2 user 12 critic

Coming Home Again (2019)

2:14 | Trailer
A Korean American man takes care of his sick mother as she teaches him her traditional recipes.


Wayne Wang
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Justin Chon ... Changrae
Jackie Chung ... Mom
Christina July Kim ... Jiyoung
Leesa Kim ... Young Korean-American Woman
John Lie John Lie ... Dad


Based on a personal essay by Chang-rae Lee published in The New Yorker, Coming Home Again is an intimate family drama about a mother, a son, and the burden of family expectations. Chang-rae, a first-generation Korean American, has returned to his family home in San Francisco to care for his ailing mother. He wants only to fulfill his role as the supportive son, but must also come to terms with his conflicted emotions towards his mother. The film takes place over the course of one full day. During this day, he attempts to prepare a traditional Korean dinner for New Year's Eve. The one she always cooked for the family. The care and precision that goes into preparing this meal gives him time to reflect on the intense relationship between them. Memories about it become a doorway into a woman who was so much more than the mother he thought he knew. Chang-rae is now faced with the dilemma of living with the permanent scars of family sacrifice unresolved, or the risk of opening new wounds ... Written by CAAM

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Better than The Farewell
9 September 2019 | by chong_anSee all my reviews

A Korean-American family is gathering on New Year's Eve Day for a traditional NYE dinner. The mother has stomach cancer. While the father claims he can take care of her, the son has abandoned his NYC job to do so. He is also preparing dinner based on mother's recipes and directions he had learned from her. The daughter eventually also arrives for the event.

As the son prepares dinner, flashbacks / memories of earlier family events fill out some motivations for the current members. These can sometimes be hard to distinguish from "present day", as the son's appearance remains unchanged. From the Q+A (I saw this at the Toronto International Film Festival), the director gave 2 possible reasons: the film's low budget, or since these were the son's memories, he doesn't have to change.

All 4 members of the family have different reactions to the mother's illness, which makes it more honest than the forced happiness of The Farewell. My only quibble is a final memory should have been placed somewhere else in the film, as it weakens the ending

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Release Date:

23 October 2020 (USA) See more »

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Coming Home Again See more »

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