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New movie The Farewell by Lulu Wang well worth seeing during limited run

marzNC

Angel Diva
#1
If you haven't heard of The Farewell yet, check out the trailer for the new dramatic comedy. It's based on the creator (writer, Director) Lulu Wang's personal experience but could apply to any family dealing with a diagnosis of a terminal illness of an elder. Also goes directly to the issues between generations when family members are separated by long distances for many years even if connected by phone and letters. It came out of the Sundance Film Festival and is being distributed by the company that handled Eighth Grade, A24. The Farewell stars Awkwafina in a dramatic role where she is mostly speaking Mandarin Chinese, with an American accent. Lulu Wang was awarded the Vanguard Award by the Sundance Institute that recognizes "artists whose work and vision represent the highest level of breakthrough innovation, originality, and independent spirit."

The movie is playing for a week in many U.S. cities starting Aug. 2. It will be shown in China soon. The American release is mostly at Regal, Landmark, Cinemark or theaters that often show Indy or non-English language films. The initial showings started a couple weeks ago. I saw it last night with my husband. Planning to go again in the next week with my daughter. I didn't have a chance to see American films with all-Chinese casts growing up. I'm glad that's no longer true for my daughter's generation.

 
#2
Yes!!! I watched this movie as soon as it came to my area. Bring a box of tissues. Be prepared to laugh your ass off. The dialogue is so real and relatable.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#5
Went to see The Farewell again. This time with my daughter and her high school classmate who is visiting from Boston. As often happens, I picked up some nuances I missed the first time. Also now understand the drinking game at the wedding party.

The audience for a Sat afternoon showing was mostly retirees who moved to Chapel Hill, which is a university town in the southeast. They all seemed to enjoy the film.

The film will be shown in China in 2020. The Chinese title is quite different because it translates to "Be Sure Not to Tell Her."
 

Ski Sine Fine

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
Thanks for recommending this movie. I went to see it yesterday and it was very good. I couldn’t stop laughing at the cemetery scene. I hope the others in the theatre didn’t think it was inappropriate but it was just hilarious. Also, since I don’t speak Mandarin, I didn’t think I would hear Awkwafina’s accent but to my surprise once in a while I could tell. The subtitles are very good and I often wonder how accurate the translation is.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#8
Thanks for recommending this movie. I went to see it yesterday and it was very good. I couldn’t stop laughing at the cemetery scene. I hope the others in the theatre didn’t think it was inappropriate but it was just hilarious. Also, since I don’t speak Mandarin, I didn’t think I would hear Awkwafina’s accent but to my surprise once in a while I could tell. The subtitles are very good and I often wonder how accurate the translation is.
The first time I saw The Farewell there were more Chinese speakers in the audience. They laughed more and quicker than people who had to read subtitles and hadn't traveled in China. I think having more context for situation like how a host keeps piling food on someone's plate or leaving food offerings at a grave makes a difference for sure. The 1-2-3 bowing at the cemetery was very funny as Nainai kept thinking of other things to say and definitely brought back memories of visiting graves with my mother when I was an adult during trips in Taiwan/China.

The translations are pretty accurate but losing nuance is normal for subtitles. The grandmother, NaiNai, often calls Billie "sha hai zi" and it's translated as "stupid child." But "silly child" or "impudent child" or "foolish child" has the more appropriate connotation to me.

The fact that Awkwafina's pronunciation isn't that of a native speaker was easily noticeable to me and my daughter (started studying Chinese in high school). Probably makes the movie that much more fun for American-born Chinese like me and my husband who know a little spoken Chinese but are nowhere near fluent.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#9
While most of the articles written about The Farewell are simply good reviews based on a standard synopsis of the movie plot, this one from Texas gives an indication of why the themes resonate with children of immigrants. Probably applies just as well to American-born grandchildren of immigrants who came from Europe before the 1950s. In particular those who didn't learn the language of grandparents who never learned much English.

https://www.dallasnews.com/life/lif...arewell-reflects-food-chinese-american-family
 
#10
I haven't seen it yet, but reading that review reminded how much I enjoy food movies:
Eat Man Drink Woman
Like Water For Chocolate
Big Night
 
#15
#19
Finally saw The Farewell. Definitely my kind of movie. Billi was a very sympathetic character, well played by Awkwafina. I really liked the text in beginning frame and the short home movie clip at the end, for me this was an important connection.
 
#20
Finally saw The Farewell. Definitely my kind of movie. Billi was a very sympathetic character, well played by Awkwafina. I really liked the text in beginning frame and the short home movie clip at the end, for me this was an important connection.
Glad you liked it.

Going to be released in Australia in early September, and in the UK and Ireland a few weeks later. Pretty neat for an Indy film that requires people who don't understand Mandarin Chinese to read subtitles to already have $14 million in ticket sales in the U.S. alone. It cost about $3 million to produce.

Now that you've seen the movie, check out the interviews Lulu Wang did with NPR in July. The second one includes discussion of how the release will happen in China. Wang's true family immigration story is just as fascinating as the movie.

https://www.npr.org/2019/07/13/741217856/in-the-farewell-the-bad-news-bearers-keep-a-secret
https://www.npr.org/2019/07/24/7448...ed-the-farewell-on-her-family-s-real-life-lie
 

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