The Farewell ★★★½

Really wanted to come away loving this movie but ultimately only liked it. I think the biggest blow was really just how high my expectations were raised by the trailer. But while the film does raise all the issues presented in the trailer, it felt like it really didn’t interrogate them any deeper than the scenes that are shown in the trailer. In particular the explanation for not telling the grandmother her diagnosis always seemed to be ‘you don’t understand’ or ‘it will only hurt her’ but rarely did the film seem to dig deeper into what the other characters were thinking besides Awkwafina’s perspective. That said, one of the best scenes of the movie was the dinner table scene where many of the characters motivations and insecurities are dug up - but as great as it was it seemed to be only a fleeting exploration. More of a personal critique, but the soundtrack and some of the more artful shots didn’t always resonate with me - Sometimes it just felt like the film was trying to hard to fit into a high brow profile. Awkwafina was still fantastic though and the different looks at characters’ grief over the grandma was incredibly moving. Definitely still worth watching but not the masterpiece I had been hoping for. 

Saw with co-residents after our retreat at River East.