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The Farewell (2019)

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In 21 theaters near Ashburn VA US [change]

A Chinese family discovers their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies.

Director:

Lulu Wang

Writer:

Lulu Wang
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Popularity
75 ( 17)

Awkwafina Takes Dramatic Leap in 'The Farewell'

At Sundance 2019, Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina describes how her first leading role in the dramatic comedy The Farewell led to an, um, "empathy orgy" with the cast and crew.

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6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Awkwafina ... Billi
Tzi Ma ... Haiyan
Diana Lin ... Jian
Aoi Mizuhara ... Aiko
Shuzhen Zhao Shuzhen Zhao ... Nai Nai (as Shuzhen Zhou)
Gil Perez-Abraham ... Tony
Jim Liu ... Doctor Song
Han Chen Han Chen ... Hao Hao
Diane Dehn ... Birthday Singer
Ines Laimins ... Kathy
Yongbo Jiang Yongbo Jiang ... Haibin
Hong Lu Hong Lu ... Little Nai Nai
X Mayo X Mayo ... Suz
Becca Khalil Becca Khalil ... Shirley
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on an Actual Lie

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material, brief language and some smoking. | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

Mandarin | English | Japanese | Italian

Release Date:

5 September 2019 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Farewell See more »

Filming Locations:

Changchun, China See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$355,662, 14 July 2019

Gross USA:

$11,331,895
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The premise of this movie is based on a true story from Lulu Wang's real life: as the family in the film does, her family really did lie to Wang's grandmother about the grandmother's terminal cancer diagnosis in an attempt to prolong her life. The element of the story in which they use a family wedding as an excuse for everyone to come and visit the grandmother because she is dying was also based in fact. Wang had a great deal of trouble finding financiers to back the filming. American producers objected to the all-Asian cast and insisted that she needed to add prominent white characters. Chinese financiers thought the story was too American, and they also insisted on adding white characters. So in another attempt to draw attention to the project, Wang adapted the story into a segment of the April 22, 2016, episode of the public radio storytelling program "This American Life," which did result in Chris Weitz coming on as a producer and procuring other financing. See more »

Quotes

Billi: Okay, when were you guys going to tell me this? How could you let me find out like this?
Jian: How should I have told you? "Oh, your grandma's on the roof".
See more »

Connections

Featured in Chris Stuckmann Movie Reviews: The Farewell (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Shi Jie Liang Yuan
Written by Jayna Chou
Performed by Mindia Luo
Produced by Mark Byers (as Markaholic)
Courtesy of Mark Byers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Beautifully Melancholy Comedy About Family, Life, and Culture

The Farewell is phenomenal and one of the best films of 2019.

Awkwafina sheds her usual persona to take on this role and she is truly fantastic. The real standout here, however, is Shuzhen Zhao as Nai Nai. She's funny, down to Earth, and absolutely heartbreaking. It's a brilliant performance from a phenomenal older Chinese actress and I hope she's remembered come award season (same with Awkwafina).

Lulu Wang has written an absolutely beautiful and personal film and has clearly poured her heart out into it. Her dialogue is funny, human, and poetic. Most of the film is in Mandarin, but don't worry. The translations have kept the jokes truly funny and the dramatic moments have retained their weight. It's a pretty bilingual film, so if subtitles worry you, don't worry. It's a great screenplay.

I think this is an extremely accessible film that you can bring the whole family to and I hope it gets a wide release and does well. I can't recommend it enough. I hope it does well financially and gets award recognition. I like to see beautiful, small, personal projects do well and this is a truly great movie.


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