criterion comrade’s review published on Letterboxd:
In her interview with Letterboxd, director Lulu Wang notes that, though she fought to make the film specific to her experience (the film being based on her own life), she was afraid that, in doing so, the film wouldn't connect with other audiences. Well, my black ass is certainly not Chinese, but I sure do love the hell out of my late meemaw. And though I'm not sure how much longer my great grandmother will be with us, I love the hell out of her, too. (She had a stroke in recent months, and though she seems to have recovered well for her age, this movie still came out during an emotional time for me.)
Even outside of my own personal connection to the material, "THE FAREWELL" is a beautiful movie. The story directly pertains to the upholding of a "good lie," and this idea is reinforced by the family's dynamics both through dialogue and framing. The members of the family each conceal and deceive one another in different ways--never to be hurtful, but because sometimes the truth is just too hard, or hurts too much.
Oh, and props where they're due: Awkafina is actually a good dramatic actress when she isn't putting on an obnoxious blaccent. 👀