The Farewell ★★★½

Life is not just about what you do, it's more about how you do it.

I'm slightly on the fence about this one. The premise is intriguing and the cast is fantastic all around. At times the film though felt a bit too "American" or Western for me and I was wondering how much (more) nuance someone like Edward Yang might've brought to the table.

For some reason I like to think that Aiko is an actress hired for the pretext of marriage. Or that she and Hao Hao are actually dating but the family orchestrates a fake wedding with an actor as priest. And/or that Nai Nai sees through all of this since she applied the same behavior to her late husbands but rubber-stamps it so her family can be reunited one more/last time.

All these things would make the film even more Western/American which makes it sorta contradictory – hence the whole mention about the fence.

The Farewell surely is one of the standout movies of 2019 and kicks fully into gear once Billi arrives in China. Maybe a rewatch will smoothen things out.

It probably will.