A24 | Release Date: July 12, 2019
8.4
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 39 Ratings
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Positive:
33
Mixed:
4
Negative:
2
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10
ProteusAug 3, 2019
I've seen 100 movies this year and this is my favorite. The comedy is 100% organic and hilarious. The whole movie makes total sense. Go see this movie.

Off the subject Metacritic has the worst search engine in human history. I typed "The
I've seen 100 movies this year and this is my favorite. The comedy is 100% organic and hilarious. The whole movie makes total sense. Go see this movie.

Off the subject Metacritic has the worst search engine in human history. I typed "The farewell" into the search bar. 6 results show up none of them this movie. How is that possible? Do the same thing on Google, which is searching the entire world wide web and you get this movie. How can a search engine be that bad? We have the answer right here on Metacritic.
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3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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9
Brent_MarchantJul 22, 2019
Director Lulu Wang's excellent comedy-drama about how to handle an impending family tragedy is one of the most capably made, thoroughly satisfying films of this or any other year. With excellent performances by Awkwafina and Shenzhen Zhou andDirector Lulu Wang's excellent comedy-drama about how to handle an impending family tragedy is one of the most capably made, thoroughly satisfying films of this or any other year. With excellent performances by Awkwafina and Shenzhen Zhou and a superbly, smartly written script, the picture takes viewers on an emotional rollercoaster, from laughter to tears to heartfelt warmth and back again. There's so much to like here that it's difficult to get one's hands around everything it has to offer. Let's hope this one is remembered at awards season. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
JGNYCJul 13, 2019
The movie is a wonder - it somehow blends humor and honest sadness, deeply real cultural detail and universal experiences, and leaves you feeling like you've gotten to live with this family and feel all the love and the tensions among them.The movie is a wonder - it somehow blends humor and honest sadness, deeply real cultural detail and universal experiences, and leaves you feeling like you've gotten to live with this family and feel all the love and the tensions among them. Great performances, writing, directing. It deserves to be seen by many and win loud of awards Expand
5 of 6 users found this helpful51
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8
BHBarryJul 14, 2019
“The Farewell” is a charming film written and directed by Lulu Wang with a Chinese cast who speak both Chinese and English throughout (since a lot of the filming occurred in New York City with the remainder in a suburb of Beijing. I mention“The Farewell” is a charming film written and directed by Lulu Wang with a Chinese cast who speak both Chinese and English throughout (since a lot of the filming occurred in New York City with the remainder in a suburb of Beijing. I mention this because many viewers are turned off by English titles but this film’s intermingling of English and Chinese dialogue makes it an enjoyable experience in spite of anyone’s aversion to this process. This review contains no spoiler since the film’s trailers and advertising let the prospective viewer know that this movie involves a Chinese family coping with the news that the beloved grandmother has been given only weeks to live and, per cultural customs, has decided to keep the news from her so that she can “enjoy” her remaining time with them. The lead actress, Akwafina, plays the U.S based granddaughter who travels to China to join the rest of her family there. It is this interplay with all her relatives that affords the writer/director the opportunity to create and blend comedy and drama all in the same vehicle. The film captures the essence of what true family is all about regardless of the culture, race or location of the events that may befall them. It is the film’s universal appeal and fine acting that earns this film an 8 rating and, if nothing else, will, to quote Ms. Wang, "make those leaving theater feel the need to call their grandmother". Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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9
matthewmirlianiJul 19, 2019
Elegant, understated, and beautifully filmed, The Farewell is an intimate exploration of family, humanity, life, and death. It succeeds by capturing the humor, awkwardness, joy, and sadness that one experiences as part of a family; it is thisElegant, understated, and beautifully filmed, The Farewell is an intimate exploration of family, humanity, life, and death. It succeeds by capturing the humor, awkwardness, joy, and sadness that one experiences as part of a family; it is this raw honesty that makes it such a triumph. Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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10
SharturJul 12, 2019
Awkwafina is just fantastic this is a must see I can’t believe how much potential she has... this is an Oscar contender fur sure
5 of 7 users found this helpful52
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6
MetaflixAug 9, 2019
The original title for this post was "'The Farewell' Review: An Angsty Awkwafina Headlines This One Note Song." That was before we noticed that the film currently maintains a 99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

After seeing that, we had to
The original title for this post was "'The Farewell' Review: An Angsty Awkwafina Headlines This One Note Song." That was before we noticed that the film currently maintains a 99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

After seeing that, we had to take stock of the situation by contemplating whose opinion is closer to being "correct" with regard to judging the overall quality of the movie: ours or mainstream critics.

For comparison, last year's breakout foreign film 'Shoplifters' also maintains a 99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It won the Palm d'Or at Cannes in addition to 43 other awards around the world. The plot to 'Shoplifters' is wonderfully deep and complex. The acting is superb and the camerawork is among the best of the year.

Alternatively, 'The Farewell' exhibits almost none of those attributes. The plot is rather mundane, we're never given much of a reason to care about any of the characters, and the dialogue is pedestrian, at best.

So we'll leave it to you, film fans, to tell us who you agree with more: us or them. Go see the film, form an opinion, and let us know on social media.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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6
kirkenderJul 29, 2019
Awkwafina is fantastic, completely worth a watch for her performance alone, and most of the cast does a superb job too! The film itself is what falters, its overly long (even at 100 minutes its pacing feels like a 3 hour slog) and the musicAwkwafina is fantastic, completely worth a watch for her performance alone, and most of the cast does a superb job too! The film itself is what falters, its overly long (even at 100 minutes its pacing feels like a 3 hour slog) and the music choices are oddly disconnected from the tone of the story. Its a very funny film - in the vein of uncomfortable comedy - partially from a cultural perspective - but the music is somber and dour, creating whiplash from scene to scene. Its a film that needs a lighter touch post production, because the performances are the star of the show. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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3
romethesecondtiAug 5, 2019
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The opening line on the screen is “Based on a lie.” That may be the cleverest writing in “The Farewell,” which has a good idea at its core. But, as many a screenwriter has discovered, it’s what you do with the good idea that counts. There’s some mildly interesting but rather basic family discussions about the difference between Chinese culture and American culture, and Billi emotes about her wrenching move to the United States decades ago. All this is not enough to save this slow-moving, one-note, preachy film. Billi is a mid-20s Asian American (Awkwafina) who left China with her parents at age 6), working as a struggling writer in New York City. Despite her remove from Beijing, she’s close to her grandmother Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao) who still lives there. Billi is devastated when she learns Nai Nai has terminal lung cancer and only a few months to live. The American and Japanese sides of the family decide to travel to China to see Nai Nai one last time, BUT—and here’s the “good idea”—Nai Nai is not to be told she’s dying. To keep the secret, a fake marriage, complete with a lavish wedding banquet, serves as a cover for the onslaught of family members from overseas. Most of the family understands that this is the Chinese way, but apparently Americanized Billi believes Nai Nai should know the truth of her condition.
Where does a scriptwriter go from here? There’s lots of tension to exploit between the keep-the-bad-news-from-her family members (too many to keep track of), and Billi. It’s an advice-prone family, and Billi gets plenty of it. Will she blurt out the truth? Let’s hope not! Nai Nai, too, is adept at the advice game, and Billi gets lots of instruction about career and marriage—and Chinese shouting and exercise--from grandma, whose complete lack of knowledge of New York City and Billi’s life there doesn’t deter her. Of course, Billi loves Nai Nai and the two spend lots of time together, which is about as cloying and boring on screen as it would be in real life. When Nai Nai, convinced that she’s fit as a fiddle, decides to obtain the results of a new chest X-ray, Billi must save the day, sprinting a good mile to the hospital (will she get there in time?).
The fake wedding should provide some comic relief from the pathos and shots of hospital waiting-rooms, but neither a long scene about whether lobster or crab will be served at the banquet, nor another of the groom getting drunk and sick, nor various friends and family doing karaoke advance the story. Billi’s brief speech at the banquet is also unrevealing (except in theory to make us anxious - will she give away the secret?).

To add insult to injury, it’s revealed during the credits that Nai Nai is still alive 6 years later. Hoodwinked!
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
otto1494Jul 14, 2019
This movie was a disappointment, with little of the charm and humor of Crazy Rich Asians.
2 of 10 users found this helpful28
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7
TVJerryAug 5, 2019
Awkwafina veers dramatically (literally) away from her rep as a rapper and comic for this serious role. She plays an Asian-American who returns to China with her family for one last visit with her grandmother, who's been diagnosed withAwkwafina veers dramatically (literally) away from her rep as a rapper and comic for this serious role. She plays an Asian-American who returns to China with her family for one last visit with her grandmother, who's been diagnosed with advanced cancer. The catch: because they believe that the news will do more harm than the disease, they can't tell grandma. This leads Awkwafina to brood for the whole movie, almost never taking advantage of her comic abilities to add contrast that would make the heavy moments more poignant. Even so, this examination of family connections and cultural expectations is crafted as a sweet personal drama. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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9
mulderdogAug 5, 2019
What a wonderful surprise.. It was so much more then the given story of the grandmother/granddaughter and her imminent death.. Family, East /West, immigration, alcohol, culture,, millennial's, on and on. It was hilarious. Awkwafina and theWhat a wonderful surprise.. It was so much more then the given story of the grandmother/granddaughter and her imminent death.. Family, East /West, immigration, alcohol, culture,, millennial's, on and on. It was hilarious. Awkwafina and the rest of the cast were wonderful. yeah, the music was funky, but I'm over it. :-) Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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9
GreatMartinAug 4, 2019
As effective as "The Farewell" is on the huge movie screen I think it will be even more effective on the television screen. It is what use to be called a 'small' film but in reality it covers a lot of subjects all families deal with whichAs effective as "The Farewell" is on the huge movie screen I think it will be even more effective on the television screen. It is what use to be called a 'small' film but in reality it covers a lot of subjects all families deal with which brings laughs and tears and major differences no matter how small or big a family is.

I have seen Awkwafina in both ""Crazy Rich Asians" and "Ocean's 8" and I vaguely remember her 'wacky' roles but here she becomes a major player in movies and should get an Oscar nomination if not more. In the pivotal role as Billi, a daughter and granddaughter, she is rarely off screen whether in the New York or Changchun, China. Starring opposite her and, at times, stealing the picture from everyone, is Zhoa Shuzhen as the grandmother Nai Nai who has kept a close relationship with her granddaughter.

The film opens with "based on an actual lie" and it is a whopper of one as Nai Nai has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer without too much time left and the whole family conspires to keep the news from her and, yet, as in all families little lies are brought to light as we get to know the characters.

In more than one way "The Farewell" is a family movie, for any family of any nationality and background. This is a film the whole family can see together and in many cases will see themselves in how they relate to the various relatives from parents to siblings to cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.

The film is based upon the true story of the director's, Lulu Wang, family and she does a great job of drawing you into the story without any melodrama, keeping the lie real and except for two scenes keeping it all low keyed making it more moving not to forget bringing in a lot of humor.

Has not knowing of her diagnosis did Nai Nai live longer and if she had known would she have died sooner? Be sure to see the ending credits which, in a way, answers that question but, in any case, be sure to see "The Farewell"!
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8
tropicAcesAug 9, 2019
Hit home on more than one ocassion and had me seeing members of my own family in several characters. Very cute and well-made film. Start Zhao Shuzhen’s FYC Oscar campaign now, please.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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8
moviemitch96Jul 28, 2019
This was a touching film but I certainly don't think it was deserving of the 100% rating it's received on rotten tomatoes, and it wasn't anything groundbreaking or amazing like I was led to believe. What it does have going for it however areThis was a touching film but I certainly don't think it was deserving of the 100% rating it's received on rotten tomatoes, and it wasn't anything groundbreaking or amazing like I was led to believe. What it does have going for it however are some genuinely funny moments and a stellar performance from Awkwafina. Overall, it's cute, touching, and worth seeing, albeit slightly overhyped. Expand
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4
everettAug 11, 2019
I can't understand why this movie received such high critical reviews. The characters aren't well-drawn (some of them are downright stereotypical), so I didn't especially care about any of them. Not sure what the takeaway was, either. ItI can't understand why this movie received such high critical reviews. The characters aren't well-drawn (some of them are downright stereotypical), so I didn't especially care about any of them. Not sure what the takeaway was, either. It seemed to encourage something that's essentially disrespectful, even - as the film points out - illegal in some countries/cultures. I went to see it hoping for some wisdom re: a situation playing out in real life. Alas. Bottom line: This film is facile at best. I barely managed to make it through. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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10
philyhaiAug 7, 2019
It is about how people deal with death in the family. In US, the doctor bear legal responsibility to deliver the death verdict to you. In China, the news is usually delivered to their family member and it is up to the family to decide how orIt is about how people deal with death in the family. In US, the doctor bear legal responsibility to deliver the death verdict to you. In China, the news is usually delivered to their family member and it is up to the family to decide how or if they expose the news to their loved ones. This decision is usually only apply to the seniors in the family. It is a "crime" committed by the whole gang. To people live in China, it is not questionable. It is the way it is, it is responsibility of the offspring to bear the burden. This is premise of the movie. A practice is questioned by their uprooted American grown granddaughter, Bellie. The movie is not exactly all about this premise, dilemma, paradox. It is about how to love. In Chinese family, love is not being said, but done. As the grandma, Nainai, says, how to do it matters. Bellie want to say her last goodbye to Nainai; but to Chinese, we don't say goodbye. To say it out is shallow, but keep it deep in the heart. On the top of mourning, the movie also shows the dynamics between family members: Nainai and mom has under tension going; mom and dad are on rocky term; mom and Bellie has tense feeling on Grandpa's death; Mom and aunt argued about China and US... These conflicts are all yielding to their over hang grief. Death is the final God. And this is how Chinese family, community and country work together to keep harmony. The movie is a masterpiece worth watch over and over. The plot, if you referring to the premise is very simple and straight forward, but it layered many aspect in such a small space and time frame. And there is Ellen, singing her heart out for Little Nainai, Nainai's sister and the family. What else you can ask for a movie like this? Expand
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10
manningn15Aug 14, 2019
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This one of my top 5 favorite dramas of 2019, one of my favorite movies of 2019, one of my favorite dramas of all time, and one of my favorite movies of all time. The acting was phenomenal especially from Awkwafina, Zhao Shuzhen, Tzi Ma, Lu Hong, Jiang Yongbo, Chen Han, and Diana Lin. The writing was funny and really natural, beautifully touching, and heartbreaking. The story was outstandingly touching and heartbreaking. The music in the movie was excellent. The scenery was terrific especially I loved the rainbow arch, all of the buildings, and the hotel the family stayed in. The outfits were fantastic especially Awkwafina's, Lu Hong's, Zhao Shuzhen's, Aoi Mizuhara's, and Chen Han's. This was a A+ movie. Expand
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10
FrostyGammaAug 4, 2019
The actors in this film are all good. Awkwafina gives a restrained but moving performance as Billi. Zhao Shuzhen plays a joyful, bossy, endearing Nai Nai - the necessary heart to the film. She makes it easy to see why her family cares so muchThe actors in this film are all good. Awkwafina gives a restrained but moving performance as Billi. Zhao Shuzhen plays a joyful, bossy, endearing Nai Nai - the necessary heart to the film. She makes it easy to see why her family cares so much for her. Diana Lin as Billi's mother Jian shows the tension of holding her emotions under a mask of dignity. Expand
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