Issac’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that characters like Mamá Coco (from Coco) and Cleo (from Roma) remind me so much of my late grandma. Well after watching The Farewell, I can now add another character to that list and yes, you guessed correctly.
I don’t want to give too much away but that scene when Nai Nai is out in the cold, waving at the car. Not only was there tears in my eyes but the fact that everyone was telling her to go inside since she’s sick and the weather is bad, and she wouldn’t listen... just because she wanted to see her family.
It really hit home for me because (story time, I’m sorry) when my grandma was sick, I had my 16th birthday party going on at a park. And my grandma insisted that she’d go. Of course, the doctors said she couldn’t and it made sense; the weather wasn’t good, she’s sick and old so she has to stay in. Well I don’t know how she did it, but it was a huge surprise to see a van pull up and there was my grandma in her hospital wheelchair, just to see me on my birthday. She even got me a card and everything. She passed two months after that and I will never forget that moment. I still keep the card in my car with me so that way it’s always with me everywhere I go.
Moments like that are always great to remember and I think it’s amazing when a movie helps remind me of certain things like that. The Farewell does that with their touching moments, and their scenes with the whole family, it becomes so relatable to me, I can’t help but love it. Plus Nai Nai is such a lovable character, how can you not love her?
Lulu Wang was able to use these real life events about her grandmother and create such a beautiful film out of it. With loving characters, heartfelt moments, and of course a mix between sadness and comedy. The emotions that go on throughout the film are so real, you can feel it in every scene. Awkwafina does a terrific job and with Wang’s stylistic directing, this movie ends up being one of the greats. Definitely one of my favorites so far for 2019.