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The Farewell Blu-ray Review


“The Farewell” is worthy of its acclaim.

Based on a true story (or “Based on an Actual Lie” as the tagline states), “The Farewell” revolves around a struggling Asian-American writer in NY (Billi) who learns that her grandmother (Nai Nai) has a terminal lung cancer diagnosis. Nai Nai does not know this, however, as the truth is being kept from her by the entire family. In order to visit her one last time in China, the family concocts a wedding as a cover story essentially. Billi’s parents believe she won’t be able to hide her feelings and keep the truth from Nai Nai and don’t want her to travel to China, but Billi ends up going anyway despite her internal struggle to harbor the truth.

Written and directed by Lulu Wang, “The Farewell” is the type of important story that isn’t being told enough in cinema. Not only is it very personal, but it’s also a layered tale about family, cultural differences, secrets and traditions. Under less capable hands, it could have come across as a sentimental story, but every second of the films feels real and genuine due to Lulu Wang’s well written script and deft direction.

One of the most surprising and rewarding aspects of the movie is Awkwafina’s performance as Billi. The actress is largely known for comedic roles in films such as “Ocean’s 8” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” but in this she demonstrates real acting in a largely dramatic role. Yes, her character (and the movie itself) does showcase humor, but the role of Billi requires a great deal of internal and external emotion that would prove challenging to even veteran actors. If it was up to me, I’d say she fully deserves an Academy Award nomination. Hopefully, she does even more dramatic work in the near future.


Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. Grade: A-

Audio Track: English and Mandarin 5.1 DTS-HD MA. Grade: A-

* Digital copy
* 2 deleted scenes
* “Going Home: A Conversation With Awkwafina”- Awkwafina talks about getting the part, the story of the film, and her preparation for the role.
* “Nothing But The Truth: Confessions Of A Writer/Director”- An interview with writer/director Lulu Wang who talks about the personal nature of her movie.
* An informative commentary by Lulu Wang and Anna Franquesa-Solano.

November 19, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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