wisely and with great care.
As a whole, Tigertail is a hidden gem, unfortunately hardly talked about in the midst of so many streamable new releases. I urge you to consider giving this your time. It’s truly a privilege to witness.