A headstrong Chinese-American woman returns to China when her beloved grandmother is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Billi struggles with her family's decision to keep grandma in the dark about her own illness as they all stage an impromptu wedding to see grandma one last time.
The joke about the cat dying and "mom is on the roof" told around the dinner table is the same joke told by astronaut Peter Willis to himself as he is climbing up a desert cliff in the 1977 movie Capricorn One (1977). Seconds later, he is ambushed and killed by government helicopters. See more »
You know, one of the few good memories of my childhood were those summers at Nai Nais's. They had that garden, Ye Ye and I would catch dragonflies. And then we just moved to the States. Everything was different. Everyone was gone. And it was just the three of us.
I know it was hard. It was hard for us too.
I wanted to believe that it was a good thing, but all I saw was fear in your eyes. And I was confused and scared constantly because you never told me what was going on. And then Ye Ye died. You...
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Subtly anguished portrait of a family coping with tragedy
Awkwafina stars as a young Asian-American professional woman in this down-to-earth, insightful film about a Chinese family that confronts the discovery of an aging grandmother being diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer. The family is determined to not tell the grandmother about her condition so as to allow her the best state of mind as she lives out the remainder of her life.
Tremendous performances make this film, which would not be the same achievement without the acting that makes these characters utterly real, without judging them or resorting to weepy melodrama. In addition, there is the theme of a clash of views between Asian-Americans who have learned western values and the long-standing traditional values of Chinese families. There is also a contrast in backdrops, with Awkwafina's protagonist's laid-back lifestyle at home in New York compared to the sterile, concrete character of China.
Although the film has a comedic element with Awkwafina at the helm, this is more a slow-burn film about the psychological toll of impending family loss. It is never overdone and there are no cheap tears here. This film, in the end, earns its emotional impact. I don't cry watching a film, but I came close here. For patient viewers, this will is a must-see. Gladly recommended.
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