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'The Farewell' (2019)

Dir.: Lulu Wang

Very sweet family drama that packs a punch or two. It's wonderfully directed with clever language ploys and culture clashes at the forefront. The premise is stated upfront - a Chinese family try to keep their Grandmother from knowing that she is terminally ill. Hard to review without spoilers, it's a complete roller-coaster of emotions (that's a cliche but it's true). There are moments of hilarity (the cemetery scene especially) and moments of pure emotion (most of the scenes towards the end). I went in to this film blind, and found myself googling everything about it 2 mins after the credits rolled.

The Farewell is a film about saying goodbye to a person, but also has lots to say about saying goodbye to culture, family traditions, places and values. It deals with these things very sensitively. I found myself comparing it to the films of Hirokazu Koreeda alot of the time, mostly because of the family aspect.

I've never heard of Awkwafina, but she was completely brilliant in this, and most of the rest of the cast held their own too. Even the real life family member of the Director.

There are a couple of flaws (we didn't need the little bird for instance). But otherwise it is a very lovely movie which I expect will feature in alot of people's top 10's of 2019.